Unfortunately we must say goodbye to some of our friends that have come to pass over the Rainbow Bridge. While these special friends will live forever in our hearts and minds we would also like to share their memories. This page is our small memorial to those who have made such a difference in our lives.
Bailey -- 1/21/2010
Bailey passed away - January 21, 2010 - 4:45pm after a fight to survive pneumonia. He was a sweetheart and had the entire GRFR staff and ICU staff pulling for him. He just could not fight anymore.
How sad for Bailey though - his previous family left him at a high kill shelter, knowing he was sick. GRFR stepped up to help this boy. Bailey passed away with dignity, respect and with the love of so many people, most that he had never had the chance to meet.
Betty -- 1/25/2010
I am writing (once again) to let you know that my sweet Betty passed over Rainbow Bridge last night. We met in October, 2007, and she became my 2nd (of 5, and counting!) GRFR doggies. She was 12 when we met, but age isn't a factor to me. She needed a home and I was ready to take her in! She'd had some hardships before we met, but I tried to make up for them in the time we had together. In just a few days she would have turned 15! She was in remarkable health, given her age. It was just that her body was ready to rest. She was losing strength in her back legs, and even with me holding her up and walking with her, it was becoming difficult for her to get around. She did respond to acupuncture, although she didn't particularly enjoy it ... she was a determined old lady and didn't really like being 'handled,' although she'd let you pet and hug her all day long. And she freely accepted my help with her walking. But over the past few days, we could notice her determination fading. So, we made the tough decision to let her cross The Bridge and go be with her GRFR sisters, Allie and Lilly.
Thank you for the opportunity to love Betty these past few years. I know she's happy now, running and playing with her sisters .... but I miss them all terribly!
Lisa (formerly Tracy) McDufford
Dusty - 6/25/2010
For all those who have followed Dusty's story, I just wanted to let you know that we lost him today. That sweet creature drifted away in our arms, just as quietly and suddenly as he came into our lives. They believe that he had a brain tumor that has been slow growing for the past couple of years that caused a seizure that left him unable to stand. After what he went through and all that he had going on, part of me is angry he had to go through this. But the other part of me feels truly blessed that he lived to 14. I could have never imagined that this dog would be with us over 4 years. Every day was a gift and a blessing. He had more wrong with him then all the dogs I have had in my life combined, but he was so happy and never complained. He learned to live with his blindness and mobility issues and the long list of other things that just kept coming up. His spirit was strong, but in the end, his poor body was just not able to keep up with him. We feel lucky this came on like it did, instead of gradual and drawn out, and that it waited until he was 14 before showing itself, giving him the chance to live the happy life he deserved but did not get prior to coming to live with us.
Everyone who knew him agreed that Dusty had a spirit that was difficult to describe. I have never felt it in any other dogs, almost like he was a higher being, something zen like and wise and old. You could see it in his eyes and feel it in his quiet presence. It filled the room. And now that is gone, and I just feel like there is a huge hole in my heart. We are all mourning the loss more than I can even express. I can't bare to put away his bed, toys, and food dish. I keep staring at the empty dog bed next to my bed, thinking I will hear the sound of him making his way in from outside, that familiar sound of his uneven gait echoing through the hall. All I can do is imagine that he is somewhere wonderful, young and vibrant and happy where he can see and walk and run and play and that he will be there patiently waiting for me to come home just as he always did, faithfully.
I am truly grateful to GRFR for being there for dogs like Dusty. Without their presence and care, he would have never survived his ordeal and come to live with us. He touched our lives in ways I can't begin to express and I feel honored he chose us and happy to know that we were able to give him a happy life and a peaceful ending. Thank you to all who have supported him and us through the years.
Here is the video from the show he was featured on for those who haven't seen it and I attached a photo of him and my husband saying goodbye.
Ed - 9/27/2010
Ed has crossed the Rainbow Bridge and is happily swimming again, playing with all the balls he can find, and meeting with all who have crossed before him. I am grateful that he came into my life and never once have regretted adopting a senior. Ed brought the joy back into my life, after losing a Golden; oh what a sweetheart he was. Ed was the perfect foster brother to many dogs; he taught them how to love to their families and how to be good with each other. Ed was perfect......he had a beautiful coat, feathers that looked like slippers on his legs, loyal, obedient, always smiling, made friends with everyone he met (2 and 4 legged) and when he barked (which was rare) he distinctly said 'woof' with an emphasis on the 'F', my best friend.
He wagged his tail till the end and just wanted to please. I am a little selfish because I wish I had more time with him but the memories are good ones and they will last forever. To those of you who met him, I'm glad that you did...he was a pretty special guy. When Ed first arrived (age 10), he knew nothing of the life of a ‘real Golden’…but in the short span of 18 months he learned to love car rides, sleeping on the bed, swimming, playing, running free, using a doggy door, and just enjoying life. I knew that the day would come but wasn't expecting it so soon. The love and friendship had to stand the test, and knowing that I had to let you go was just as hard as if I had you for many years. Goodbye my friend.
Bon Voyage Ed, swim to your hearts content. We'll miss you Suzy & Gary
Hampton joined our family in April 2003. He quickly became not only our best friend but the favorite pet of our camping club. He loved to travel with us and was already for a new adventure. He had friends and fans all over the country. While we were spending the winter in the Phoenix area, he suddenly developed a massive infection throughout his body. Although the vets at the referral hospital in Phoenix tried valiantly to identify and treat the problem it worsened daily until it became apparent that the pain was greater than he could bear. We allowed him to cross over the Rainbow Bridge and seek his rest.
Ron & Jan
Jenna - 6/14/2010
Sadly, on June 14, 2010, Jenna was put to rest due to ailing health. We rescued Jenna from GRFR in February 2006. After having Jenna for only a few weeks, we learned of her very traumatic and heart-breaking past. We are forever grateful to GRFR for providing her with a second chance.
Jenna brought so much depth to our lives. Mostly, she continually reminded us of what true "unconditional love" was.
I feel like a piece of my heart is missing, but know she is in a better place.
Thank you for all that you do to give these wonderful animals a second chance. Without your organization, we wouldn't have been blessed with Jenna.
Lacey -- 3/28/2010
Our sweet Lacey passed away suddenly the morning of Sunday, March 28th. After our usual morning consitutional, she lay down outside on the deck , and was gone soon thereafter. Lacey was 11 and had been slowing down a lot. She also had some symptoms of dementia, but we were working through those challenges. She loved to retrieve (and hold onto) tennis balls and to roll in the snow. Lacey was only with us for two years - she left us 'way too soon. We miss her so much, but feel privileged to have been able to share part of her life.
LucyMae -- 12/17/2010
Adopted from GRFR and the foster care of Tim and Amy H on March 29, 2009.
Lucymae came to our mountain home not real sure of what her life was all about. In only a few short months she became a wildly happy golden retriever. She made our home complete and we again had a wonderful "buddy" at our side.
She'd run like the wind through her woods on those long beautiful legs (never aware of her bad heart) with such joy and abandon, as gracefully as a deer, sniffing out all the new scents, then back to our side where she loved to be.
She loved to go camping and fishing was one of her favorite things. She'd stand in the water waiting for Gary to catch another one, then guard her stringer of fish, lest Gary throw them back too. She loved the ocean and to run on the beach. She'd steal a shell I'd collected and keep it for her own! She loved to travel and meet all the new people and their pets.
When all was done for the day we'd come in and she'd pick out one of her "babies" and shake it wildly, as if punishing it for something naughty it had done while she was out, then she'd settle down in front of the fireplace and cuddle with her "dad".
What a wonderful girl she was and she has truly left us with a hole in our hearts. She died quickly and peacefully December 17, 2010 and is buried here on her mountain with her "golden" sisters, Sunny and Mokey who went before her.
Her Adoring parents
Madeline - 4/30/2010
Fellow GRFR friends and family,
This brief email is being sent to you to inform you that, My sweet Madeline is with God in heaven. She passed yesterday morning, peacefully and quietly. Madeline chose me to be her forever mum, via Golden Retriever Freedom Rescue and for this, I am will always be eternally grateful.
Madeline stood by me in good times and bad health as I battled Cancer and I with her, vice versa.
I learned a lot from Madeline, she was my silent teacher. I learned that love comes in mysterious ways and from 4 legged, princess girls. I learned to bond without saying words but reading expressions and looking into her eyes. I learned not to give up and surrender. I learned that her and me both had to overcome a lot in a world where we were both orphaned. I learned patience and prayer come hand in hand. I learned that I could love - "a dog" more than I could ever love any human or myself. I learned that loving her was so easy to do and did not cost a thing. I learned that I would donate to Madeline my kidney, my lung, an arm or my heart - If she needed it.
Madeline is the most brave, courageous, stubborn and gentle heart - I have ever had the pleasure of knowing and loving in ALL of my life. (Human's included) Madeline taught me the true meaning of faith, companionship and complete and utter unselfish love and humor.
I miss her so very much. I cannot find the words to adequately express my love for her. My home is quiet without her and I feel that in a way - a part of me, as passed on with her.
Attached is a photo of my girl I took this winter. She adored to play and lay in the snow. Her ashes will be spread on her favorite part of our back yard under her favorite tree, next to our Sunflowers, which I noticed this morning - are beginning to bloom.
Maggie -- 11/1/2010
I wanted to let you know that Maggie, 89-04, the beautiful dog that saved me when I adopted her in December 2004, passed away on November 1. She was truly an angel with the gentlest soul any dog ever had. Maggie was not a dog's dog - she was a person's dog. And that was only confirmed when she passed away and all "her people" - friends and family and those who cared for her at daycare and at the vet - cried for her. If we all could be so lucky... Thank you for allowing me to care for and love Maggie.
Marley - 10/2/2010
For the past six years, I had what I felt was the world's best dog. My dog - Marley Miller. Marley was always in a great mood, tried his best at everything and showed me undying love and friendship. In August, Marley began to rapidly slow down and I watched him very carefully. In September, the cancer began to show itself in the form of a tumor and on October 2nd, we said our impossible good-byes. I told him as he slept that he was the worlds best dog to me and he agreed. I love every memory and thought of him and realize the gift I was given when I was approved for adoption. Thank you for a truly wonderful time with my dog.
Minnie Paws -- 2/9/2010
Minnie Paws was a 2-1/2 year old purebred Golden girl, who was relinquished by a breeder. She was pretty sick when she came to GRFR and was treated immediately but sadly she passed away on February 9, 2010.
Molly -- 2/1/2010
Molly left an eternety of Love and Joy with us when she left this world due to complications to a surgery in Feb 2010. She came to us as the lady of the "BOGO" duo of Chief and Molly. At 11 and 13 years old these seniors were Abandoned, abused and left to fend for themselves in Kansas, these Street Smart "Thugs" became the heart of our home. Molly will be remembered for her never ending High Pitched attention getting Baby bark and her will to live no matter what life tossed her way. Molly played everyday like it was the last tennis balled tossed. We all learned alot from her. She Loved tennis balls, Chief and life.....and we truely love and miss her.
Carol and Mike
Roxie -- 3/8/2010
We had our beloved Roxie for six years before she was diagnosed with cancer and died March 8, 2010. This is the story of the places Roxie went with us and some of the things we did together. She went to everywhere without a leash; Office Depot, Home Depot, Lowe's, Sears, all the gas stations, the bank, the Stock Show, and of course, Petsmart. She also went to the dentist, the barbershop, thefairs, and the spring andfallfestivals in Thornton. At one of the spring festivals, some cops told me to put her on her leash, which I always carried in my pocket. I put her on the leash and then dropped the leash. They told me the leash had to be carried and so Roxie carried it. Soon we had a crowd watching us. One of the cops said, "You're supposed to carry the leash!" I just walked away and the cop got angry but his buddy said to forget it because Roxie was walking right beside me. The crowd was laughing like crazy. At another festival the cops said what a well-trained dog she was and they left us alone.
Roxie went to the airport with me, and she went to Texas and Arizona in the Jeep with me. When we were in Texas, she went fishing with me - in the canoe! Every Sunday she went to church with me. She didn't like to swim but she did like to wade in the water. She jumped into a lake once and couldn't get out. I jumped in up to my neck and put my arm around her. I held onto the tree limbs and we went down about 40 or 50 feet before we were able to climb out. Meanwhile Buddy, our other dog,figured out how to swim that day and hasn't quit since. My wife Shelia always told me "You can't take her there", but I always did anyway, no matter where I was going. She finally gave up saying that. Roxie loved going to the mailbox. As soon as I picked up the key, she started to get excited. She would only go with me. There are so many stories over the years, I could go onforever.
On March 8, we went infor a checkup because she had lost a lot of weight, and we learned she had cancer. Since she passed we've received coffee cups and 20 cards and lettersfromjriends and neighbors. I feel that must be a record for a dog.
Chuck and Sheila J, and Buddy
Rusty -- 12/27/2010
Sadly, Rusty crossed over the rainbow bridge on 12/27/10 around 4:00am peacefully and quietly in my arms. He came into our life in November 2008. He was our first dog we had together. We couldn't have asked for a better first dog. When we rescued him we learned of his heartbreaking past. He was on his second round of heartworm treatment, his head had been split open because he was beat with a shovel and he only weighed 37lbs which was a sign of cruelty, abuse and neglect. I don't know who could be so mean to him. His story is listed in the Success Stories under December 2008. All he ever wanted to do is please and love. We felt so bad for the little guy that we decided he had been through enough and needed a second chance to have a wonderful rest of his life even though it was a short two years. I wish he could have been with us longer but I know he's in a better place now. He was such a loving and compassionate dog with a great spirit. He loved to travel in the car, go to the dog park, go for walks around the neighborhood, sleep on the couch, and go to our boat every weekend in the summer.
This past summer is when he started slowing down and he started randomly collapsing with any excitement or exercise. We took him to the vet and they said it was mild seizures. Late fall came and it started getting worse and worse so we took him to the vet again and they said he most likely had lung cancer and the tumor was pressing up against his airways causing him to collapse. He was a very strong dog who was always happy and had so much love. He never showed an ounce of pain even though I'm sure he was. I am so thankful he went at his home and in my arms in peace and quiet. I know he is in a wonderful place now...pain free, cancer free and seizure free and running around playing with all the cats and dogs he knew.
Even though he was only with us for 2 years short years he found his way so deeply into our hearts as if he were with us forever. I want to thank the GRFR for giving us the opportunity to be a part of his life these last two years, for taking him in and for all you do for these dogs. I know he had a happy life and a peaceful ending.
Rusty will be missed by so many people and his buddy Oscar our cat...RIP Rusty!
Bridget, Greg and Oscar
Savannah -- 11/20/2010
Oh my angel Savannah. You were such an inspiration. Considering all you had to endure in your oh too short life of almost 12 years-I so admire and respect your determination and happy go lucky attitude. You let nothing get you down. You were an angel on earth and now you're truly an angel among angels on the rainbow bridge waiting for us with our Lady, Dutchess, and Shelly that predeceased you. We love you and miss your bright, shining smiling eyes and can do attitude. Bless you in heaven as you did for us on earth. We love you!
Shady - 4/16/2010
Shady came to us in November of 2002, almost a year after the passing of my first golden. I was unprepared for the profound emptiness that follows the loss of a pet and somehow, luckily, found out about GRFR. When I received the call that there was an available golden, whose name just so happened to be "Katie", I knew in my heart of hearts, that she would be our dog. She walked into our lives, at 7 and a half, as though we'd always been together. We tried, unsuccessfully, to call her "Sadie";my young son kept calling her "Shady". So that's who she became. Shady would live the next 7 and a half years being the best dog she could be. Her beautiful, loving presence surrounded us and made our lives so much better. She loved us, taught us, cherished us. Thank you, GRFR. We are so very grateful for the gift of Shady.
Stella - 4/19/2010
We thought we'd let you know what happened to your Goldie 58-09 and our dear Stella.
Stella died early Monday am when it is believed that a tumor she had on her spleen ruptured. We'd only had Stella for a short 1 year, but what a year. Stella travelled to Utah, Idaho, Montana and California; camping all summer. She hiked mountains and was like a fish swimming for hours in lakes. Her first experience in a tent tells it all. Though cautious about getting in that first night, we couldn't get her out of the tent in the morning. She laid there for over an hour after we had gotten up. Stella's exuberance about her new life was infectious and she brought such happiness to our lives after the loss of our 13 year old golden, Daisy. Now, we find ourselves equally lost by Stella's sudden death. It's amazing to us how deep she found her way into our hearts in such a short time. Our only comfort is that she died at home in our arms and that she had so much love surrounding her for this past year.
Thank you for all the work you do helping others like her.
Suzanne and Jimmy
Twinkie - 7/10/2010
It is with such a heavy heart that we had to say goodbye to our puppy Twinkie on July 10that 7:30 pm at the VRCC in Englewood Colorado. She was only 1 year and 4 months old, but words can’t describe how much she touched our hearts in such a short time.
Banana Twinkie Pants (AKA- Twinkie) adopted us a little over a year ago. She was a beautiful greyhound/lab mix puppy that had the best personality any one could hope for. There was never a time when I can look back and see her not loving us to her full ability. Even when she had an accident in the house during potty training she would hang her head down and wag her tail as to say, “I love you, don’t look over here.”
She had a three week battle with a form of anemia called autoimmune hemolytic anemia. Her immune system kept attacking her red blood cells before they could enter the blood. She fought hard for three weeks often amazing doctors at her ability to keep fighting. Her red blood cell count was down to 8% before all three of her blood transfusions, the normal number for a healthy dog is 35-50%. The vets said she should have died from that, but not Twinkie, she kept fighting on. She endured 20+ blood samplings, three transfusions, swollen joints and a swollen jaw, but never did she once whimper or try to make anyone feel bad. She always wagged her tail when she saw me and had the face that said, “Don’t cry, I’m the one going through this. If I am not sad, then what right do you have to be…? Silly guy!”
Her favorite trick was to dance, and my most fond memory of her was when she had her third transfusion and could barely stand. I started dancing in front of her to try to cheer myself up as I had been crying a lot and she saw this and just leapt up and starting dancing, just like she did when she was well. I have never been so happy and touched in my life and I will never forget her doing that just to make me feel better.
She had to take multiple drugs to try to help her immune system see that her blood cells were just that, blood cells. These drugs suppressed her immune system too well as one of the ulcers in her mouth became infected and resulted in her throat swelling up. Even when she couldn’t eat or drink, she wagged her tail and laid down wherever we went. We had to decide to put her to sleep to avoid any pain. Even when she had bleeding gums that had to hurt like no other, she never whined, but I knew she was hurting. She went peacefully, looking into my eyes with her big, brown puppy eyes she told me to not be afraid and that she would be ok. She will always be my definition of strong and brave.
She was the center of my world, showing me that there is just pure good and happiness in the world. She never gave up and I learned a lot from that. From the second I saw her I knew I loved her and from now until forever I will still love her.
Thank you so much for letting me be a part of your short and beautiful life! I love you Twinkie, keep on dancing!
Ryan (AKA- The guy who feeds me, guy.)
Zephyr - 04/2010
It is with heavy heart that we say good bye to our beloved golden, Zephyr.
At 5 months old when we brought him home from his GRFR foster home in 2005, he was such a timid boy. Since then, he grew into an exuberant guy with a heart melting personality. He welcomed our two children into our home and forgivingly allowed them to learn how to love a furry friend. He was a great running partner, yet he knew when it was time to be quiet and snuggle. At the young age of 5, he suddenly passed over the rainbow bridge one evening outside in our back yard, after welcoming us home from work.
Zephyr, we miss you terribly, but know that you are in your eternal happy place running free with the wind at your back!
Love, Melissa, Nate, Rylee, & Logan