At the Sanctuary of Joy we love nature and we love animals and pets.
We have three cats who moved around the globe with us three times (two are Italian, one is American) but up until now we were living in apartments or houses with a relatively small, fenced, yards.
Our new place in Italy is, instead, in the countryside (some would say ‘in the forest’) and we have all sort of wild life around us: many types of birds, mice, martens, foxes and even wild boars.
At this point we counted for sure other four cats from the neighborhood who are part of our ‘extended’ family and also feed regularly from our cat’s food. In the future we plan to get chickens too, so we’ll have fresh eggs (the villagers warned us that we better plan on making the fence for the chicken’s area really fox-proof, anyhow).
At this point, we thought it was a good time to add a canine influence to the place, but we didn’t want just any dog: we looked to do something kind like rescuing one from a bad situation but we also had constraints on the size and type of dog we wanted to get, so that it would fit right in the family and not overwhelm us.

When our older son (who has not moved with us and who still lives in the Netherlands) was visiting us for Christmas, he went randomly walking around in the surroundings and he found this puppy which was living in a gated field, with many other dogs, with a noisy road adjacent to it, traffic noises to be heard day and night. In that place the dogs were already too many and the owner didn’t have enough to feed them all so he was trying to give some new puppies away to give them a better life. The old guy showed our son some of the puppies, and he showed him their father and mother, too, to get an idea of the size those dog would end up being like: they looked small all right for us. The puppies seemed smart and cute, too.
So we got one.
We baptized her ‘Grace’, name which was chosen by Jyothi pulling a ‘Soul Coaching’ Oracle card by Denise Linn.

Grace was really scared, at first, and she was constantly shivering. We figured that some other bigger dogs in that place were barking a lot and were being bullies towards the younger and weaker ones: all dogs were eating off the same bowl and the puppies were getting a very small share, running and hiding way too much and they were probably close to starving. This one sure was tired, stressed and cold. She was also afraid of squeaky noises, but she largely just ate and slept and ate and slept for two full days – while still keeping her tail in between her legs the whole time – and then on the third day she was finally wagging her tail like a puppy’s supposed to do and thanking us of welcoming her in our life.

After having known this dog for a month now, we can confirm that the name the oracle card gave us is indeed very fitting: this is a pretty quiet but happy dog that doesn’t bark often, doesn’t bite and which is learning to listen to instructions pretty well (and it’s already potty-trained). And, she loves the kid’s cuddles.

The cats do look at the dog with evil eyes when she tries to go towards them, and they hiss to her or they jump somewhere higher and safe. They are basically not too happy for this new companion but so far co-existence has been going really well and without fights: quite graceful indeed.