Rob and Jodi Conti

Rob and Jodi Conti

LETTERS: To the person who has our puppy

Summerland residents put out plea to whoever took their puppy, Grace, to return her home.

To the person who has our puppy:

What you don’t know is how much Grace means to us. Sure she’s an expensive, purebred German Shepherd, and sure we don’t have the most glamourous, well-paying jobs. But we saved up for her for seven months.

You don’t know that for seven months we talked about our new dog before we even found her, we talked about names and we talked about how special she would be to our newly blended family and how she would be ours. Our family dog.

You don’t know that for months Rob studied and researched everything about the type of dog that would be perfect for our family and finally after debates about a Lab and a Doberman, he chose a German Shepherd because of how smart and loyal they are, and a female because they tend to be more family protectors.

You don’t know that in November we started looking for breeders and talked about going to meet them. We found the perfect couple in Vernon, and even though we are in Summerland, the drive was worth it! Amazing people.

You don’t know that we had our name on a waiting list and we were so excited to finally be put on the top of the list for the puppies due in January!

You don’t know that we got updates and photos from Grace’s mom “T” during her pregnancy.

You don’t know that Grace’s litter was a little bit early and just after Christmas we got word that “T” had her babies. We were so excited. Pictures and videos made our hearts melt.

You don’t know that we got weekly texts and emails updating us on the puppies. The excitement was intoxicating. We could not wait to go meet them. You don’t know that we went to go see the puppies when they were only a week old. We couldn’t even hold them but we wanted to see them.

You don’t know that we finally went to pick our puppy when they were about four weeks old. Rob had his heart set on the plush coat, black and tan baby girl. I wasn’t so sure. All that extra hair? But, once I held her I knew she was the one. Our little teddy bear.

You don’t know that within a week we had chosen her name, Grace. Even though we wanted to see her one more time before we officially named her.

You don’t know that the pups were ready for their forever homes at seven to eight weeks and we kept Grace with her siblings for an extra week so that Rob, who was working up north at the time, would be home for good with his family.

You don’t know that we kept this a big secret from our three kids and waited to surprise them! I took them to Kelowna to meet the breeders and pick up our Grace. They had no idea what we were doing! “Are we going to H2O mom?”

You don’t know that when I drove up to the park and they saw a puppy wagging its tail at us, my boys started to screech! They were so excited. You don’t know that I cried when they held her and pet her.

You don’t know that a few weeks later we found out my son Lucas was diagnosed with a lifelong, non-curable disease — Cystic Fibrosis. You have no idea that it broke me. I sobbed. We had to spend two weeks in B.C. Children’s Hospital so we had to take Grace back to visit her sister, Firefly, while we were away.

You don’t know that Grace was Rob’s buddy. She went on every truck and car ride, she got to snuggle all the time, now it seems like it wasn’t enough.

You don’t know that Rob and I taught her to sit, lay down, stay and was working on roll over. At three months! She is so, so smart!

You don’t know that she has two other fur siblings Lexi, our Yorkie and Simba, our cat. She also had a best buddy who we went for walks and hikes with, Diesel the Great Dane.

You don’t know that when she went missing we spent three days straight out looking for her. Day and night. Putting up posters and talking to locals. You have no clue how hard we looked. How many houses we listened for barking. How many leads we followed. How hopeful we have been.

You don’t know that we are praying that whoever has her would just give her back. We won’t even be mad at you, we just want our baby back.

You don’t know that Grace was part of our family. She was more than just a dog. You have no idea how many times we have cried missing our girl. She will never mean as much to you as she does to us!

We love you Grace.

(Missing/stolen April 30/15)

Rob and Jodie Conti