Letters To GRRI-NJ
It is with incredible sadness that I am writing to let you
know that our beloved Chrissie has passed on. It has been
just over 7 years since we adopted her, and she brought us
joy every day that she was with us.
I initially contacted you after our previous golden died.
Just a few short weeks after we lost Barney, my mom
suffered a stroke and I was looking for a companion for her
while I was at work. I recall the application process like
it was yesterday, and remember being promised that because
of our special needs your volunteers would keep an eye out
for the right dog for us. I confess that at the time I
wasn't sure what to expect, or if I'd ever hear from you. A
few short months later I received a phone call about Crystal
Bella, a 6-7 year old female who had just lost her 90
something year old owner - she was in need of a quieter home
and was great with an older owner.
To say it was a match made in heaven would be an
understatement. Before and after work hours, Chrissie was my
dog - for walks thru the neighborhood park, for car rides,
for cuddles on the floor and but during business hours, she
was there for my mom. I'd call home during the day to see
how things were going, and my mom would tell me what they
had to eat for breakfast and lunch, and how often they'd
been in the yard .... quite an accomplishment as my mom's
speech had been affected by the stroke. Vacations were a
family affair, and Chrissie was like our American Express
card - we didn't leave home
without her! She loved the drive to Hilton Head - she
visited relatives, she stayed in hotels, she got to walk on
the beach alongside the dolphins. Two years ago, I retired
and Chris was in her glory - no more having to go in the
yard during the day .... whenever she had to go, it was a
trip to the park stopping to visit with the neighbors.
Amazingly she continued to wake me at 6 every morning but
would let me go back to sleep once I told her there was no
work that day.
Chrissie slowed down quite a bit over the past year and
x-rays showed that there was disc and nerve damage, but she
kept on going just at a slower pace. We made it to last
year's reunion and it was a great day. Unfortunately, our
lives changed later that week as my mom suffered another
stroke, and this one far worse that the first. Her prognosis
wasn't good, and after 2 weeks in the hospital she was moved
to a nursing home. Fortunately, they had a policy that
allowed pet visits and when Chris arrived my mom spoke for
the first time since the stroke. Seven weeks later, mom
returned home to 'her' girl – Chrissie was able to get to
her when no one else was able. At night, Chris slept on the
couch in the room with my mom and would come and wake me if
she stirred. She would keep a close watch as various aides
came in to care for mom, and if Chris didn't like them
everyone knew it and they didn't last long.
During this time especially, I was consulting with our vet
as Chrissie was keeping my mom going. Then the past few
weeks Chrissie started having other health problems as well.
The vet told me that Chris would let me know when it was
time, and last Thursday morning she did - it was the first
morning in 7 years that she didn't stick her nose in my face
wake me, and when she finally made it into the room, she
didn't come near me. She laid down on the far side of the
room. She didn't want to go out, and she wouldn't cuddle and
I knew something was up ..... mention the phrase 'lets go
out' and she smiled, and as for cuddling, Chris treated
every day like it was a training day for the annual kissing
contest - she practiced washing my face daily every day but
It's going to take some time to adjust to life without
Chrissie .... but after we mourn our loss, I'll be
submitting another adoption application. Adopting Chris was
the smartest thing I've ever done. In spite of the pain that
we're suffering now, she brought us 7 years of joy and a
lifetime of happy memories.
Please accept the enclosed donation in memory of our beloved
Chrissie; she was a very special addition to our family and
passing has left a huge void in our lives. While one day
there will be another golden, there will never be another
May all your days be golden,
Pat, our condolences to you and your mom…we know how special
Chrissie was to you both. Thank you so much for your
Hi Judy (GRRI foster mom),
Here are a few photos of our beloved Boomer. As you can
see, he loves to spend time relaxing with his "brothers"
Bailey & Petey (as well as his "sister" Sabrina - not in
picture) and had a ball playing in the snow this past
winter. He is an energetic, lovable, sweetheart that melts
everyone that meets him. Boomer is happiest spending time
cuddling up next to his family - 4 legged or 2 legged
Thanks for the photos…he’s absolutely adorable!
Judy (GRRI foster mom),
This card is sooooo Amber! I’m not sure she even sees her
food. Thank you for the card – gave me a laugh.
I was just thinking about you the other day as I washed
Amber’s quilt that we brought home from your house when we
adopted her. It’s still doing dog duty here. Amber is as
good as she always is – hanging out outside while I garden,
getting energy at night to play ball and always, always is
saying “Please scratch my ears!”
When I walk her she likes to smell all kinds of things. I
let her do it for a while at the beginning of the walk, but
then it’s exercise time. Often she will be so intent on
smelling that she just stops, sits and refuses to move
along. Cracks me up every time. I cajole her to continue,
talk to her, whatever – she’s too much of a senior citizen
to get mad at and pull along. She always continues and I
kind of like the fact that she’ll take a stand on something
as she’s such a beta dog 99% of the time.
Hope you are well and that your canines and felines are
staying away from the vet ($$$)!
Thanks for the update, Donna. It’s been a while since we’ve
gotten any pictures of Amber…we’d love to see some. (Hint
Dear Judy (GRRI foster mom),
Thank you for the mother's day wishes. Hope you had a
great day, too. I have been thinking about you and your
puppies. Hope everything is good. Here are a couple of
Apollo, Tanner, Savannah & Gracie. Tanner and Savannah are
He is one good lookin’ dude!
Judy (GRRI foster mom),
Thanks for your card - it prompted me to give you an
update on Chewey. We have been in Atlanta for a year and he
is doing very well.
He still has his charming, humorous personality but thanks
to some obedience training he is a gentleman (most of the
time). We live in a condo complex and I walk him off
leash in our dog walk area, and he will listen to me,
despite most distractions.
I have attached 2 pictures of Chewey and Guiness (my son's
15+ year old black Lab who is now living with us since
November). They get along well - Chewey enjoys the company.
Thanks again allowing us to add him to our family.
Thanks for the update and photos. We’re happy that Chewey
has a brother to play with now!
Hi Barbara and Eileen (GRRI foster mom and GRRI adoption
Here's an update on the dog formerly known as Vikki, now
named Riley. Riley is doing great! Right now she's laying
on the love seat next to me reading over my shoulder.....
I confess, given the information about separation anxiety I
was concerned especially since mom had another stroke just
hours after Riley was here - just 6 hours after she got home
I spent hours in the ER and at the hospital, but a neighbor
ran in a few times and I was able to run home to walk/ play
with her - other than 1 accident and 1 stolen Kaiser roll
everything has been fine ever since.....I really think that
she's home already!
I read the information in her binder and hoped to follow
some of the 'ease her into your life' instructions but life
got in the way and Riley has risen to the occasion
amazingly! She's met most of the neighbors (and already
found the people with the treats), has buddied up with
Chrissie's old friends (including her boyfriend, a
12-year-old German Shepherd named Jake), has been to the park a
dozen times and walked for miles and slept in bed with me
(she didn't move around much at all), gone for car rides and
to the store (and waited patiently while I picked up dinner)
but most importantly, this afternoon we were in the park
meeting Jake and a little boy was running around with his
mom. Thomas seemed to have some sort of affliction (I'm not
sure if it's autism or some other problem), but he wanted to
pet the dogs....the mom asked if it was ok and I shortened
the leash up and said yes and Riley walked over slowly (she
does nothing slowly) and stood still so Thomas could pet
her, then she sat down for more. Then she laid down so he
could rub her belly - they she sat up and kissed his hand -
his mom was almost in tears and so was I - Riley is
Riley is just what I need right now too! She's had me
laughing and kept me playing instead of worrying and
dwelling on a situation that is out of my control......she
has already destroyed a tennis ball, peeling the skin and
then popping the ball.......the plush toy that she found she
carries in her mouth and chews on but so far it’s still
Thank you for finding us a dog so fast.....while mom hasn't
spent much time with Riley she played with her for 2 hours
the night we came home and in the middle of a stroke while
mom didn't know who I was and couldn't move her left side,
Riley went to mom's right side and sat with her head under
mom's hand and mom was rubbing the beautiful red head - it's
an image I'll always cherish........Know that Riley has a
forever home here where she will be loved and
spoiled......I'll forward a photo that a friend took just 24
hours after she arrived at home - right now, I have to go as
'herself' wants to play a bit before bed.......Barbara,
thanks for the very honest insights into Riley...Eileen,
please let Theresa know how things have progressed, and
thanks for having such a great organization.......please
pray that God is kind to mom and doesn't make her suffer or
linger......I look forward to seeing you at this year's
reunion....once again GRRI has worked a miracle for our
May all of your days be golden......Pat Bean and Riley
We’re thrilled that things are working out with you and
Riley. She’s going to be a wonderful therapy dog for your
mom and is just what the doctor ordered!
Dear friends at GRRI,
With great sadness, I must tell you that Air (adopted as
Wilson) has lost his battle to cancer. We had just
celebrated his 1 year anniversary with us when he was
diagnosed with a brain tumor.
It was such a short time with him but he knew how to live
life! What a blast we had with him. Thank you for bringing
Marie & Rich, we’re so sorry to hear about Air. You’re
right, your time together was too short; that’s always the
risk one takes when you adopt a senior. But we can’t tell
you how grateful we are that people like you are in this
world and understand how absolutely wonderful senior goldens
are. Our prayers are with you.
Hi Barbara (GRRI foster mom),
Harriett is doing great. She loves swimming, playing fetch,
and is alternating on which kid’s bed she sleeps in. And
the little dog follows her around everywhere. Love her to
death; couldn’t be happier. Thanks again!
Thanks for the adoption manual and dog id tags. They just
arrived. Here are a couple more pictures. Wow, we’re
Vin & Jill Scafaria
She looks sooo happy!
Just wanted to
drop you a line to let you know how Holly is doing and how
happy we are that we adopted her. She is such a happy and
lovable dog and is our constant companion. It was a tough
fall for all of us as we lost Sundance, our other golden and
Holly’s best friend. She has adjusted well to being the
only dog in our home and I think she really appreciates all
of the extra love she is getting as we deal with our loss.
favorite thing to do is play fetch with her ball, play in
the snow, and visit the chickens in our coop. She wants to
be anywhere we are. She loves when our granddaughters come
to visit and is gentle and loving with them. Could it be
that little hands like to feed dogs cookies? She is healthy
and happy at almost 10 years of age now. We are enjoying
every moment with her in her golden years and just want to
thank you for all of your dedication and efforts to provide
great goldens to families like ours.
Diana and Lou
Holly. We’re always happy to hear that our goldens are happy
and healthy in their forever homes.
We are so happy to have Marshall. What a loyal and devoted
dog! He's so gentle but yet boy does he love to rough
house! He's had a couple of health issues but his prognosis
is good and he's doing great. We're looking forward to a
long healthy life with him!
Mary & Kara Sharples (Marshall too!)
Mary, we also hope that you all have a long, happy life
Charlie was adopted July 13, 2008. He is such a great dog.
He's so loving and sweet. Charlie is good with people and
our other goldens. He loves to go for walks no matter what
the weather. All he ever wants is love. I can't believe we
got such a great dog.
Thanks for the update and the photos. He looks wonderful.
I am sad to inform you that Dr. Watson passed away on June
10, 2010. He was the greatest dog I have ever owned.
Enclosed please find an update on both dogs. He enjoyed
about 9-1/2 years with us and passed away from kidney
failure. Shirley Holmes is doing great.
We are so grateful to have had him in our lives. I am going
to forward some photos we had of him and Shirley Holmes in
Maine on one of our vacations. He was a great swimmer and
loved to go into the pool every day. He loved the lakes and
streams in Rangeley, Maine. He was loved and will be missed
greatly. Thank you for the work that you do.
Very truly yours,
Rich Madden & Julie Wright
Oh no, Rich & Julie, we’re so sorry to hear about Dr.
Watson’s demise. Please know you’re all in our prayers.
We love the names that you selected for your dogs! When
you’re ready, we’d love to help you adopt Moriarity!
Hello Judy and gang!
Geez, I got your email yesterday and I thought - you must be
psychic! I have been thinking about you and your crew and
feeling guilty that I haven't sent you a Brave Belle update
in ages. Get yourself
Belle, my sweet, sweet girl, is lovely. She is just as sweet
as ever and loves, ahem, most of the time, her little (Did I
just say little?) brother, Mac. While I was sitting here
reformatting some photos for you she was wrestling with him
behind me. I am always on her side (us girls gotta stick
together) and when I turned around, she was standing over
him and had his ear in her mouth! LOL Go Belle! They do like
to wrestle and she holds her own. I used to think I had to
baby her and protect her from everything - including Mac.
But Mac is a sweetheart, a lap dog in a retriever's body. He
is afraid of his own shadow (no joke) and she truly is the
boss. Oh, Belle lets him steal her bones and toys but the
minute he puts it down, she steals it right back. And when
he ignores her, she runs through the room prancing with
a toy so he chases her. I used to think Mac was the
Mac is 7 months and 72 lbs.....not an ounce of fat on him.
He eats like a pig. Belle has been on a diet for months and
she still isn't losing weight. Poor Belle, typical woman,
can't shed a pound. I took her in to the vet last week for
a thyroid panel to see if that was the problem. And you know
Belle, she so hates the car and we were hoping that was the
worst of our outing.
We got to the vet and they had had an emergency so the
waiting room was packed. The critters weren't the
problem...it was a lady with a puppy and 3 little
kids....terrible toddlers as Belle would say. And to make
matters worse - they had the ceiling fans on! To Belle,
the second scariest thing in the world to basketballs is
ceiling fans. Poor girl. She immediately crawled under a
chair for the wait. The waiting room of the vets office is
floor to ceiling windows looking out three side of the
building. Next door to the vet is a daycare with lots of
farm animals. Two roosters,two very large roosters, had
taken to pecking for food right outside the window - Belle
spied the roosters, up came her head - she'd remember "Oh
no, the ceiling fans" and down she'd duck only to pop up
again to look at the roosters outside the window. It was a
good distraction and she was quit comical.
The vet called me Tuesday about her blood work - "Bingo! It
is her thyroid." Now she is on meds for hypo-thyroid and the
vet thinks she will lose weight quickly and I won't have to
stress about her diet as she should be able to eat what a
normal dog eats. I only started her meds on Tuesday so we
need to give it some time and I take her back in a few weeks
for follow-up blood work. The vet agreed that she needs
either first appointment of the day or after lunch so she
will not have too much stress during her visits. My Brave
The funny thing is when she is home, in the house or yard,
you would never know she has these fears. There are moments
when there is a loud bang or God forbid it's windy
outside that her past creeps in to haunt her - but for the
most part she is a happy, funny dog who loves me [ : ) ] and
pushes Mac away so she can get her fair share of attention
and let him know "She's mine!".
Remember when I first brought her home and she was so
terrified of going upstairs? She hasn't quite mastered the
fear yet but lately when everyone goes to bed, she will come
upstairs ...."Hey, where'd everybody go?" Of course, Mac is
always thrilled to see her and jumps up with a bone to greet
her..."Wanna play, Belle? Yay, you're here!" and then they
proceed to play...only problem is - it's midnight! So I jump
out of bed shushing them so Matt doesn't wake up. LOL She
still won't sleep up there but one of these days I think
she'll surprise me. Ya never know.
My Nicky graduated from eighth grade Thursday night and when we
came home from graduation - Mac had diarrhea. All night long
I stayed up with him and in the morning (before he even ate
breakfast) he started throwing up water. I texted the vet as
I was really scared.....the bottom line and $500+ later -
he may have eaten a mushroom or something toxic in the
backyard. I never let them out without me but you know how
fast they are. Belle really isn't interested in anything but
sticks. Mac is still interested in tasting the delicacies of
the world! He is feeling a million times better today, not
100%, but on his way. I was worried that he swallowed
something, although he isn't a chewer of things not his -
you never know. The x-rays showed nothing (phew) and they
called me today that the blood work was good.....so he's on
antibiotics. He got a full blood workup, x-rays, shot of Cerenium to stop the vomiting, an intravenous hydration pack
and meds to go. $800 on the two dogs in 8 days........good
thing they make credit cards! LOL I'm just glad that
everything is okay. I hate worrying about them....as you
well know what that feels like.
She follows me everywhere as does Mac so I have these two
giant fluff balls as my tail at all times. OH, I almost
forgot. Mac is taller than Belle - she's a shorty
anyway. They always come and sit in the kitchen during
dinner...wherever the good smells are, they will come. Mac
is so tall now that he can sit and look ON the table - he
can see everything up there. When we are eating, he just
sits and looks and Belle dances around trying to get a
glimpse of "What the hell is that that smells so darn good?"
It is hysterical because he gives her looks like "Aw, it's
just pizza, nothing for you." Too funny. For mother's day I
made my Mom a lobster and Belle went nuts for the smell. We
have never seen her be so bold at the dinner table where she
actually put her nose on the table - she' got good taste!
Photos......I put captions in to self explain each one. She
is a character, Judy, a real character. When you look at the
photos, they do tell a story. She is stubborn and funny. My
sweet girl who refuses to do a self portrait with me...see
I hope you are well.....your babies up
I think about you often and am always grateful that Belle
came into the "real" world through your wonderful care.
hugs to you.....and then more hugs from Belle and some for
Jack and Daisy.
Nancy, Brave Belle, and Little Bro Mac.
As always, thanks for the enlightening emails!
Hi everybody -
A great big thank you to everyone at GRRINJ for helping
Chase (a.k.a. "Flit") find his way to his furever home with
our golden gang! Tomorrow is Chase's official "Sweet 16" so
we thought we'd share this birthday photo with all of you!
Happy, happy birthday to our sweet, wonderful boy!
With love and hugs to all,
Bobbie Greco, Sue Mollica and the 16 Paws
Happy Sweet 16 Chase!
Hi Judy (GRRI foster mom),
Hope all is well with you. We are doing good. I am sending
you some pictures of Trevor celebrating the 4th of July.
It was his first party and he had a great time swimming, and
playing, and hanging out. We had about 20 people over and
he was perfect.
He absolutely loves kids and he can't stop swimming!! The
only thing he didn't like were the fireworks. He did good
though, he went inside with some of us and laid low. He is
definitely afraid of thunder and fireworks. He is not
destructive he just sits by us and shakes. Poor guy!
We are still working on his behavior with other dogs, he is
doing much better we even had him walking with another small
dog and they posed for a picture without any drama!!! Next
week end we are going to introduce him to his cousin (
Kevin's sister's dog Jack).
We'll see what happens!! I will keep you
posted..........stay cool!!!! This weather is killing me,
See you at the picnic!!!
Trevor looks like he was the life of the party!
Friday night Frank and I sent Cookie to the Bridge. She
came home that afternoon after she seemed much better and
her oncologist said she might do better at home, went down
to the grass to potty, came in and just lay down by the
door. It rapidly became obvious that she was getting
weaker, and when even Gorgonzola cheese would not spark any
interest in her, we took her back to her oncologist and sent
her to the Bridge.
Cookie was not a RAG dog. She came to us six years ago at
age six in New Jersey while we were still snowbirds. She
came from GRRI-NJ and had been turned in to the pound after
giving birth for the umpteenth time. She belonged to people
who were probably back yard breeders. She had perfect house
manners and always came when called.
Frank had always wanted a dog who would swim with him, and
when we took Cookie into our pool enclosure back in Jersey,
she sat by the pool looking alternately at us and at the
pool, so we said OK and she jumped in. Her favorite
activity was to dive off of the diving board, which she did
with skill and grace. When we sold our Jersey house, we
bought our current house for Cookie as the townhouse we had
did not allow dogs in the pool. She came with us when we
went back to look at houses a second time, and decided that
this was the house for her.
When she wanted to swim she would throw her ball in the pool
and then wait for the OK to retrieve it. She knew she
couldn't go in with her collar on.
She did get grouchy and protective in her old age, but prior
to that, she was a therapy dog who worked with Alzheimer and
memory impaired patients in a day care unit back in Jersey.
On the way in, she didn't want anyone to stop her for pets -
she wanted to get to her people. On the way out, it was a
Cookie was a case of foster failure. When we went to pick
her up from the volunteer who sprung her from the pound, she
ran to Frank and put her head in his lap, and that was
that. Having ascertained that she loved car rides
(remember, we were snowbirds and had to drive cross country
to get out here), she was ours forever.
When Frank had cancer, she tried not to leave his side.
When we asked at Sloan-Kettering if we could bring her in to
see him when he was hospitalized, they were horrified, even
though she was a Delta therapy dog. I heard recently that
they now do allow therapy dogs in the hospital. Frank
always says that he would not have made it without her.
When she got cancer, we tried to give her the same absolute
love she had given Frank.
Since you all have been requesting a pool social, as soon as
we feel up to it, there will be a "Cookie Finkenberg
Memorial Pool Party" at our house for you all and your
dogs. Details will follow.
Right now, there's a huge hole in our hearts, but hopefully
it will ease somewhat with time and the love of our Roxie,
right now our own personal therapy dog.
Thank you all for your prayers and support while Cookie was
being treated for her two forms of cancer. It really helped
to have the support of people who have been there and
Susan, Frank and Roxie
We’re so sorry to hear about Cookie. May wonderful memories
of your time together bring you comfort.
Hi Ruth (GRRI foster mom),
Just wanted to give you an update on Benjamin. He is such a
wonderful addition to our family.
He still chews anything he can get hold of but that's
getting better everyday. I have attached some pictures of
his favorite thing to do - SWIM. This is the first Golden we
have had that LOVES to swim. He loves it so much we went out
and got a new set of steps just for him so he could get in
and out of the pool without being lifted. We also got him a
doggie life jacket because he would swim until exhaustion.
He is too funny.
We just love him so much. I can't believe he is going to be
1 year old in 11 days. Where does the time go?
Hope all is well with you.
Happy almost 1st Birthday Benjamin!!!! May you
have many, many more.
Janet (GRRI foster mom),
Wowee..we are having so much fun!!! The cats are finally
accepting Bella. She does not want anything to do with
them…they were the ones that were a ‘little pushy. Bella
took a small dip in my friend’s pool today playing with her
young flat coated retriever and then let me give her a
shower in an outside shower with the stream of water coming
from above….couldn’t believe that she loved having her face
in the water like that. We had to give her a shower because
she had quite the fun rolling with the other dog in the
mud!! She watched jenny play tennis today in the car with
me for an hour with the air conditioning on and sat in the
front seat like a spectator. We both took a nap on the couch
this afternoon. Jenny’s girlfriends came over early this
morning with a cake shaped like a dog for us to have for
breakfast…not Bella, of course, she had your yummy rice and
beef. I can’t tell you how PERFECT Bella is for our
family…her inside manners are unbelievable. We are still
going to crate her at night and if no one is home for a bit
because of the cats getting accustomed to her. I only have
to get some training on leash manners because of her
exuberance and my poor leash skills.
THANK YOU SOOOOOOO much for being patient with my questions
and helping me to have the confidence to meet and greet this
wonderful little girl.
It was a pleasure meeting you and Bella thanks you for
rescuing her and giving her confidence to join a new
LOL…we’re so glad you trusted our judgement that Bella was
the right addition to your family!
To the Most Supportive Group of People in the World,
I want to thank all of you for the e-mails, the cards, the
phone calls and the outpouring of sympathy (and empathy)
during the worst week of my life. I still cannot believe
they both went on one weekend. All the anticipatory grief is
worthless and the pain hits you just as hard when it
We all know someone (my mother) who says "Geez-the dog died
two days ago. Why are you still crying?" But getting support
from those around you who know and understand exactly what
you are going through is priceless and is the only thing
that helps to make the grief bearable.
Jack and Daisy played a large part in my fostering
experience. Belle wouldn't get up unless Jack was there and
led her outside. And Daisy always made sure that the foster
children knew their place. One of my fondest memories of
Daisy was when Comet met all three for the first time. Comet
humped Jack (as they all did) first, tried to hump Harry,
who snarled at him and told him to go away and after three
more failed attempts at Harry, Comet turned and headed
toward Daisy. Daisy raised one eyebrow and Comet made a
U-turn mid stride and headed back toward Jack. One eyebrow
lift was enough-Daisy was special in so many ways.
Someone made the comment that the Rainbow Bridge is a
different place now that Daisy has arrived.
A past member of GRRI was with me the day after Jack died
and said GRRI will be there to support you. You can count on
them, and he was absolutely right.
So I thank you all and am very grateful that you were all
there for me during this saddest of times. Here are Jack and
Daisy last Spring.
Judy, nobody should have to go through what you did over
those couple of days. It’s bad enough to lose one; to lose
two days apart is totally unbearable. Anyone who has ever
opened their hearts to allow these wonderful animals in can
feel your pain. Our heartfelt sympathy.
this is not going to be a good day. It is with a terrible
hole in my heart that I have to tell you that we helped
Marcus to the Bridge this morning. He has been slowly
deteriorating over the past several months, and last week we
could see him just slipping away. This past weekend he had
a complete kidney failure and at the vet this morning, we
decided that the kindest thing we could do for him was to
let him go. Although we only had Marcus for two and a half
years, they were wonderful years, and we enjoyed every
minute with him. We miss him so much! I told him to find
Daisy and Jack and to keep them company until those who love
them best can finally join them. I know that he is young
again now, free from pain and able to run and play the way
all dogs should. Thank you GRRI for allowing this wonderful
boy into our lives. Godspeed sweet Marcus. We will love
Anne & Rich, we’re so sorry to hear about Marcus. He was
the sweetest, kindest guy. His face would just melt your
heart when you looked at it. He’ll remain with you both in
My name is Terry Gambino and my husband Larry wrote to you
about attending the reunion for our very 1st time,
unfortunately, he sent it to the wrong e-mail address. We
would like to attend and bring our son, Spanky, whom we
adopted from GRRI-NJ, and is now living day to day. You
see, he had a brother, Savyer, our little boy who passed a
week ago Thursday, from brain cancer just 3 weeks after our
knowing of this dreadful news. Savyer, being the younger
brother, gave Spanky life...usually a younger dog will
follow an older dogs lead...not in our case. Ever since we
united both boys years ago, Spanky did whatever Savyer
did...and naturally, since Savyer's passing, Spanky is
brokenhearted (as we) and can barely stand for long and
suffers from much! We adore him and have since the day we
brought him home and we just want the rest of his life to be
as happy as can be...we were told that we could still have
him to love for one month or one year...no one knows...so,
if it isn't too late, we would love to attend with some
regret, that we didn't ever get the chance to do this
earlier, as most of the reunions were on Saturdays and I
work on Saturdays. Sorry to go on...had a bad night of
crying over Savyer and when I saw the failed mail alerts in
Larry's inbox, wanted to reach out to you ASAP...hoping to
hear from you soon!
Terry and Larry, our sincere condolences on Savyer’s
passing. Of course it’s not too late to RSVP to attend our
reunion. We know how upset you must be, first by losing
Savyer so quickly after learning of his diagnosis, and now
having to live day by day with Spanky’s illness. We’re
looking forward to seeing all three of you on October 3rd.
I have to apologize for not RSVP-ing before the 15th, but I
had spoken to Linda Walter and let her know that we were
coming, and don't know if she passed the info on. We have
been very preoccupied with Bernie's health. On Sept. 15th,
Bernie (formerly Bruno) had surgery to remove a mast cell
tumor and as you can imagine, we have been worried sick
since his biopsy a week before that. We still are worried
as we don't have the lab report back yet and don't know what
stage we are dealing with. Perhaps tomorrow we might hear
Whatever the outcome, Bernie will be in the Parade of Rescue
Dogs with great enthusiasm and sporting both of his proud
forever parents along with a new scar. This is one fabulous
dog that we love so very much.
Looking forward to meeting all of you in a few weeks,
We did hear about Bernie's pathology report about an hour
ago. It was good news. It was a Grade 2 and all margins
were clear so we equate that to a Stage 1, grade 2. Our vet
was consulting with the oncologist at Garden State, so we
feel more confident. No further treatment will be
Thank you so very much for the prayers and loving thoughts.
Margaret and a cold wet nose (Bernie's of course)
Hurray is right! Wonderful news. Looking forward to seeing
you at the reunion.
Hi Ruth (GRRI foster mom),
Just wanted to send some updated pictures of Benjamin. He
loves the Beach and Boat Rides. Tom finally has the Boating
dog he has been longing for. Benjamin is the BEST!! He is
very well behaved in the car for the ride down the shore and
he just loves everything there is to do there. We can't
imagine life without Benjamin!!
Looks like Benjamin is right at home being the co-pilot on
our dear friends at GRRI,
With tears streaming down my face, I'm writing to say that
with broken hearts and a lot of love, Drew and I helped our
17-yr-old Golden/Lab mix, Casey to the bridge. He had just
celebrated his 17th birthday in June.
Casey was our 'gentleman", not one of "the boys". He had
such a gentle demeanor; he wasn't an in your face type of
dog. He was very content to sit by our side and get petted;
to go for a ride or a walk; or to just hang out in the
yard. And boy did he love his treats. And second to treats
was his love of his rubber ring. He would chase that ring
every day and carry it around in his mouth. Casey loved
darling boy, we miss you already. You will always be with
us in our hearts. I know God will take good care of you for
us until we are all reunited.
Note: Casey was one of the handful of mixes that we brought
into rescue because of his living conditions. His elderly
owner had to move in with her daughter but Casey wasn’t
allowed to go with her; he was kept gated in the kitchen for
3 months before the family called us to take him. Her grand
daughter would go over once a day to feed him and let him
out. How life changed for him after that.
Following is a tribute written by George Leifert in memory
of his GRRI Golden, Hunter who recently died of lymphoma.
“Hunter, it is so very hard to put into words what you have
meant to me these last 10 years. You were a bit of a sad
case when you were rescued the day you were to be put down
at that shelter in Ocean county NJ. Skinny, blind in one
eye, and a horrible coat. When I saw your picture I saw
something special in that face and I was never disappointed.
You filled out that large frame and became a 90 pound boy
with a coat that always got you compliments. You were a
bundle of energy and love that just needed a chance and I
will be thankful forever for taking that chance. You saw me
through a divorce, gall bladder surgery and a hip
replacement. I remember how we sat on the deck of that
little cottage in Kent CT and you answered the Coyotes at
night. You were tireless and we walked for hours through
that lovely countryside. But there was more to come. We
moved to upstate NY into a large historic house and your
face told me that you were really home. You explored and
enjoyed all the little nooks of an old house. The large
fenced yard gave you a new freedom and you enjoyed the four
seasons in your new domain. Our walks were now around the
village and you met and greeted everyone as we walked. A few
people know my name but everyone knew you and you always
stopped to get a scratch behind the ears or a little back
rub. We met a lady who lives nearby who always took off her
gloves and pocketed them so you wouldn’t take them. Everyone
would marvel at how you carried your folded leash in your
mouth and walked next to me totally focused. We’d visit
garage sales and you always managed to steal a stuffed toy
that I had to pay for. You’d proudly carry home your prize.
I wish your health had allowed you to hike in the mountains
with me but the Adirondack trails were a bit much for you. I
did not know at the time that an underlying illness was what
was slowing you down. I became concerned in spring of this
year but your blood tests etc all came back normal. You
still possessed a zeal for life that you had up to a week
before that day when that face that drew me to you told me
that I had to let you go. You now rest on the farm of a
friend on a hillside overlooking a most beautiful valley.
Every dog is special but perhaps goldens are a bit more
special. I have been fortunate enough to share part of my
life with a most precious soul. It takes us humans nearly a
hundred years to do god’s work here on earth but Hunter got
his job done in 11 years. Rest in peace my friend till we
are together again.”
George, thank you for seeing past his physical self and
seeing the wonderful dog that was hidden inside. Our
Dear Fellow Volunteers,
Many of you knew our German Shepherd, Luke...........not
exactly a Golden Retriever...........but "brother" to our
GRRI rescue girl, Sophie, and as much an ambassador for
rescue as any of our Goldens. Luke and Sophie grew up
together, and Sophie taught our jumbo-jet, sweet Luke all
about being a Golden in black fur.
Luke was diagnosed last Wed. with a tumor on his spleen and
went in Thurs. am for a splenectomy. It went seamlessly, and
all the other organs were clear, and Luke
was up walking about Thurs. night. On Friday morning at 9:00
the doctor called to say that he'd had such a good night and
was doing so well that he
could be discharged that morning instead of staying till
Friday night for observation. Within 30 minutes she called
us again to
say that Luke was "crashing & to come immediately." By the
time we got to the hospital, our precious boy had slipped
away, a blood clot the
most likely culprit. We are devastated. This is so unfair,
but we are trying the best we can to accept Luke's death and
We are planning to attend the reunion on Sunday and just
couldn't bear to have you ask where Luke was, since we
always brought him with Sophie, so Joe
asked me to just let you know the news. It's hard to repeat
the details over and over; I know you understand. Please
light a candle for our angel and pray that his
journey to the Bridge may be as smooth and peaceful as his
sweet soul was here on earth.
With Golden love,
Marcia, Joe and Sophie Unger
were saddened to hear of Luke’s sudden passing. Our prayers
are with you. He was a beautiful boy.
Sorry we are unable to attend the reunion, but Abby & Maddie
will be thinking of all their golden friends. Please accept
this donation as our continued thanks for your wonderful
Christa & Jeff Carone
Thank you for your generous donation. Hugs and kisses to
Judy (GRRI foster mom),
Hope all is well with you. Apollo is just wonderful.
He is the sweetest and most affectionate dog. We love him
so much and cannot imagine our life without him.
When I saw this poem, I imagine it is what he would say.
Here in this House….
will never know the loneliness I hear in the barks of the
other dogs “out there”.
can sleep soundly, assured that when I wake, my world will
not have changed.
will never know hunger, or the fear of not knowing if I’ll
will not shiver in the cold, or grow weary from the heat.
will feel the sun’s heat, and the rain’s coolness, and be
allowed to smell all that can reach my nose.
fur will shine, and never be dirty or matted.
Here in this house…
There will be an effort to communicate with me on my level.
will be talked to and, even if I don’t understand, I can
enjoy the warmth of the words.
will be given a name so that I may know who I am among many.
name will be used in joy, and I will love the sound of it!
Here in this house…
will never be a substitute for anything I am not.
will never be used to improve peoples’ images of themselves.
will be loved because I am who I am, not someone’s idea of
who I should be.
will never suffer for someone’s anger, impatience, or
will be taught all the things I need to know to be loved by
I do not learn my lessons well, they will look to my teacher
Here in this house…
can trust arms that hold, hands that touch…knowing that, no
matter what they do, they do it for the good of me.
I am ill, I will be doctored. If scared, I will be calmed.
If sad, I will be cheered.
matter what I look like, I will be considered beautiful and
known to be of value.
will never be cast out because I am too old, too ill, too
unruly, or not cute enough.
life is a responsibility, and not an afterthought.
will learn that humans can almost, sometimes, be as kind and
as fair as dogs.
Here in this house…
will belong, I will be home.
Thank you for sharing this with us, Linda. It’s such an
emotional “tissue alert” poem, but one that can apply to so
many of the dogs we accept into our rescue.
This donation is in memory of our
For our Hugo, we hurt as we do because
you gave us so much. We will always, always love you.
Thank you so much for your generous
donation in memory of Hugo. Although he’s gone, he will
live forever in your hearts.
Our golden Rocky means the world to
us. We think what you are doing is very noble. In honor of
our upcoming wedding, we wanted to make a contribution to
Valentina Rozanova & Layth Sandouka
How generous of you to make a
contribution to GRRI in honor of your wedding! We wish you
and Rocky all the best!
To Golden Re-Triever Rescue,
Please accept this donation in
celebration of Pat DeSarno's birthday. I know her endless
dedication and her love for rescue have made it possible to
give so many goldens their dignity back and a chance to live
their lives in safe and wonderful homes.
GRRI has given my husband and I the
greatest gift. We could never imagine our lives without our
Crystal. So happy birthday dear Pat. Thank you from the
bottom of our hearts. We love you and Rescue.
Don & MaryLou Schofield
Thank you for your donation in honor
of Pat’s birthday. We couldn’t agree more … she is a
wonderful person and her dedication to our goldens is
certainly worthy of this beautiful tribute!