In 2009, we traveled to DVGRR to attend a Meet & Greet. While there, we met the Golden that would soon capture our hearts. His name was Blue and he was 5 years old. When I (Roy) knelt in front of Blue to pet him and talk to him, he began to lick my face. I was never one to let a dog lick my face and my wife, Linda, was shocked when she looked over and saw me letting this beautiful boy basically wash my face with his tongue. We later found out that he did not react that way to anyone else that day. I felt such a connection with Blue, and Linda and I both knew that he was the dog we wanted to adopt. Unfortunately, we were not yet through the approval process, so we could not begin the adoption process. While we waited, Blue was adopted out by another family, but Blue must have been destined to be a member of our family. When we returned to DVGRR to select a dog, Blue was back. He hadn’t really connected with the family who adopted him. Blue wanted to make our home his forever home! We took Blue home that day and he brought us such joy and love. He was not just a beautiful boy, but a loving and affectionate companion. Sadly, this past Friday, Blue crossed the Rainbow Bridge at 13 years old. Although our hearts are broken right now, we will always treasure the eight years that we had with Blue. We know that one day we may find another furry friend to join our family, but there will never be another Blue.
Submitted by Roy McMillan (September 2017)
In 2005, we adopted Rudy from DVGRR. He was 9 months old back then and had come to DVGRR from Florida. Rudy quickly became a loved family member and was just one of the kids. Sadly this kind gentle family member passed last month at 13 years old. Our hearts were broken as we said good bye to our old friend, but he lives on in our hearts and minds, and we often talk about him.
If there is a heaven for dogs I know my boy is there bringing joy and happiness to all he meets.
Good bye old friend; we all miss you.
Submitted by Jim Parkinson (June 2017)
After we lost our Golden of almost 13 years in 2010, we didn’t think we’d ever want a dog again. The heartbreak that the death of a pet leaves behind is just beyond words. But we also realized that our house is not a home without a dog. That’s when we looked into DVGRR. We went to our first Meet and Greet in March 2011. My husband fell in love with Molson who promptly put his head in my husband’s hand when we were just standing there. Since we weren’t sure about adopting a dog-reactive dog, we had to pass him by. After going through the application process, we were ready to bring a dog home, but the one we chose needed more time at Golden Gateway. Then we remembered Molson. That’s how we ended up with Molson and have never regretted it.
We learned so much from Molson. We went to behavior training, so we could handle Molson around other dogs. Anyone who met him couldn’t understand how he could be dog reactive. He was such a gentleman. Molson fed on your feelings, so he made us more aware of our emotions so as not to upset him. He also taught us patience. Molson loved meeting new people, but he was more of a homebody. He did not like going anywhere in the car. He actually had one friend – Trixie, the beagle that lives
The four-plus years that we had with was not enough time and we are having a hard time with his loss, but we also know there is another dog out there waiting to be rescued by us when we are ready. A friend once told us – once a Golden, always a Golden. Now we understand.
Submitted by Elise McCarthy
n June 17, 2015, Campbell Marie and I let go of our beloved sister and daughter, Chloe Girl. Uncharacteristically, Chloe went quietly and without a fight… all of her fight as of late was spent railing against immune suppressant disease associated with her relapse of lymphoma. Her doctor, Ann Jeglum, fought alongside her with everything she had, but Chloe’s two-year remission ended, and things moved too fast for even the best cancer care in my area. Before that, all her fight was for life – to live it large and with every ounce of energy she had every day. Always, all ways.
Chloe came to me 11 years ago. She came to the world on April 22, 2004. Knowing my daughter as I do, I would have to guess that her entrance was filled with joy and the expectation that the world was her oyster. At 11-weeks old, Chloe came home. “Happy” became Chloe’s’ treat word. Anytime you said the word, her beautiful, extraordinarily sweet face with impossibly intuitive brown eyes would turn to you regardless of what she was involved with… and you’d best have a “happy”! Okehocking Preserve was her favorite place on earth, though. It was there that she learned to swim at just a few months old. This was her passion for her lifetime regardless of season. Every Saturday and Sunday. Rain, sleet and snow did not deter, and thanks to Chloe, I was in the best shape of my life… inside and out… this time with her brought such joy to my heart. Lifelong friends were made for both of us, and I will always cherish all that it brought to my dear baby. Chlo’ adored everyone she met and let them know that they were the “only person in the room” and “please don’t ignore me or I will have to jump up and remind you!” On the rare occasion we met someone who was not a “dog person,” you’d see the reaction of disappointment, sadness and bewilderment in her eyes. Those eyes… you could not help but bend over to her and receive those kisses and just fall into those pools of adoration and pure love. Golden love. Best love. Only-love-you-can-bank-on love.
And so here we are trying desperately to hang on and simultaneously move forward… through impossible pain of a life gone to soon. As a parent, I am cognizant that I must always be ready to let go but how do you release from a bond on your heart that you never want to break? How do you submit to the pulling away of a love so trusting and deep that just the thought of not having it in your daily journey feels physically oppressive? Your chest is heavy with aches you never knew and your stomach is nauseous with your first breath of the morning ‘til the last of the day. Each step forward feels like a step away from her and so sitting still seems to be the answer. But it is not. Chloe was my teacher. She permeated every ounce of the energy in our home. Her personality was large and at the same time sweet and “tiny.” She adjusted to just the right size for any situation and the only way one can do that is to be acutely present and aware. We will always have you close, my Chloe Girl. We will remember that you never met a stick or a “tennie” tiny ball (aka tennis ball) you didn’t love… wildly enthusiastically! As Campbell and I lay with her during her last moments with us, all she heard in her beautiful, so-soft-you-can’t-feel-them ears was “mommy loves you.” Parent or not… never ready to let her go. But true and deep love allows you to do things you never thought you were capable of and for someone who did nothing but give, it was Chloe’s final gift to help me do this impossible thing. Chloe Girl, beloved cherished daughter, best big sister in all the world. Best and loyal friend to everyone you met. Giver of love and laughter, taker of nothing… you left more here than you can ever know and our hearts will always hold you close and in precious memory. We will be together in Heaven. Look for us at the swimming spot….doin’ strokes…underneath the bridge.
Submitted by Joyce Pettitt
My Honey was adopted about eight years ago. She had a crappy life prior to arriving at DVGRR. More three years ago, she developed some form of cancer. With fantastic care from her oncologist, she survived this. Unfortunately other ailments occurred after her treatments, including GI and kidney diseases. I am so blessed that I had a great team of specialists that extended her great quality life for another three and a half years.
Honey was the first female dog I ever had. She was so sweet and appreciative of the great life I gave her. She loved going to the beach and YAPPY HOUR. Loved meeting other male dogs on the beach… she was a flirt but a loving gal. I always told her she’s my best gal. I feel for her brother, Charlie, since he spent every minute with her. So I hope to adopt a sibling for him, definitely from DVGRR. I know my gal is up in heaven with her grandma and papa… going to the beach every day… eating ANYTHING she wants, especially pizza. I will miss you, my love. LOTS OF LOVE, DADDY JIM & BROTHER CHARLIE!
Submitted by Jim Pugliese
On February 3, 2015, our beloved Jack crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. Our hearts are still breaking and the tears keep flowing. Our beloved Jack held on to the very end, not wanting to leave us, but we knew he had to go. He was loyal and loving to his last breath. We miss him every minute of every day. He didn’t ask for much: his daily walk, a trip to the park or lake, watching the sunset beyond the distant farm land. It didn’t matter where we went or what we did as long as we were together.
Jack was a true “Golden,” a loving soul we will never forget. He was much more than a pet; he was a faithful and loving family member. He brought us joy and made us smile every day of his life. We were not prepared to say good-bye so soon. He was our constant companion, and our home is now silent without him. Time will dry our tears, but our lives will never be the same without him. We were truly blessed the day he came into our lives from DVGRR. Our hearts will always remember “the paw prints left by you.” Rest easy our beautiful, gentle giant. We love you, and we will see you in Heaven.
Submitted by Mike and Debbie Auman
From the day we brought you home from DVGRR, we knew you were special. “Hollywood handsome” is how they described you at Golden Gateway. A whirling dervish of wagging tail and mischief, you came into our lives in a big way… nearly always bringing a smile to all who knew you. Tonight with tears in my eyes, I say goodbye to my son’s bodyguard, my 90-pound counter surfer, my one man greeting committee when I hit the front door, my silent sentinel… sleeping right beside us. We had you for nine years before God took you home. Good-bye Stetson… we will miss you.
Submitted by Susan Gollon
Our Tex was nearly eight years old when we adopted him, and I thought we’d be able to give him a few happy years. He sure fooled us… he gave us nine wonderful years instead! He’s back with his buddy, Deuce (Snickers 07), and I expect they are romping in the snow about now. Tex left us Thanksgiving morning. He will forever be my Thanksgiving dog. Thank you, DVGRR, for sharing these two wonderful dogs with us.
Submitted by Carole Walbert
On Nov. 22, 2013, we said goodbye to the most beautiful, wondrous Golden Retriever one could imagine.
In 2005, my partner and I went to DVGRR with no intention of adopting a dog. We just wanted to learn about the rescue dogs. It was a startling experience – our first time seeing rescued mothers from the notorious puppy mills of Lancaster County and learning the horror of their previous lives. The mothers were terribly shy and terrified of people. It was obvious that their only solace was with one another. As I walked around the enclosure where you visit with the dogs, I noticed a small, scrawny, almost hairless dog wandering aimlessly. I was distraught seeing how terrible she looked and couldn’t imagine how she would find a home. After a few minutes, she came toward me very slowly and with her nose touched my hand. I reached out to pet her, but she backed away. But she again came and touched my hand. Of course, that was the beginning of my love affair with Molly. The volunteers indicated that I was the first person she had ever approached.
We brought Molly home to the comfort of a house with a 12-year-old lab and two cats. For several weeks, Joe and I tried to pet Molly, but she kept her distance, only comfortable around our lab. Suddenly, one day Molly wagged her tail, came to us and wanted to be petted. That was the beginning of her transformation from an abused dog into a happy pet. While Molly never barked or chased balls, she loved to swim, roll down hills, run and jump in the snow, and be loved all the time. Her hair grew and grew until she had the most luxurious coat and tail imaginable.
We said goodbye to her last week after living nine years with this soulful, tender, lovely girl. Who could have imagined that she would surmount her terrible beginning and live a full and happy nine more years?
Our message to all of you who are anxious about adopting puppy mill mothers is to think about it. Not all people can manage the significant issues that a battered animal brings with it, but if you are patient and willing, you could have a beautiful and rewarding experience for your pet and your family!
Submitted by Susan Opengart
We adopted Buddy in 2006 when he was one year old. He quickly took to our family and won our hearts. He was a large Golden-Great Pyrenees mix but was as gentle as could be with his 125-pound furry frame. Buddy loved to be with us, and we loved to hang with him. His daily walk was the highlight of his day along with any car ride he could get. Buddy greeted visitors to our home with enthusiasm, and he quickly became the topic of conversation. Buddy’s death was sudden on Labor Day 2013 due to DVG “bloat.” We were devastated but will cherish the time we had with him and the joy and love he brought into our home. Miss you, Bud!
Submitted by Al Rossi
My son was only 10 years old when we got Tipper. She was amazing from the day we brought her home. Tipper was a breast cancer survivor early in her life. The vets were astonished at how healthy she stayed and how gracefully she aged. Last summer, she started “slipping.” The arthritis worsened, and she developed a different type of cancer. She was 15 ½ years old. The day I put her to sleep, I felt my heart being ripped right out of my chest. Watching my son hold our dog in his arms as she went to sleep was… well, I have no words to describe it.
People ask me how I could ever get another dog. How could I go through the pain and loss (that I still feel to this day) again? She brought joy, meaning, love, loyalty and friendship EVERY DAY to our lives for almost 16 years. I have no doubt that she lived as long as she did to make sure I was going to be okay as an “empty-nester” after my son moved out. The love she gave us far outweighs the pain. It was one year ago today that we lost her. This picture was taken the day she died. The sun was shining on her face!
Tipper – we were lucky to have you, love you, and be loved by you. We love you and miss you every day!
Submitted by Michelle Carlis
We lost Koda to a sudden heart attack on June 15, 2013. He was the most loving dog we have ever had, and he will be missed greatly. We were fortunate enough to have him in our lives for the past five years, and for that we will be forever grateful. No one should go through life without experiencing the unconditional love a dog like Koda gives to a family. We will miss you Koda, but you will NEVER be forgotten.
Submitted by Joshua Kane
We adopted Summer less than two years ago. She was eight at the time, and although we hesitated at adopting a senior girl, we never regretted welcoming her into our home. She had that true “summer,” sunny disposition and was a great “sister” to our other Golden girl, Darcie. They were always together, whether playing or just lying on the floor, nose to nose, butt to butt. The news came two weeks ago that she was ill. My brave girl didn’t show any signs of illness, and when she did, it was too late. The vet gave her two weeks, and two weeks it was. We are heartbroken, and her buddy is lost without her. Thank you for helping us bring her into our lives, albeit for a short time. Our fur babies don’t live long enough, but this allows us to love more than one in a lifetime.
Submitted by Michelle Rothstein
Deuce Walbert (07-206 [Snickers])
Deuce was the biggest Golden Retriever I’ve ever seen. He was more like a small pony. There was a reason for that: He had the biggest heart of any Golden I’ve ever known, and I’ve raised many. Thank you, DVGRR, for bringing him into our family; he was dearly loved.
Submitted by Carole Walbert
We lost Ally today (4/1/13). She was an amazing, “crazy,” loving Golden. Her dignity was with her to the end, and we (including canine sibling, Sierra, also a DVGRR girl) miss her already. Ally gave us joy, love, and happiness for the almost nine years that we had her. We are so sad but know that she is resting peacefully. Thank you DVGRR for your gift of Ally!
Submitted by Emily Rubinfield
In 2001 as part of DVGRR’s transport team, I picked up a Golden at the Neshiminy Mall that was the saddest looking Golden boy I had ever transported. He had only a small amount of fur and had many scabs and raised skin lesions. I carefully loaded him into my car for the trip back to the DVGRR vet. As we drove, he put his head on my shoulder and breathed a big sigh. I looked into those big, brown eyes, and I fell in love. After a stay at Golden Gateway with a few vet visits to get his skin condition treated, I adopted him!
His coat was absolutely beautiful when it grew in fully a few months later. The best way to describe Junior is as the “lovable clown.” He was always doing things to make you laugh. He loved tennis balls so much that he would do anything to get at them. You could hide them in a closet on the top shelf, and he’d bark at the closet until you surrendered them. He tumbled furniture, opened cabinet doors, jumped into a utility sink, and destroyed a gym bag to get at a good tennis ball. He has more miles on his paws then some people put on their cars. He loved multiple-hour hikes in the coal mountains after which he would often look like he was wearing black boots from the coal dirt.
Junior added so much to our lives in the precious years that we shared with him. We will miss him dearly, and always smile when we think of him. God bless you Junie, we love you!
Submitted by Jeanette Zembas
Our perfect Golden match adopted us in August 2008 with the help of DVGRR. Bringing home Buddy #46 (08-164) was a careful and cautious decision made mostly by my beloved husband, three years following the loss of our 15 ½ year old Golden, Clyde, Ray’s best friend and constant companion. The decision was made knowing that Ray’s late stage cancer diagnosis was now in full remission.
One month later, Ray’s cancer would return and so would Ray’s initial regret at having adopted Buddy. Chemo and radiation treatments would hinder Ray’s ability to care for his new best friend, as I continued to work. Well, the care never stopped and over the next 3 ½ years, Buddy inspired Ray to keep moving forward, despite his illness and treatments. Buddy was Ray’s co-pilot in the car – wherever Ray went, Buddy would be seen sitting next to him… rain, snow, or sunshine. Ray and Buddy would become a constant at the local park, feeding the ducks and birds.
In the meantime, Buddy was my Velcro dog, a gentle giant who never left my side, his nose/face permanently planted on my hip, eyes looking upward for pets and love. Our Buddy would be a distraction from the continuing decline of Ray’s life. He was my source of love, support, and golden compassion.
Without warning, following a normal summer evening walk, our Buddy would give his life on July 29, 2012 at age 10 ½ to the same disease that had plagued my Ray for four years now, the dreaded cancer. I was with Buddy as he peacefully passed over Rainbow Bridge. He had placed his large paw gently on my hand as if to console me, a final act of love, devotion and compassion.
Eight weeks later, I would lose my other best friend, my husband Ray, the love of my life for 33 years. A giver until the end, Ray shared the following with a nurse from the hospital the day he was being brought home: “I am going home to die. Sharon needs another dog as much as a dog needs her. After I go, she has to get one. Flowers are a waste of money. My wish is for donations to DVGRR. I don’t know how Sharon would have gotten through the last four years without her Buddy.”
Although I am sad and often lonely, I am also fortunate to have been so loved and blessed during these difficult years. For now, I have become a pseudo mom to Lily, another DVGRR alumni and success story. Lily’s owners and my neighbors, Jane and Brandon, share their gift with me until my golden future arrives. And yes, there will be one.
Submitted by Sharon Schultz
I first saw Cedric at DVGRR when I came out one day to volunteer and I wasn’t looking for a dog at that time having lost two of my Goldens in the span of 13 months. My previous adopted Golden, Nikky, only lived six months after being adopted and I didn’t think I was ready, and then I saw Cedric.
He looked so sad just lying there in the kitchen that I decided to ask questions about him. He was in the kitchen area because he did not like being around other dogs. Shortly after driving home I made the decision to “foster” him on October 30, 2009 and that Christmas, he was my gift to myself. I could not imagine my life without him. He was my constant companion and I swear that he understood every word that was ever said to him.
Until November 2011, he was able to get in the car with the aid of his ramp and his favorite trip was going to the Dairy Queen. The owner always made such a fuss over him as he gave him his sherbet. This past November, his legs just didn’t work as well, so we had to live in the downstairs part of the house so as to avoid the stairs. He had two big rooms to use for play and to do his favorite past time which was watching the birds, squirrels and deer. Most days he was able to take his two daily walks up until almost the end. Part of his daily routine was to lay in the back yard from 6:30-7:00 p.m.. He just loved to stick his nose in the grass and roll over and scratch his back.
He always looked so happy and contented, and I was blessed to have Cedric in my life for almost three years. He was such a loving dog and was totally dedicated to me and I to him. I never once had to raise my voice to him. I know he was forever grateful to be rescued from the streets of Florida and enjoyed his senior years being pampered and spoiled rotten. He rescued me and taught me to open my heart again to a truly amazing dog. He will be forever in my heart and we will meet again at the Rainbow Bridge.
Submitted by Sharon Jordan
We adopted Buster when he was 1 year old. We thought, “as long as he’s good with our 1-year-old son, we will keep him.” On the initial visit, my son picked up Buster’s leash and led him through the house and backyard with Buster trotting by his side. What followed were several years of having a comedian, protector and dear friend as part of our family.
Buster had the chance to swim in lakes, go hiking and fishing, run in parks, walk through the city and catch flying squirrels that would sneak into the house. He was a loving boy, always there to entertain the kids, teach them responsibility, and greet them as they came home from school. Since I work from home, he was always by my side waiting for my 3:00 break to play ball no matter what the weather. Buster was not a pure bred Golden Retriever – we called him our booby prize. We think he was part Chow because he would “talk” to us when we walked in the door or wanted something. He had a knack for howling at the fire house siren, even at 4:00 a.m.
He went beautifully and quietly on Jan 25, 2012 after leading a full and happy life. He will always be missed.
Submitted by Steve Sav
“Golden Retrievers leave a paw print on your heart”
A pair of friendly, warm and loving Golden Retrievers captured my heart at my first Meet & Greet at Golden Gateway in the spring of 2009. Kukla was so sweet and friendly. Shadow was so warm and playful. Now I have so many memories of Shadow: A loyal and faithful companion, strong, and a good protector. Always greeting you with a smile, hug, and wag of his tail. On one of our first walks through the neighborhood, I realized how much he loved sports balls – when we returned, he had found a small basketball, which remained his favorite toy! Shadow continued to find and build his collection on our walks – softballs, wiffle balls, tennis balls!
Always leading the way on those walks. Chasing animals out of the yard. Playing a game of hide and seek with Kukla. He was playful, energetic, and always had a toy or tennis ball in his mouth! His favorite things were “Biscuit” …”Walk”…”Biscuit”…”Play ball”…”Biscuit”.
Our special and treasured memories included summer vacations in Cape May, enjoying walks on the beach, exploring the parks on the Point, meeting new summertime paw friends. Enjoying walks in Valley Forge Park, and sharing moments with the deer. Strolling our neighborhood and meeting our favorite friends.
Shadow touched many lives of friends and family and is forever loved and missed. To all his caregivers through the years, thank you for your compassion and love of animals! Shadow, “Of all His creatures great and small, God blessed me with the best of all. Just as I loved you from the start, You’ll always live within my heart.”
Love, Susan and Kukla
Bodhi was only with us for three short years and was an amazing dog. Despite a difficult and harsh earlier life, Bodhi never let that dampen his Golden ability to love. He was an intelligent and loving pup.
Having survived a previous bout of cancer, another type appeared in May. After some discussion, we all agreed that only the shoulder area involved would be removed and then chemo. Working through that treatment and additional physical therapy and acupuncture he remained active and happy. His quick improvement in mobility and pain levels was the best example of his determination and the positive effect of the PT and acupuncture. He proved to the vet practice that treatment could be modified and result in quality of life. This greatly influenced the vet practice to start a physical therapy program and promote the benefits of alternative medicine. Unfortunately the cancer returned and we lost him on Nov 29th.
Thankfully he was comfortable and happy until the last few hours and crossed over surrounded at home by family and friends. He will be remembered for what he showed people could be done, changed a practice’s way of thinking about treatment and care especially for senior pups and will be missed everyday.
Submitted by Tom and Evie Sowinski
Boone (00-002) passed to Rainbow Bridge several years ago but this story written in 2005 illustrates the wonderful spirit of this amazing senior Golden:
Boone (also known as Pappy,) turned 18 years old on January 27, 2005, is an adopted senior — he has had many homes in his past, but he is surely in his final home now — with the Poslocks. He is truly a golden wonder…still swimming, romping, and simply enjoying life as an old gold!
Boone was born in Florida, January 27, 1987. His family moved to Pennsylvania and then divorced. He went through a few homes and finally was placed by a rescue into a nursing home, where he lived for about eight years. It was there that his mom, Lisa, met him. Lisa was a nursing consultant at the facility — Boone was the resident dog that was not being taken care of. Boone was 150+ lbs with overgrown nails that curled under his pads and was never fed dog food — just table scraps for the most part.
Boone learned that his future mom, Lisa, really cared for him. He learned very quickly to wait for the elevator door to open in the AM with a “Good Morning my friend!!” followed by a walk outside and some loving. Many nights, the staff at the facility would put Boone on the elevator to sleep alone, as they did not want to be bothered by him. Oh how sad he was. There was talk of having him euthanized since he could barely walk and was very depressed. Boone’s mom asked to take him home for a weekend to have him groomed, knowing she would never take him back. His mom contacted the attorney for the rescue that placed Boone, who arranged to get her emergency custody — and it is all a fairy tale afterwards.
The Poslocks adopted Boone — never to return him to the nursing home — and Boone’s mom gave up a lucrative contract there, since she kept Boone!! While having a tooth pulled in March 2004, Boone suffered a massive heart attack from the anesthesia. He was resuscitated and continues to do well. He is truly an Energizer Booney!
Boone still brings much joy to the elderly. Going to the nursing facility where his mom now works, he visits the halls with his partner Blazer, a much younger golden also owned by the Poslocks. Truly everyone’s golden, Boone is loved all over the world.
Currently, the couch is generally Boone’s new domain — where he enjoys long naps and lots of loving from his family.
Submitted by Lisa Poslock
October 27, 1995 – June 25, 2011
When Cassie’s prior owner died, the family found Cassie snuggled up next to her deceased owner. Because the family could not keep her, she was brought to DVGRR. Cassie grew up and lived on a farm and was fortunate to be a one family dog prior to her arrival at DVGRR.
When I met Cassie in August 2008, I was hesitant to adopt a 13-year-old dog. However, my sister Penny and cousin Lorena convinced me that I needed to adopt her since she was highly unadoptable due to her advanced age. I proceeded to adopt Cassie and because she was 13, she renewed my hope in the Golden Retriever breed as my first three Goldens died from various forms of cancer at age 10 or younger.
Initially, Cassie was not very friendly to Bryn (formerly Lily 2006-145). I took Cassie to the vet for a checkup and learned that she had six fractured teeth with three being infected so the six teeth were removed. After that, Cassie was a much happier dog and was very kind to Bryn. Cassie was definitely the matriarch of the family and Bryn and Lacy Jane respected that.
Even though Cassie had chronic arthritis and was on Rimadyl, Amantadine, Tramadol, and Dasuquin, she remained highly energetic for a senior citizen. While she could not run, she loved to walk around the backyard, the neighborhood, and in the lake. I would have loved to known Cassie as a younger dog. My cousin built a ramp for Cassie from the first floor to the back yard so she would not need to use the stairs.
In June 2011, Cassie became very wobbly on her feet and in a few days, she could not stand on her back legs. My vet advised me that Cassie’s back end was paralyzed, probably due to a ruptured blood vessel in her spinal column or a protruding disk. Unfortunately, neither of these conditions are treatable in an older dog and Cassie joined Gower, Maggie, and Bryn in the big yard in heaven. Cassie was four months short of her 16th birthday when she died. She was the oldest Golden Retriever treated by my vet. A miracle dog!
Submitted by Melanie Brown
December 2, 1995-May 13, 2011
Like most of us, I’ll never forget what I was doing on 9/11. As a home health nurse, I was seeing a patient first thing that morning, a plumber who had suffered extensive burns on his hands in an occupational accident and who required assistance with meticulous bandage changes on a daily basis. When I finished the job, sometime around 10 am, I was greeted by the friendly, sometimes mischevous, but always eager-to-please face and wagging tail of Butterscotch, almost age six at that time, who had come with me on my rounds that day.
Little did I know how much I would come to need her that day, and for many more days after.
As the horrifying news of man’s inhumanity unleashed against his fellow man unfolded on the radio and television news that day, all I could do was turn to Butterscotch, bury my face in her warm scruff and look into her warm brown eyes. Her consistent and steadfast presence were the only thing that got me through that day, and her warm brown eyes enabled me to hold onto the hope that somewhere, somehow, good must still exist in the world, at least through the eyes of a Golden Retriever loved by many, known as Butterscotch.
At age 15, she moved on to a place I don’t yet know or understand. But Butterscotch being Butterscotch, will no doubt, be there to welcome me someday, tail wagging. I will remember those eyes, and will hold onto that hope till we meet again, sweet dear friend.
Submitted by April Krauss
Waiting for Bailey’s arrival was the most exciting time of my life. Seeing him as a tiny puppy brought me such joy. Bringing him into our home lit the place with pure love. He was a little ball of golden fur, romping around until he was exhausted, giving puppy kisses and making everyone smile. Every year of his life brought so much love and joy into our home. He was my rock through some very trying times and would just lay next to me and let me hug, kiss, and pet him. Always loving, patient, gentle, warm… his deep brown eyes radiated pure Spirit.
He loved his walks with his Daddy, going “bye-byes,” riding in the car with his head out of the window, his “cookies” and all food!!! In puppy kindergarten he wanted everyone’s treats and would do any command just to get one! He would sit on his hind legs doing “handsome” and soak up the praise we gave him…always wanting us to be happy. His “spot” was on the sofa or love seat, either curled up in a big golden ball or splayed out like he owned the joint.
Images of him –“running and running” to me after a walk, romping in the snow, laying on his back with all four paws in the air and his “little teeth” showing, completely vulnerable to the world — play in my head. His passing came quickly and we were so unprepared. Our hearts were broken. He would not want us to cry or grieve for too long because all he knew was Love, pure unconditional Love and bringing happiness and joy into our lives. Our hearts are beginning to heal because of his Love and we know that Spirit in those deep brown eyes is still all around us and within us. To this day this house is his house.
Submitted by Michelle Murta
Simba the dog took a round about route to find his forever home but the unlikely result ended up as a notable DVGRR success story. At age 3-1/2 Simba went from a nice family home in Florida to an uncertain future heading north to Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue. His issue with small animals had marked his record and later cost him his first adopted home. We saw Simba at an open house in June of 2004, but because we were planning a long trip in September we didn’t want to adopt then board a dog for a month. On 10/31/04 we came back to DVGRR. The staff introduced us to a few dogs that didn’t fit when I asked “what ever happened to that dog Simba?” Those were the luckiest words I’ve ever uttered since it brought us together with one outstanding dog.
The second bit of luck was the canine companion we had brought with us for a “second opinion,” Sparky, our neighbor’s Golden. Tagged not good with other dogs, a trait we hoped to avoid, Simba and Sparky proved that wrong and he was off to his forever home.
It turned out to be quite a lucky day for all. Simba an usually large golden with cover dog looks linked up with a professional photographer and a writer/public relations specialist. He made his new parents proud showing off his good looks in a fund raising ad for Golden Gala that turned into a fund raising card, won a Planet Dog photo contest and was featured in Barb’s newspaper articles and blog. His gentle nature made him a joy with children and seniors as a “Pals For Life” volunteer; we just kept him away from cats and bunnies. He always made sure our backyard was a groundhog free zone.
He traveled far and wide in our RV including his annual return to home state Florida. He walked over 2000 miles leaving his mark on so many trails. He heard many admirers tell him what a handsome boy he was but never let it get to his already large head. His amazing ball playing skills continued till his last day. He turned 10 on 10/10/10 and had a great run that sadly ended suddenly on Sunday 11/7/10 but he went out on top after a long walk and dip in his favorite creek.
My Emma was my best friend, the love of my life. She gave us eight beautiful, wonderful, and joyful years filled with love, laughter and more happiness than we thought possible. She taught me how to love fully and freely with compassion and patience. Emma opened my heart so much that we became a foster family for rescue doggies. This is her legacy that will live on forever. We miss you so much, my precious one.
Run free and wild at the Bridge, my darling, until we meet again. We will love you always, baby girl.
Submitted by Mommy, Daddy and KirbyJoseph
Eden was a special girl. She was a bouncy, happy puppy and remained that way every day of her life. She was kind, tolerant, smart, beautiful. She was everything there was in a Golden. When children approached her, she would get down to their level. If it was a smaller dog, she would get down to their level. If I felt down, she would make me laugh or look at me in that way that was only between the two of us. She left us unexpectedly and suddenly on July 27, 2010. I miss her everyday. We honor the life of our special Golden by making a gift that will help other Goldens.
Submitted by Edna Gorby
Shelby was nine years old when our daughter, Michelle, adopted her. Then Michelle’s work schedule changed and she began putting in 10-12 hour days, which Shelby’s bladder couldn’t handle. So Shelby began spending her days at our home since we already loved her and she got along so well with our English Cocker, Olivia.
We knew when Michelle adopted Shelby that she had arthritis and we were treating her with meds. She was so good and never complained; she would even try to run, especially when she saw bunnies in the yard. In February, 2010, we noticed she seemed to have more difficulty walking. After multiple vet visits with no improvement, I contacted Dr. Northington, a neurologist at Metropolitian Veterinary Associates in Trooper. As soon as he saw her he suspected something was wrong in the neck area – yes, her hips were bad but this was not a hip problem, it was a nerve problem. He did an MRI and the worst case scenario showed up – a tumor growing in her spinal cord.
The tumor was inoperable, but Dr. Northington put Shelby on high doses of prednisone. After six days we brought her back home and she was walking better than she had five weeks earlier. Sadly, because of the prednisone and the fact she was pretty immobile, she developed pneumonia. We took her to the vet at the first sign of a problem and they put her on a strong antibiotic, but she just didn’t have the immune system to fight it. Three weeks later, on March 14, 2010, Shelby got up from where she was lying in the living room, walked out to her favorite spot in front of the dining room windows, lay down, and quietly walked over the Rainbow Bridge. As sad as we were, we were relieved that she died at home, surrounded by the people who loved her so much, hearing the familiar sounds she had grown to love.
She was the neatest dog and we couldn’t have asked for any better. When we got her, she weighed 120 pounds and between Michelle and us we had her down to 76 pounds before she got sick. She was good friends with Michelle’s African Gray Parrot and our Olivia (Livvy). Shelby was cremated and is now back in the dining room near the window she loved so much to sleep under, in her forever home with the people who will forever love and miss her.
Thank you DVGRR for your compassion and caring for the Goldens that are rescued, especially in giving the older ones a chance to live out their lives to the fullest, knowing they were loved greatly!
Sadly and never to be forgotten, Michelle, Richard and Donna Wiswesser.