2014 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.

River Dog -- 2014-11-02

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A name can say so much. River. For most, that was his name. But for all the people who he touched with his warm joy and love, River Dog was his full name.

He came to me at a time when we both needed loyal companionship, and our lives were forever entwined over the decade that marked my 30s.

The story goes that he was dropped at a dog pound in Kansas as a yearling with the lame excuse that he wasn't a good hunting dog. At just about the same time, I realized that my grieving for Ginger Dog had reached its full conclusion, and I was ready for the presence of another dog in my life.

Meanwhile unbeknownst to both of us, the big-hearted folks of the Golden Retriever Freedom Rescue (GRFR) were hard at work in an elaborate matchmaking scheme that would bring us together and forever change our lives. On the first day of February 2005, a knock at my door was followed by the warm greeting of a GRFR volunteer and the shy, yet excited wagging tail of my soon to be furry friend.

We spoke of the dog's past and my responsibilities as his potential new owner. Of utmost importance, she emphasized that if I wanted to keep him, this would be his forever home. I relished the notion, took it to heart, and promised that if we were a good match, I would always put his best interests first.

As I spent time getting to know the fortuitous dog, the volunteer shocked me by revealing his name--River!

She said I could always change it, but I immediately assured her that wouldn't be necessary. After several year's of kayaking on rivers that became my holy ground following Ginger's passing, I took the name as a positive omen and began to imagine the life that lay ahead for the excited red-haired dog and me.

An hour later, the volunteer left the house with empty leash in hand, and so began my incredible journey with River Dog.

Now almost ten years later after countless adventures together and his constant presence by my side, I'm forced to say goodbye to the most loyal, incredible dog I could ever hope for. He was a dog for whom superlative descriptions flowed easily--"The best dog in the whole wide world!" as one friend often uttered when hanging out with us.

His name was truly an omen of all the good things to come in our lives. Ten years of exploring rivers together were the obvious metaphorical description of our time together, but more importantly was the journey that we shared together--a metaphorical river through life that spanned a decade and that will forever remain a core part of my soul. I will be forever grateful to have shared the gift of life with such a wondrous, loving creature.

Annika -- 2014-08-28

Last Thursday (August 28th), we lost Annika - known to you as Lucy. We adopted her on January 28, 2009. She was the sweetest and most wonderful dog that we ever have owned. A primary reason for adopting her was to provide companionship to my mother-in-law who was living with us and suffering progressive dementia due to a series of strokes. Annika did all that and more - even close to the end of her life, when Mom did not have the physical control and often pulled her collar or ears in an attempt to pet her, Annika remained patient and by her side. She was wonderful with children - our niece and nephews climbed all over her, buried her in leaves etc and the neighborhood children played with her. She never chased our cats, or the rabbits, or squirrels. She did not get on furniture, chew or destroy and wanted to please - part of the joy of adopting an older pet. Although Annika had numerous health issues, she was a favorite at the vet's office and always was happy to get attention. Annika was part of a walking group of dogs - not being an "alpha" dog,she was readily accepted and even protected by her dog friends. She went to join Sadie, Elle, Monique and Snowball who will play and watch over her We miss her and I am teary as I write this message. Thank you for a wonderful dog and some very precious time.

Summit -- 2014-07-03


I am very sorrowful to say that our little Golden bunny, Summit, passed away on 7/3/2014. We have some medical records that show Summit
had 3 different birth dates. They were all close together so we chose 7/3/2000 when we adopted her because that made the most sense to us, and
it made her Yukie's little sister. She had a wonderful life with us. She was so incredibly strong. We discovered that she had osteosarcoma at a vet visit at CSU Veterinary Teaching hospital on 1/29/2014. She made it strong though 3 rounds of radiation and 4 rounds of chemotherapy. She seemed to be doing so well but then had a sudden turn for the worse. She
leaves a big hole in my heart and home, but will live forever in my heart. We discovered her osteosarcoma by chance because we were taking
Blaze, also adopted from GRFR, to CSU. He had a problem that our local vet was not able to diagnose. We went to CSU and got the best care and a diagnosis on the first visit. He had a blood clot in his hind leg. We have been back and forth to CSU Teaching Hospital and Flint Animal
Cancer center since December 2013. I have made many friends there. They are AWESOME!

Missing my GRFR Cover Girl (Calendar 2011) and November 2013 pin up girl terribly.

Uncle Sam -- 2014-06-23


We lost Sam on Monday, June 23rd, due to quality of life issues. He was completely blind in his left eye, mostly blind in his right, partially deaf, unable to walk or stand for more than a few minutes, and had lost control of some functions at the end. There were some other issues, too, and we didn't want to see him deteriorate any longer.

He had a couple of really good years here after we rescued him - we was very sad to see him go. I only wish I'd have known him when he was younger - what a great dog! I have never seen a more alert senior golden, right up to the end, and his loss of sight over the last year had been especially difficult. We felt like he was lost in a world that he didn't understand, as he had so much difficulty seeing even from what was left of his vision in one eye, and heard almost nothing. Still, his determination to be a part of our family was obvious, even when he had to be carried up and down stairs to be with us. Our german shepherd hasn't been the same since he left.

We'll miss him, that's for sure. He was never cross, never aggressive, never anything except a sweet, loving boy. You can't ask for more than that. We were glad to have known him and pleased that he chose us to be with. R.I.P. Uncle Sam!

Janie -- 2014-06-12

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Janie our beloved golden retriever passed away from us on June 12 of 2014. We were given the opportunity to adopt Janie on Thanksgiving 2012 and from that time on our lives were never the same! The love and loyalty she gave us will stay in our hearts forever. We can't properly express in words how much joy we received from her or how much we miss her in our lives.. We sincerely thank Freedom Rescue and all of the dedicated volunteers for the opportunity to have Janie and for what they do for all of the people who receive the gift of these dogs.

With much gratitude,

Kim Carstensen and Stacy Stierman

Cheyanne -- 2014-02-10

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Thank you GRFR volunteers for bringing Cheyanne and me together. Beloved Cheyanne died peacefully with me by her side on February 10th of this year. Cheyanne was 14 months old in December 2002 when her loving family in Nebraska surrendered her to GRFR. She was a exuberant teenage handful . . . a little "too much" for a family with three young boys! Cheyanne was engaging, energetic, highly intelligent, silly, sweet, curious, silky beautiful, strong, healthy, independent, and most of all, loyal, loving and cuddly. Never dull or boring! Cheyanne aged with grace and good humor. She loved our long twice a day Wash Park walks no matter what the weather. She loved bird watching, from her post next to me on a park bench. She also loved "yard work" -- pruning the honeysuckle bushes, collecting big sticks, chasing squirrels and keeping watch for birds, cats and other potential threats. Cheyanne was and always will be my heart dog. Rest in peace dear Cheyanne.