This weekend marks a major milestone for Gracie Bowman and her service dog, Saber.

Her story has been covered previously in The Neosho Daily News but it's time for another update.

On Friday, Saber, a registered AKC German Shepherd, will come home to be with Gracie.

That will provide Saber - who Gracie calls her "Life Saber" - a chance to attend the annual Jesse James Days in Pineville with Gracie and her family. Those who have been following Gracie's story will have the opportunity to say hello and see Saber at the event.

"Gracie's first moments with Saber last week when they met were so adorable," Gracie's mom, Danea Key said. "It was priceless watching the instant bond they had. Together, they were so content and calm with not a care of what was going on around them. Saber truly is Gracie's Life-Saber!"

After this weekend, Saber will head off for extensive training to become the service dog Gracie needs. He will return home for weekly visits so that he and Gracie can work together, keeping their bond intact as he learns new skills.

His training is costly so Gracie's family continues to raise funds to help with the expense.

During Jesse James Days, ongoing through Saturday, in Pineville, Gracie, Saber and the family will have a booth selling dog treats handmade with love. The treats are available in three flavors, pumpkin flaxseed, sunflower bacon and blueberry chicken. Each recipe offers a choice of buttons, small or medium bones. Dog toys, Lupine leashes and other dog supplies will also be offered.

A new fundraiser has also been added - one that involves chocolate. To visit the Gracie's Life Saber fundraiser page, follow the link to the page:

http://www.mytcesite.com/pws/gracieslifesaber/tabs/shop-for-a-cause.aspx

Gracie began her freshman year at McDonald County High School this week.

Take time to stop by their booth at Jesse James Days to meet Gracie and Saber. Help fund Saber's training by purchasing treats or other items.

For those who can't make it in person, contact Danea Key to order homemade dog treats at

Danea.key6@gmail.com.

In addition to Saber, his training will be on hand at the booth to answer questions and three other service pups in training will be present.

For Gracie, as she begins her high school journey, her dog truly is her Life-Saber.