Basil's Quest

A Tale of Dogged Determination

Life is complicated whether you’re a human or a dog, and it’s no different for Basil, a mixed-breed Labrador retriever.

Basil doesn’t want much: just a forever home where he can love and be loved in return. 

Told from a dog’s perspective, this children’s chapter book by Gracie Vandiver is packed with humor and adventure.

When lovable Basil escapes from his yard in search of a better life one too many times, his owner surrenders him to the care of a neighbor. Jolie, who’s involved in animal rescue, then reaches out to her friend, Hannah, who owns a doggie day care center. Together they strategize on finding Basil a loving forever home. And so, Basil’s fresh start in life begins.

Through self-awareness and inner strength, Basil demonstrates that his difficult and unhappy past need not decide his future, but instead can shape it for the better. Rather than stopping him in his (dog) tracks, each challenge makes him even more determined to succeed. Sure, he has off days — doesn’t everybody? — but Basil’s courage, perseverance, and positive attitude pull him through, along with the help of some very special humans.

The message of Basil’s Quest is simple. The healing power of love can conquer obstacles and overcome adversity.


Recommended for ages 8-12, Basil’s Quest, A Tale of Dogged Determination, includes six black-and-white illustrations to help children visualize Basil in his adventures. Basil’s Quest is a charming dog story with a happy ending. It will resonate with young readers, enabling them, by example, to face their own obstacles and setbacks in life.

About the Author:

Gracie Vandiver has rescued many animals, but one dog rescue in particular compelled her to write Basil’s Quest (a children’s chapter book) based on her experience. Gracie shares her love of books as the steward of “Gracie’s Little Free Library” (charter #83579, located In Nashville, Tennessee). Little Free Libraries provide free access to books through public neighborhood bookcases maintained by volunteers. She and her husband, Jerry, are active in the rescue dog transporting community, helping homeless animals relocate to states where they have a better chance of being adopted. They have welcomed many rescue dogs into their family over the years, including their two current pack members who fill our days with smiles and waggy tails. When Gracie’s not writing she makes watercolor paintings, tends to the fairy garden she started during the pandemic, and takes the dogs on walks so they can enjoy the lovely scents beyond their own backyard.

Purchase your copy of Basil’s Quest here! A portion of proceeds will be donated to OFSDS.

“While telling the heartwarming story of Basil, a gentle, mixed-breed rescue dog, Ms. Vandiver teaches young readers about the shelter and rescue system, caring for a dog, and the value of a loving, forever home. Basil’s Quest also encourages kindness, compassion, and the appreciation of dogs of all breeds, sizes, and colors. While this book is intended for young folks, it is a delightful read for the entire family.” 

– Zina Goodin, Co-founder, Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary

Our Mission

  • To provide a loving home, good food, high quality vet care, compassion and comfort to senior dogs for the remainder of their lives.
  • To build a Forever Foster Home network to enable us to place more senior dogs in loving, home settings for the duration of their lives.
  • To provide education on the joys and challenges of caring for aging dogs.
  • To work with other dog rescue groups to promote the adoption of senior dogs.
Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary is a Forever Foster Home based Sanctuary in beautiful Mount Juliet, Tennessee, generally housing approximately 120 senior dogs at the Sanctuary and others in temporary and Forever Foster Homes. While providing lifetime homes for senior dogs, OFSDS strives to raise awareness of the joys and challenges of living with older dogs. We are a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization.

We do not concern ourselves with the quantity of time that they have left, rather the quality of the life that we can provide them for that time.