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'By the Grace of God' | Dog rescued from mailbox finds new home at Nine-Mile hardware store

Gracie was one of 8 puppies found in mailboxes in the dead of winter. She now works at Nine Mile Seed and Supplies

NINE MILE FALLS, Wash. — A new team member is gracing the Nine Mile Seed and Supplies store: Gracie the puppy. Gracie works alongside her owner Rob Gemmell three days a week at the hardware store, making friends with the customers.

Everyone who walks up to the check-out counter is greeted by two front paws and a stretched out, sniffing nose that just barely reaches over the height of the counter. The move has made Gracie popular amongst locals. Gemmell says everybody knows Gracie, and some visit the store specifically to see the black and white puppy. 

But Gracie's quickly growing legacy is one that almost did not exist. The Monday before Christmas, mail carrier JJ Johnson found Gracie in a mailbox in Nine Mile. 

"I pulled up to one house and opened the mailbox. I saw something move in the back of the mailbox ... Then I put a piece of mail in and then a face turned around, and it was a puppy," Johnson said.

Johnson determined the puppy wasn't any of the neighbors before calling his supervisor. On his way back to the post office, Johnson checked a few more mailboxes. He found a total of eight puppies in different mailboxes across town. 

"I was very surprised. And then I was sad, because you could see him shaking in there. And I was hoping they weren't there that long," Johnson said.

All eight puppies made their way back to the Nine Mile Post Office, which is directly next door to Nine Mile Seed and Supplies. 

When Gemmell heard about the litter, he walked next door. He said he immediately fell in love with one of the puppies and decided to adopt her. Next, she needed a name.

"We decided on Gracie, because by the grace of God she was found. She didn't freeze. It was 15 degrees that day," Gemmell said.

Gracie's littermates were also graced with luck that day. All eight ended up finding forever homes. Johnson said he is thankful all of them survived and wants people to know that was not the right way to re-home the puppies. 

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