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Available Dogs arrow STEVIE (08-208)


 In Celebration of a Mighty Life;

STEVIE 08-208

9/8/08 – 5/19/23 ❤️



Stevie was born in September 2008 and then she, her litter, and her Mom were dumped at a shelter. Everyone was quickly adopted except for the runt, because she was blind.
She came to GRREAT and the first specialist that saw her diagnosed her as developmentally disabled, he actually used the word retarded. Because of her uncontrolled eye movements and head tilt, he said she was cognitively impaired and he recommended she be euthanized. The second expert noticed her horrible blood values, blindness, and short stature and diagnosed her with kidney failure and Chondrodystrophic dwarfism. We got the news that she wouldn’t live past 6 months.
In the meantime, she seemed happy and playful so we decided to just let her live her life for the few months she had left.
We will forever be grateful to Ruth Chase, the then owner of Coventry School, for sternly telling us that we would not “just” anything with Stevie. It didn’t matter how much time she had, she was going to be treated like every other puppy and given the chance to rise to high expectations. And she did.


She was exposed to everything. Stevie went to puppy class, she socialized at daycare, she went swimming and hiking, and went to parks, businesses and events. She was taught commands like “step up, step down, and careful” so that she could navigate the world around her, as well as all the basics. And she thrived.


6 months became a year, that became 2, then 5, then 10. She was so confident in any situation that we often had to tell people that she was blind.


She touched the lives of so many people. She became a Spokesdog for GRREAT and over the years helped raise thousands of dollars for the organization. In 2013, she campaigned and won Sweetest Girl at Goldstock, and in September of 2020 she became a “Golden Oldie” for the Morris Animal Foundation.



Stevie left two great legacies; 1) She showed people not to let the details, like a disability or an expiration date, stop you from living your best life, and 2) Because of her confidence and outgoing personality, Stevie showed people that dogs can live great lives even with a disability. Because of meeting her, several other families gained the confidence to open their homes and hearts to blind dogs, who went on to live their own full and happy lives.


Stevie wasn’t feeling well last Friday morning. She was stumbling and weak so we went to the Urgent Care Vet as soon as they opened. An ultrasound showed a tumor on her liver and bloodwork showed that she was bleeding internally. She was 4 months shy of her 15th birthday.


Right now I’m just trying to keep it together when I take the usual number of goodnight cookies from the jar and have to put one back because our sweet, funny, intrepid girl isn’t here. Of course Stevie wouldn’t waste much time on grief. She would consider it a detail; something to be acknowledged and worked through, all on the way to living every day to the fullest. Fly free sweet girl and thank you for sharing your life with us, it’s a journey that has changed us Forever. Until we meet again.


There are so many people to thank for helping care for Stevie and for helping her live her BEST Life: Ruth Chase and Kristen Nicole at The Coventry School For Dogs and Their People for giving her a firm and loving foundation; Sandra Johnson and the Canine Fitness Center for helping her learn how to swim; Nikki Praml and Old Mill Grooming for 12 years of fabulous Spa Days; Dr Krisi Erwin and Wholistic Paws, Dr Jung at Beyond Vet Med, and Dr Rachael Dunn at Loudoun Urgent Vet for providing the best health care; Holly Rich for the nutritious food; Angela Bell at Tails Luv Trails for all the happy lunch visits; all her family and friends; and most especially to GRREAT for supporting her as a Special Needs Dog for over 14 years.


Stevie is no longer with us, but you can use the button below to sponsor other Special Needs Dogs.