2012 Memorial

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.

If you've received a Golden from us and would like to share their memory, please contact us about listing them here.

Raleigh -- 2012-12-08


In loving memory of sweet little Raleigh who was taken from this life far too early ~ her spirit, memory, and unconditional love will remain with those who loved her until the end of time. Raleigh, our dear friend ~ you will be forever missed!

Simba -- 2012-11-20

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Since 1972 I have had a single Golden Retriever as part of our family, except for periods between their loss and the determination whether to obtain another loving member of our family, and one three year period where we lived where no Goldens, or other larger type dogs, were allowed. Until we obtained Simba, all our Goldens were female and from non-rescue sources. In 2002 we obtained our first rescue Golden Retriever, a 4 year old female named Sugar , from the Golden Retriever Rescue Education and Training, organization in the greater DC metropolitan area. We never changed Sugar s birth name so she would quickly become more comfortable with us. Saving a dog s life was an important additional reason for selecting a rescue dog. Sugar was put to sleep on March 16, 2010. She was the most loved of all our Golden Retrievers and I was not sure whether we would adopt another.

Three months later we attended a GRFR pet day in Golden, Colorado and fell in love with a quiet, 7 year old, male Golden Retriever named Simba. My wife and daughter noticed him first, but I quickly agreed that he would be a perfect companion. Little did I know that Simba would be the most loved dog ever to be a part of our family! He returned with us to Monument, Colorado that same day and quickly explored his new home, where he was given the run of the house and the right to sleep where ever he pleased . This continued for the rest of his life and he was the happiest Golden one could ever see. I gave Simba squeaky plush toys and tennis balls. He quickly made it clear that I could keep the toys, but bring on the tennis balls, particularly those that squeaked!

On April 4, 2011 the Woodmoor Veterinary Hospital discovered that Simba had cancer and we took him to Southern Colorado Veterinary Internal Medicine in Colorado Springs. It appeared that he might not survive more than three to nine months, but he was treated by Dr. Brad Hines, who became hid primary care physician for the next nineteen to twenty months. Simba surprised all of us due to outstanding medical help, loving care, a will to live and enjoy life, and God s infinite grace and mercy. He lived joyfully until early October 2012, when kidney problems developed and he was in the hospital overnight for ten days over an eleven day period ( It appears that this was due to a strong love for Chicken Poppers , produced in China, marketed by Canyon Creek and on the FDA voluntary recall list, but still sold by Pet Smart). He came home and enjoyed life. He was hydrated daily in the hope that his kidney values would return to normal, but on November 20, 2012 he left us to play near the Rainbow Bridge , where he waits for me to join him.

I have loved my dogs all my life, but never to the extent I loved Simba. He was my companion, my friend, my love, my boy my life. He followed my everywhere at home. He waited for me to come home just inside the door to the garage, he followed me to bed, he woke me with a soft cough at night to be let out, he came to the table and patiently waited for me to offer him some of my meal (from which I always saved a portion for him) and of course, he loved it when I gave him his regular meals and occasional snacks. The last several months were hard for him " turning down food he had loved for so long, having to go outside to relieve himself almost every time after he ate or drank anything and the difficulty he had getting in the car. One picture I will always have in my mind is Simba loping up our drive, tail flying proudly, as we returned to go inside our house. He was my boy and I was his.

Richard R.

Heidi -- 2012-11-15


This is just a tribute to my beautiful Golden, Heidi, who went over the rainbow bridge on November 15, 2012. Heidi was a stray from Missouri at the estimated age of 6. She was brought to me by Donna Wicker, who had fostered her, on April 7, 2009. When she arrived at my house, she immediately walked into my livingroom, laid down on a doggy bed with a big sigh, as if to say with resignation, "Oh well, just another foster home." She wasn't exactly the lively, silly faced Golden I was really looking for, but how could I possibly say "She isn't the dog I am looking for?"
Heidi immediately turned out to be the most loyal, obedient and well behaved canine companion I have ever had. She walked with me to my mailbox every morning (a 2-mile round trip), hiked and ran through the woods in the Forest Service across from my house with abandon and was truly a most grateful, devoted dog. After walking her on leash the first few days, it was evident she was going to be by my side wherever I went., and from then on, she was leashless unless it was required by law. I don't ever recall having to reprimand her for anything at all. Her only faults were that she had none!
She lived for her too short 3-1/2 years with me, my now 14-1/2 year old retired Yellow Lab who had come to me from the Guide Dog Foundation, and Naughty Lottie, a tuxedo cat whom Heidi loved to tease, and who always came right back for more, and was so good with all the dogs and people she met.
Heidi was a very active, seemingly healthy girl until 2 weeks before her death when she got a little off her feed and slightly lethargic in her walks. After many tests, an ultrasound revealed very aggressive malignant tumors in her liver which had metastasized to her lungs. An interesting result of the x-rays showed a socket in her right hip, but no ball, and also some buckshot! Her vet surmised that she might have been a hunting dog in her former life and met with an unfortunate accident. I was always curious as to why she very seldom sat, and had slight difficulty in getting up after lying down, although it didn't affect her walking, hiking and running.
She was a very courageous girl to have overcome those difficulties. I don't recall after being the guardian of so many dogs, including 3 other Goldens, that my heart has been so empty after their departure. I will have another Golden in my life when the time is right, but in the meantime need to grieve for her. I thank GRFR for bringing her into my life :-)

Truman -- 2012-11-14

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The GRFR family sent me "Cody's" rap sheet and I read it over. Seemed a little bit, well, challenging..but how hard could it be and the little guy of about 11 months had been in a few foster homes so he really needed some love and of course training. To say the least. I was so nervous, I don't know why. I sat on the front step, waiting for the stork to drop the little blue blanket of pure forever furry love. I just had a feeling. Then he was looking out the window and it was truly love at first sight for both of us. He ran into my lap, then into my arms, then over my face, then body slammed the front door. Geez! I guess he was ready to make this his forever home, or something like that... Oh he was perfect. Calm, sniffed around the yard, rolled in the grass, sat as close to me as possible. He just felt like he was home. I signed the papers. He looked up with chocolate chip eyes and a big black nose, all 59 skinny little lbs. and the longest lanky legs and seemed to say "my name's Truman...they've been calling me the wrong name the whole time."

I came to find out that Truman was an extremely broken dog who had a giant heart squeezed into a tiny jewelry box and we stumbled awkwardly into each other to learn about patience, love and trust.

Truman had worms, a tape worm, sensitive stomach, a thyroid condition - he was on pills his whole life when he went from 59 lbs to 116 lbs. (He stayed at 110 most of his life), he got cancer in his tail so we had to amputate it, he was dog aggressive but would lick a baby to death, never chewed a toy - they were all his friends, he had a huge vocabulary, he shredded 3 "indestructible beds" from a catalog company- till they said they wouldn't send me anymore or refund my $$, and countless more. His phases and stages were "Truminator" to Trumi" but he was constantly "Tru" to me. His most difficult trait was extreme separation anxiety.

I say all of this to tell you that Truman was the absolute best dog in the whole world; to me. Even though I had 5 numbers dialed to call the GRFR and tell them I just can't do this. The second time I started to dial, there was Truman licking my face, in my lap, on my lap, letting me know that if I didn't take care of him he's not sure anyone would. I promised. So we put on the leash and walked. Every day, twice a day...miles and miles for 12 years. At that moment he trusted me and I had an overcoming sense of patience. Through many extremely difficult years in our lives outside of Truman and I, the separation anxiety seemed to be the one thing that never went away. It eased but it was actually was the bond that would hold us through times that if I were a dog I would surly run away but he stayed. By my side - best friends.
He would always be in the same room, bring me his ball every chance he got, wake me up with sweet puppy licks..that's big from a 110 lb. dog (I didn't need an alarm), bring his leash at exactly 7:30 a.m. and 6:30:p.m. He would pick up his plastic bowl after every meal and carry it to the dishwasher (this was hilarious). He would be a silly bucking bronco when he was overjoyed, and he would lay in my lap when I read a book (yes, we weighed the same). I truly could go on about how that giant heart locked in the box found the key and so much love poured out it was incredible.

Truman got spinal myopathy, and once diagnosed didn't make it too long. Tru and I spent 11-12 yrs together and I wouldn't trade Truman for anything in the world, NOTHING....N O T H I N G.

When you "rescue" a dog, it's a promise. There's no guarantee what 4 legged paws are stepping into your life. But when you rescue him that paw print is pressed into your heart forever. I promised Truman a forever home, we were both so incredibly lucky.

Maddie -- 2012-10-26

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I rescued Madison November 19,2011. She was called Fiona at the time. Madison or "Maddie" was a very sweet girl who was very loved. When I first got her, I learned that she had a tumor on her lower belly that was removed. From her exam, it appeared that Maddie had a rough life. She had severe hip dysplasia, was thought to have had multiple litters, and even had a bullet of some kind in her.

Maddie loved to be close to myself and my mother. Maddie stayed home with my mother when I would work. She slept by her in the bedroom and would come up to her to get her backside scratched often.
Maddie enjoyed laying on the chair in the backyard. She also helped keep a lookout for the frequent visits by the foxes and the raccoons! She also would make sure to remind me when it was time for her daily walk.
A couple of months ago, Maddie developed a large growth on her under belly by her hind legs. It was soon thought by her vet that she had developed breast cancer. The growth had taken over Maddie's belly and into her back legs very quickly. She was laid to rest on October 26th, 2012.
Although Maddie spent a short amount of time in my life, she was loved so very much. She brought a tremendous amount of joy to my life and will forever hold a spot in my heart.

Norman -- 2012-10-15

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Life without Norman has been very difficult. He was such a huge presence in our lives. We always thought of him as our problem child . Typical Lab, had to eat anything he could find, including couches, chairs, leashes, and coats. But he was irresistibly playful, and never failed to lead the conga-line with our young daughters. After loving him unconditionally through the tough years of mischief, he was finally maturing into the fine young dog we knew he would be. He warmed our hearts and the hearts of everyone that got to hear Norman stories. He was our big handsome boy and such a sweet loving friend. We miss you terribly everyday.

Daisy -- 2012-10-09

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There Will Never Be Another Daisy

When our noble Golden Retriever, Hayduke, departed a few years ago we knew we needed someone special to continue on in his stead. We had the amazing opportun ity to adopt a delightful 12 week old fur-ball who was called Cali at the time. Not liking that name, as we drove to pick her up in a town where her foster pare nts would meet us - we discussed names non-stop. Wanting to choose something tha t would be inviting to small grandchildren, the name Daisy came up and it stuck.

From the moment we met her Daisy just poured out love and it continued throug hout her life. Though as a pup she looked almost identical to our previous Golde n, as she grew, interestingly enough, she began to exhibit characteristics of a large herd dog, though she retained the gentle beauty of a Golden. It took us a while to figure it out, and some research online on "designer dogs," before we r ecognized she was a Golden Retriever - Great Pyrenees mix, probably born at a pu ppy farm in Kansas.

GRFR had picked her up from a shelter in Kansas where there are 5 day kill sh elters. She had been found wandering the streets. Well of course, she probably b elonged to some happy family, and very Daisy-like she just went out on patrol an d never looked back - true to her Great Pyrenees heritage. Since there wasn't a mama to train her, she was lost. We are so very very thankful GRFR found her and brought her to Colorado.

Daisy was raised by Maggie, our two year old rescued Black Lab - Anatolian mi x. They were a perfect pair and both grew to be over 100#; loving, dedicated gua rdians who were very lucky we lived on a 500 acre ranch with 2 acres of yard fen ced in. Having two dogs with strong herd guardian traits was great. They are cal led "thinking dogs," because in older cultures they were left out with the herds of sheep for literally months - and had to know how to get their own food, wher e to take the sheep, and whether it was safe to allow a person to approach. They both had natural patrol instincts, and the need to be allowed to "think" before they respond to commands. What wonderful "beings" to have share our very wild w orld in the Colorado mountains. Even with those characteristics, they both loved children, and would allow even the little ones to crawl all over them.

Daisy's life was filled with pure delight. She was always happy, precious, ki nd and dedicated. She loved to sleep outdoors occasionally, with her doubly thic k Great Pyrenees coat. One night there was a ruckus as she barked like crazy aro und 3 a.m. I jumped out of bed, turned on lights and let Maggie go out, barking like crazy, too. Almost immediately Maggie turned and ran back into the house wi th her ears down.

I decided to cautiously walk outside and see what was going on. I could SMELL that a bear had been there! It was the most pungent strong smell I had ever exp erienced. AND the bear left a 6'x6' hole in our garage door! Daisy was the heroi ne, as she was the one brave enough to let the bear know it was "her house."

Daisy was an incredibly loved and loving member of our family for the last 4 years. She and Maggie had never become super "car conscious," as there just were hardly any cars where we lived. One day just a couple of weeks ago, someone bac ked up in our driveway and Daisy, who was sleeping behind their vehicle, was run over. It was a terribly sad day for all of us.

When she got to the vet who was just a couple of miles down the road they gav e her a 25% chance of recovery. Then they discovered all her organs were functio ning well, she had 6 broken ribs which they wrapped. Things seemed to look reall y good with incredibly good care and the possibility of her recovering. The vet' s biggest concern was that she could get a blood clot, and the vet staff were on duty all weekend to keep an eye on her. Saturday and Sunday she was walking aro und wagging her tail. Sunday around 5 p.m. she laid down and was gone due to a b lood clot.

I cannot even say in words how much she is missed by all who loved her and wh o she loved. It is difficult to share this story, because we can't help but feel if we had just figured out how to train her to be more car savvy maybe she woul d still be here. In a way there is a sense of feeling that we did something wron g, and yet, every minute of Daisy's life was filled with love and joy. with I'm sure, no regrets. I have to trust the "powers that be" that her "premature' depa rture from us was somehow part of the plan, maybe to perhaps save her from a dif ficult cancer like her predecessor, Hayduke who had died prematurely of cancer a t 6 and a half.

I somehow have to believe that even dogs as souls have their destiny which we may not fully understand, even as we don't always understand the destinies of p eople we love. All of us who treasured her presence with us know, there will nev er be another Daisy; and we can feel her loving presence with us even now...

I share her story trusting that her life will be an inspiration to others. Al so knowing we always are learning, and knowing how to teach our pups to be car s avvy is a good thing. The only training I knew of early on, was to have someone drive in with a bucket of ammonia water and throw it at the dog, which I could n ever bring myself to do to Daisy or Maggie.

Since then a wonderful trainer explained to me that to positive train a puppy , just use treats and an excited enthusiastic voice to tell them how good they a re when you call them to you (away from any car) repeatedly, till they learn to obey easily, and hopefully stay out of harms way.

Agatha Mae -- 2012-09-29

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Our beautiful Agatha Mae was diagnosed with bone cancer almost 7 years to the day that we adopted her. She was only 9 years young and she put up a valiant fight but the pain had become too much for her. She was an amazing dog, sweet, loving and well - perfect. She brought us years of joy and comfort.

Aggie had a white spot on her head, shaped like a heart. We always called it her angel kiss. She truly was an angel on earth. She trained our beagle how to be a Labrador and fetch and swim. She taught our Toller how to be tolerant and loving. She donated blood at Wheat Ridge Animal Hospital for the past 6 years saving over 32 lives in the process.

Agatha is the reason that our family started fostering and then volunteering in other ways with GRFR. We figured we had been given this most precious gift we should make it possible for other families to have a dog as amazing in their lives too. It's been a rewarding and educational experience. Aggie was a great foster sister over the years. It was usually her job to teach the foster dogs how to go up and down the stairs. She also taught them that the kitchen was her spaceJ. She was patient yet made them tow the line when necessary, especially the young crazy foster boys.

We'll miss our Agatha Mae terribly. Our lives have been forever changed by her presence in our family the last 7 years.

Luna -- 2012-09-07


"She was your Angel Dog" responded a good friend of mine when she heard that Luna had died of cancer last month. And she was right.

We were lucky enough to get Luna from GRFR in October of 2009 as a 3 year old English Golden. My son, William had been diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia 3 months before and we thought having a Golden around would help him with his recovery. I believe she did. Luna was a perfect companion for William and our whole family. She was very gentle, affectionate and hardly ever barked. She is the only dog I have ever seen that would pull on the leash in the direction of children. Luna was always up for attention and would nudge your hand gently but persistently if she did not get it.

William had 3 years of chemotherapy treatment and we are very thankful that he went off treatment in July of this year. Last month, Luna began acting sick and refused to eat. She was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and we were there for her until the end. She was a wonderful dog that helped us through a very difficult time in our family life.

I miss her all the time and still wait for her to wake me up in the morning and follow me up to bed at night. She was our "Sweet Luna Girl" and we will never forget her.

Thunder -- 2012-09-06

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It's Thunder the Wonder Dog!!!
I have been blessed to have a wonderful dog named Thunder come into my life. I adopted this senior from GRFR just aft er Thanksgiving 2010 bringing him home to Grand Lake. I have wonderful memorie s of my amazing little guy. He loved chasing his ball. His ball was his best friend. He slept with it, played with it, brought it to dinner, and when I w as getting ready to go, he would be at the door with his ball in his mouth ready to go too (and the first one out the door, LOL). When he would run after his ball, I d yell it s Thunder the Wonder dog like a circus ringmaster. If the ball would stop, he would nudge it to get it to roll and then chase af ter it. He always seemed like he was smiling and happy. Even with his bad ar thritis, he loved taking short walks and would chase an occasional squirrel, wel l not very far, but he gave it a good effort. I have a deck with a sliding g lass door and lots of wildlife would walk by the deck moose (mama and twins), elk, deer, and the occasional bear, not to mention the resident squirrels and c hipmunks. It was his squirrelivision. He would chase the squirrels fro m one door to the other. He rarely barked, maybe 10 times total in 2 years, sa ving his barking for the really good animals, like moose, elk, and bears. I ha ve a acre that is fenced which has a woodpile, the squirrel condo . On e day, I was looking out the front yard to see what he was doing and he had cli mbed up on top of the woodpile, checking out the squirrels. I was absolutely a mazed, With his bad legs and hips, I never thought he would climb that pi le. Some of my favorite memories of him are when he was sleeping. He would gr owl, bark, and howl in his sleep. Soon after I brought him home, he howled at 3 in the morning. I got up to check on him and comfort him thinking he was lonely or sad or was missing someone. NOPE, I snuck out to find him sound asle ep. He was such a happy dog. He watched TV too. He was a funny little gu y. I wish I could have had more time with him, but it wasn t meant to be. He isn t in pain anymore and is off chasing balls, squirrels, and chipmunks an d running through the fields as fast as he can go. I miss my baby boy. Thank y ou GRFR for bringing him into my life. I will be forever grateful.

Joey -- 2012-07-30

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My friend died, and once again I'm missing a golden retriever. His name was Joey, and he came into my life a scant 15 months ago. I adopted this extra-large replacement for my companion, a golden named Miles, who'd passed away a mere five months prior, and never looked back. He was, in short, a kind, gentle senior-citizen-golden who never met anyone he didn't like, even a little, and promptly became a member of the family. His passing was sudden, and sobering. He and I had developed a very special bond, and it was clear that he'd accepted me as his forever friend. I so lament his passing - he was doing so well, and had even learned, finally, how to play fetch, no easy thing against our athletic german shepherd. We were looking forward to years with him, caring for him and in return receiving the most bountiful affection. He was never cross. He was always eager to please. He made friends with everyone. It's funny - each golden retriever who comes into my life makes me a better person. It may be why it's so heartbreaking to lose one, for any reason. Joey was my beautiful "gentle giant" and we miss him, today and forever. You don't realize how much you need to give another hug, or pet them, until you can't. And that is the hardest part.
Rest gently, my friend.

Lady -- 2012-07-29

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We adopted Lady from the Golden Retriever Freedom Rescue 3 years and 3 months ago. I am told she was dropped off at a shelter in Kansas and subsequently was rescued by GRFR.

When she arrived in Denver she was taken to be spaded and apparently her incision got infected. She spent some time with a foster family in the Denver area and our family met her at one of the meet and greets.

She was still not terribly well when we took her - she would eat lying down. But later she really recovered and we did lots of fun things. She was a greeter at our church. She loved to go on walks and sniff every bush, tree, and mailbox. She also loved to go in the car. Going to the mountains was also fun.

Even though she was a much lower energy dog than what I was used to, she was a real lover. She loved me and followed me around the house. If I would manage to slip out, she would go through the whole house looking for me.

If we left the house without her she would way patiently for us close to the door and would come greet us once we walked in the door. I really loved her and still do. I miss her so much now. She was a great dog and I am proud that she was my dog.

Sandy -- 2012-06-27

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Our lives were changed forever, and for the better when we met Sandy and Toby one rainy Saturday in September 2008. Sandy was not the prettiest Golden there waiting to be adopted, but she quickly captured our hearts and she and Toby became part of our family. Over the next few months and years, Sandy became such a confident and loving girl, and she DID turn into the most beautiful Golden ever. She knew that we loved her so much, and she more than gave that love back to us. She suddenly began to be a little lethargic, not eat all her food, etc. We took her into the vet and all seemed fine. We thought it may have been because of the extreme heat. Within 2 days we took her back to the vet, and a fast-growing, fist-size tumor was found in her abdomen. She went in for emergency surgery, but the tumor had spread and we had to let our sweet Little Miss Wiggle cross over the rainbow bridge. Run sweet Sandy Sue, chase the bunnies, roll in the cool grass, kick up your legs, rest in peace! We will always miss you, your special hugs you would give and that wonderful Golden smile! Our time together was too short, but we were so blessed to have been chosen to share our lives with you!

Curly -- 2012-06-23

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We were blessed to adopt Curly on December 7, 2009. She was the perfect dog for us!

She loved to run in circles chasing her tale every day! It was really fun to watch and you could tell she was truly having a good time. Curly also loved it when you were petting her. She could not get enough! When you stopped petting her, Curly would turn and look at you as if to say "Your not done yet, are you?" If you did not respond to her "look" she would move on to the next person and nudge them give them her "eyes" until someone would begin to pet her.

We enjoyed a beautiful journey with Curly and are blessed she spent her last years with us!

Eddie -- 2012-05-27

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In October of 2008 our family was blessed with Eddie. Apon our first meeting we knew that Eddie was the dog for us. His gentle and friendly disposition and big smile made all of us fall in love at first sight! Eddie was one to follow our twin girls all over like a built in nanny. He enjoyed playing with the girls outside, going on walks, and especially swimming in the river. With Eddie there were never strangers, only new friends to meet. We considered Eddie a loveable teddy bear as he loved to climb up and share the couch with you and warm your feet during a cold winters night!

During the Memorial Day Weekend, we noticed that he was slowing down and not even getting up to greet friends as they came to our door (very unsual for him!). We proceeded to take him to the Animal Hospital when we noticed unusual breathing. Once at the hospital, it was very apparent that something was terribly wrong. He didn't want to get up or move at all and had labored breathing. After several tests, it was confirmed that Eddie had serious internal bleeding from a cancer mass. We felt so bad not knowing how much pain he was in and that he only thought of being with us and making us happy during all this time. Our family was there to say good bye in his last minutes. This was the first passing for our twin girls. Very sad and emotional for us all. Our house is empty and we constantly are looking around to find him. He has a special place in our hearts for forever! We will miss you Eddie boy!

Kipper -- 2012-04-18

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Kipper aka Huff n Puff

How do you do it? We were asked that every weekend at the park. How do you foster a hospice dog, a dog you know only has a few months to live? Our answer was always the same - how do you not? How do you not fall head over heals in love with this boy and welcome him whole heartedly into your home for whatever amount of time he has left? How do you not want to give him everything he may or may not have had in his previous life? How do you not want to laugh with him when he does his Kipper dance every time you walk in the door? How do you not run to grab the camera every five minutes because he's doing yet another cute pose (he's so darn photogenic after all)? How do you not pause with amazement as he makes his way up and down the stairs each and every day?

Kipper came into our home as a short term foster dog. We just wanted to see how he did away from his sister Gabby. It was during this stay that we noticed he could hardly breathe and had little to no stamina. That's how the nickname Huff n Puff came about. Off to the vet he went and we found out he had lung cancer. Lung cancer in dogs doesn't start in the lungs it metastasizes from other organs so the outlook was grim to say the least. Back home he came after charming everyone at the vet clinic, still wagging that beautiful golden tail of his. It was determined that it would be best to keep Gabby and Kipper separated since obviously they would be separated in the long run anyway. Gabby was adopted by a wonderful family and Kipper stayed with us:). The herbal regimen began and Kipper's appetite was good. He was started on a pain program and with regular exercise he made huge improvements. At one point he actually made it twice around the soccer field.

Our 3 dogs fell for Kipper like they've never fallen for the multitude of other foster dogs that have made it through that ever revolving door at our house. Kipper was happy to hang out and loved lying on the back deck watching the world go by. He especially loved riding with foster papa in the big truck. He loved the water. He also liked to do what we called Kipper's walk about; he apparently had a gypsy soul at heart. He loved to lie in the way - in the middle of the doorway, at the top of the stairs. That's the part I miss most, walking over and around Kipper. And yes he did the most amazing dance - yes the famous Kipper dance - before every meal and every time someone walked in the door. He was a happy soul.

We knew the time was near when his tail stopped wagging, you see it had wagged constantly for over four months. Yes - we did end up adopting him - he so deserved to have a last name.

Kipper was truly a joy to walk around these past four months, as I said; he was a bit of a door blocker. He gave the best hugs ever and was in general just an amazing dog.

So the next time someone asks - how do you do it? My answer is the same - how do you not?

Thanks for the journey GRFR - all the tears are worth all the joy that Kipper brought.

Frankie -- 2012-04-02

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Today we celebrate a simple, trusting, and loving Soul. We CELEBRATE the life we shared with FRANKIE. Frank joined our Family as the muscle behind the tag team of Freddie and Frankie. Two boys so different, so opposite, yet so close as Brothers often are. Frankie was so innocent, always being blamed for things because of his size and his inability to look not guilty. Like Laurel and Hardy, Mutt and Jeff this duo was always within each other s sight. One boy, always plotting and conniving, the other acting out the plan. Frankie was the protector, the follower, always seeking guidance from Fred. When Fred left us Frankie was so lost. A part of him never healed. When Fran joined our Posse last year the K9 version of The 3 stooges was born. She has tried to step up and play the motherly role to dear Frankie.

The boys played rough and tough, supported each other during their cancer challenges and took care of each other, as they did us. Since being given away after living their entire lives together, GRFR stepped in and allowed us the opportunity to share our lives with these Golden Oldies. Frankie IS a survivor he won the war on cancer several times. Just two months after he adopted us a cancerous tumor grew on his paw, eventually forcing its removal. With the support of a brilliant surgeon and Ortho Pets in Denver, Frankie was fitted with a prosthetic limb. Frank took to the device quickly and never looked back. Running, swimming, hiking No one could stop Frankie on his mission to enjoy life to the fullest, AND for a beeline to his food bowl. What a Perfect Patient Frank was. Food motivation sure helped, but he never put up a stink , always excepting what was dealt his way and making the best of it. He looked at his situation not as a handicap but an opportunity to show adopters, OLD DOGS Rule!!. This last year Frank was diagnosed with and battled mast cell cancer. He endured with dignity two operations numerous setbacks and Chemo. He bravely accepted them as an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of K9 s suffering with the same disease. Unfortunately his recovery was not to be. Our Big man, our leaner our 5:30AM alarm clock has left us to join his Brother. All the emptiness and sadness that remains is washed away not by our tears but when we envision that the boys are united once more and that the POSSE RIDES AGAIN !! Frankie our class clown, our brave, innocent boy, listen to your bother and remember to fix da foot . We have learned from you to seek out the opportunity in every challenge, to be happy is a choice and is achieved with a positive attitude and spirit. Thank you Frankie, Remember us we love you.

Francis -- 2012-03-23

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It with a broken heart that I must tell you that we lost our beloved funny face guy, Francis, this past week to kidney disease. He came into our lives in December of 2009 from GRFR and won a place in our hearts as one of the most sweet, loving dogs we've ever shared a home with.

About a month ago we noticed he was losing more weight than he should, though he was on a weight reduction diet, and he was a bit lethargic. A trip to the vet resulted in a diagnosis of kidney
disease (probably congenital as he was only 7 and there were no outside influences i.e. tainted food). Unfortunately he did not respond to the treatment despite the optimism of his doctor and he went into a shockingly rapid decline.

The house is very empty without his goofy presence. Poor Bailey who very reluctantly gave up her only dog status when Frank came into our home is missing him as much as we are.

I've always shared my life with dogs and know from past experience that the ache in my heart will eventually fade, but I sure do miss him. Its hard to come home each night and not have him there with a toy in his mouth, wiggling his body with joy at my homecoming.

-Megan S.

MacKenzie -- 2012-03-06

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I adopted MacKenzie four and half years ago through Deer Creek Animal Hospital where I work as a Veterinary Technician. She had come in for a health check and Dr. Lauren Bockino knowing how much I love Goldens, brought here back to show me. That s all it took , and I made the decision to adopt her. That was one of the best decisions I ever made. Like all Goldens, she loved to be around people. With her sweet and gentle nature I decided to enroll her in the Porter Adventist Hospital Pet Volunteer Program. MacKenzie was great walking around the hospital doing what she did best, making others feel better. You could do just about anything to her and she would never complain. She was always there to please and practically never barked. She enjoyed her trips to Salt Lake City where she would romp around the back yard with my parent s Golden, Makai. They would spend a lot of time together during the winter months when they both lived with me in Denver. More recently, MacKenzie taught my new dog Joey how to be a perfect Golden. Joey happens to be a miniature schnauzer, but don t tell her because she learned the Golden Retriever Handbook from one of the best teachers.
MacKenzie was diagnosed with a high grade sarcoma on her right hock in February of 2011. The news was devastating, but we had the best team of doctors helping us all the way. Thanks to the loving care of Dr. Jamie Saliman and Dr. Phyllis Glawe, Mackenzie survived for over a year with her cancer. She underwent chemotherapy and did very well. In the end she developed glaucoma in her left eye and had a harder time getting around, but she was always alert and loved to eat. I miss her terribly and am grateful for the chance to give her a home. I thank all the staff at Deer Creek who gave their love and support this past year . I would have been lost without them.

-Chris C.

Bill -- 2012-03-03

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Bill came to us 6 years ago at the age of 8. He had severe allergies and many tumors on his body. From his previous medical record we knew we'd have to have more removed. Right away we had to have one removed on his chest. Then another one on his leg. And yet another one on his side. Others we left because they were fatty tumors, but the ones that bugged him, they had to come off. So as you can see in the photo, he wore a shirt a lot to keep him from licking them. He was so handsome in his shirt.

He had a funny reaction to thunder and lightning. He'd run out into the middle of the yard and every time it thundered he'd look straight up and bark like he was talking to God. Then he'd wait for God to speak to him again. Only problem was, you couldn't get him back in the house. He'd stand in the pouring rain and hail, just to talk to the man upstairs. And then appear in the kitchen soaking wet and sometimes covered in mud. He loved to romp in the snow too, He's fall asleep outside in it and come in looking like a snowman, snowdog.

He loved me unconditionally, I think you could say that about most dogs, but he had to know where I was at all times. Even when he started going blind at the end, he could always find me with his nose. He'd lay next to my side of the bed when he couldn't find me, knowing I'd show up there sooner or later. I so miss him greeting me at the door when I came home and the midnight tummy rubs before bed. Oh his tummy, if he saw you coming, he'd roll over flat on his back and point his back toes. There was no way you could walk by that funny sight. He always got his belly rubs.

When we got him his name was Samson. We thought, new home, new name. He took to Bill right away. I would so like to thank the person that gave him to the GRFR to be put up for adoption. He not only got a good home where he was loved, he gave us so much companionship and love it was unbelievable. We will miss him so much. Now he gets to talk to God all the time.

Sunny -- 2012-01-25

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We are sorry that it has taken so long for us to get back to you guys at GRFR about Sunny, I guess we were waiting for a slight pause in our busy lives to get our thoughts together and reflect on everything. Well, that pause has come, and unfortunately it a very sad time for us, and for Sunny. It is with deep sadness and regret that we must inform you and the GRFR team that Sunny passed away yesterday while undergoing emergency surgery at the Wheat Ridge Animal Hospital. It started yesterday morning at 4:30am when she started to vomit and seemed very uncomfortable, so Brittney took her to our vet right away, it is the same place that she goes to doggy-day-care so they are very familiar with her (and love her!) She was diagnosed with a "twisted" or flipped stomach also known as gastric dilatation, and when they finally got her into surgery to see how bad it was her condition and the damage to her stomach and esophagus was so great that the surgeon had no choice but to put her to sleep. She would not have survived the night if left alone so, they made her as comfortable as possible to help her not feel any pain.

We haven't had Sunny even three months yet, it feels like we've had her forever, we have grown very attached to her and are extremely saddened by the sudden loss. The house seems empty now without her here to greet us and constantly keep us company. In the recent weeks we really started to see her getting more and more comfortable with us, her home, and her new life in general. She was still having some issues with separation anxiety, but we were making progress with that. Her favorite toy was her ducky, a small duck that would make quacking sounds when squeezed, and she used to treat it so gently and carry it around in her mouth all the time as if it were her little baby. Sunny was so gentle and loving to everyone and everything that you couldn't help but immediately fall in love with her. She went to visit the firehouse, went to work with Brittney, and we even took her to a nursing home a couple of times to be a therapy dog for the residents there; they absolutely loved her, and she loved the attention.

Sunny was content just being around people, and she was happiest when someone was petting her. She literally would fall asleep standing up while you were petting her. She got a lot of rest, slept soundly...very soundly! We have never heard a dog snore that loud. She loved to chase the ball, rabbits, tease other dogs behind their fences, and loved the large open space dog park; her favorite treat was peanut butter, or anything smothered in it.

Her time with us was too short, but we are grateful that we did have that time with her. She will be missed.

Freddie -- 2012-01-04

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14 years 5 months 2 days. His body was taken by Cancer but not his spirit.

We learned from the first day he came home with us that this chapter of our lives would be titled Life according to Freddie an unpredictable fun filled learning experience of what a dog really wants in his senior years.

Having let the past go, he looked to the future and wondered how he could cram a bucket list of wishes and dreams, into a limited amount of tomorrows. Fred mastered what he could get away with and who he could blame it on all while still looking innocent. Some of his PROUD accomplishments include being the only Dog in Cody WY history to receive a warning ticket from the police department for breaking the leash law by walking himself with a leash in his mouth! He participated in the Rescue Parade and circling the Show Ring at the GRCA nationals in Greeley, stopping to work the crowd as the show dogs waited in the wings he received a standing ovation! He stayed in a suite at the Stanley Hotel in Estes waiting for ghosts to appear, attended reunion picnics and charity events to raise funds for less fortunate pups. Every Sunday he walked with Dusty the Church dog not only keeping up with this golden girl a third his age but led the way. Handsome and wise, He was showboatin!

At the Great Golden Retriever roundup in Pagosa Springs he marched proudly in the parade and placed in the Hot Dog race. He has been to a doggy psychic, walk-a-thons to stamp out doggy cancer, to Old Faithful , he swam in Yellowstone lake, rolled on the summit of Pikes Peak, enjoyed riding shotgun in his 57 Chevy wagon and attending antique auto shows, costume contests, and appeased his mom getting his picture taken with Santa Claus. Fred was an inspiration for the first dog park in Cody, where he was planning to run for Mayor. He drank Perrier water waiting in the Lounge at a Colo Springs Subaru dealer and went to Bozeman MT to purchase the FREDX van. Fred welcomed doggy friends on vacation that stayed at the Golden Guys Retirement Ranch with open paws and of course his birthday party FIESTA FREDDIE a celebration of 14 Golden years last summer attended by so many doggy friends and humans.. He was known all over town from the coffee shops and campgrounds to the Fly Shop and Chevy dealer and of course his friends at the Post office. He envisioned what heaven looked like from a mountaintop in Loveland, promising that everyday from now on would be a Beautiful day

We are so proud to have been chosen to accompany Freddie on his last Great Road Trip the last 2 plus years. We only wish it could have lasted longer. Thanks Fredster it was a heck of ride!