Letters to GRRI-NJ
Scotty's 11th Birthday!
I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone at GRRI-NJ
for the years of joy that Scotty has brought to our family.
I will continue to say that he is the best dog-gone dog on
earth. He is still a knuckle head with as much energy as
ever. He is truly my dog. He follows me everywhere I go.
Scotty may have had a rough start in life but I would like
to think that he has had more love with us than any he would
have received anywhere else. He is truly the best dog on
Happy Birthday Scotty!! My Woofis!
Nora Anne, Ralph and Ralphie
flies…Happy 11th Birthday, Scotty!
Thank you for
the holiday greeting! Very cute.
Apollo celebrated his 2nd birthday earlier this month with a
silly hat and some Frosty Paws. He brings a lot of laughs and love to our
Hope all is
well with you. Have a safe and happy new year!
Apollo looks adorable in his birthday hat. We’ll have to
introduce him to The Cat in the Hat for a photo op!
It is with a
that I write to you that we had to help Aurora cross over
the Rainbow Bridge
very early this morning.
Aurora was diagnosed with a
the day before she turned 11 years old on Nov. 20th. She
was maintained on medications and was doing well. Early
this morning she went into
and the emergency vet
at Garden State
said her prognosis was poor. We felt it would be unkind to
let her suffer. Debra was with Aurora as she crossed the
Rainbow Bridge, as we are visiting my brother in snowy Rock
On December 31, 1999, at 6
weeks of age, Aurora joined our family. She was the
sweetest little puppy. She met our resident
Mat. All Aurora wanted to do was curl up with him. After 3
days Mat realized Aurora was there to stay and they became
Aurora & I took lots of
classes together. It was our time alone to share and bond.
We did obedience but I realized although she learned the
exercises, competition obedience was not her thing. I
decided to try agility with her. It took us one year to be
comfortable on the dog walk
and teeter but we persisted! I just wanted to get her novice
title and then I thought I would retire her. Well, for
those of us that do agility, you know how addicting the
sport is and we continued on. Aurora earned her Novice
standard and jumpers titles as well as her
and jumpers titles. We reached Excellent A and Aurora had 2
legs in jumpers. Our last
run was on November
5th. Although Aurora did not qualify, I will always
remember this run. It was not an easy course but it was one
of the nicest runs Aurora had. Aurora, you earned that
Excellent A title in my mind and you had a great day and a
Aurora, join your brother Mat
and the others before you as a
running and playing at the Rainbow Bridge. Until we meet
again. I love you, big girl.
Peggy and Lou, we were so sorry
to hear about Aurora’s passing, and sorry that you weren’t
able to be with her at the end although we know you were
there in spirit. She’ll be waiting for you when it’s time,
and there will be a wonderful reunion up in heaven.
I set my Zoe
free today at 1PM. As many of you know, she was diagnosed
with a stage 3 spindle cell nasal tumor in January of this
year. Zoe was so very, very brave - undergoing radiation, a
major surgical procedure in July called a rhinotomy, three
months of treatment for MRSA and God knows how many other
infections she has had in the past 6 months; chemo since
August. But about two weeks ago, she developed an
her nasal tumor inside her nasal cavity. Her snout ruptured
a week ago - the medical team at Red Bank and I tried
everything to treat her and keep her comfortable but
yesterday, the hemorrhaging was uncontrollable - all through
the night she bled uncontrollably - she did tell me this
morning that it was time - she was finished fighting.
Zoe was a
rescue from DVGRR - long before I knew about GRRI but
nevertheless, she is the reason I am involved in rescue
today. She was my heart light - my everyday companion - the
light of my life in every way possible.
I know that so
many of you have experienced the pain that I am feeling
right now but I have never had to do this before - never had
to release a pet to the heavens that meant more to me than
any human and I hurt - it's unbearable. I have prayed for
so many of you over the years and I simply ask that you send
a whisper to the heavens that the gates were open and the
angels were waiting for her.
attached was taken less than two months ago Halloween
weekend in our backyard - I couldn't take any Christmas
photos this year because Zoe looked so awful - it wasn't how
she would have wanted to be remembered - she had too much
Angel Zoe -
?1999 (rescued 2/13/2000) - 12/29/2010
Lost to the
Lenise, we all share your
pain. It never gets easier, no matter how many times you go
through it. Zoe will always be with you in your heart. Our
sincere condolences to you and to Mark.
you would like to hear how Archie is doing :-)
Here is a photo
I took of Archie today. He is such a riot with his facial
expressions when I have my camera out. You can just about
read his mind ;-)
almost 12 1/2 now, hard for me to believe. He was always the
young, hyper one! I wanted to make sure that he is doing ok
before the Holidays so I took him to our Vet to get checked
out. He has been doing extremely well on the Metacam/Tramadol
combo just as Angelo did. Complete blood work still shows
completely normal :-) Liver values, Thyroid, the works...all
normal! Good boy Archie!
Believe it or
not his back legs have gotten better! He can now feel his
feet again! So my Vet thinks he may have had a spinal stroke
or something? Although he does have arthritis issues and
still needs to keep the harness on so we can help him get
up, he is much more steady once he is up. He has even been
able to walk in the snow and spend some time outside with
us. Now if he would stop EATING all the snow and
barfing...that would help! LOL!
The only other
issues he has right now is his lumps. Many many many lumps.
We are not removing them but I do have to constantly check
to make sure they are not causing problems. Especially the
larger, bulky ones. He also has some early symptoms of
Laryngeal Paralysis but that is not causing any
problems right now so we are just going to keep chugging
along with him. He still plays with Halo about 2x per day,
which I LOVE!
I know how
blessed I am to have my 2nd Golden reach this age, and I
make sure that I take time to tell him how much I love him
each and every day!
Jeanne in NJ
What a wonderful photo, Jeanne. He looks great! And you’re
right….anyone who has the opportunity to share their lives
with a senior golden is truly blessed. Definitely tell them
how much you love them every second of every day.
A couple of weeks ago I realized Molly had stopped whining.
It had been a daily thing,and I figured she was mourning her Mom, so I would try to
comfort and reassure her. And
then one day it was just gone! Now she only whines if I'm
not letting her outside quickly
enough. She loves to run around the yard and bark at the
neighbor's dogs, and to roll in the
frost covered grass early in the morning. She loves to run
in the cold and I can't wait to see
what she does in the snow. I tried to put a raincoat on her,
it's like a horse blanket, but she
refused to move. She continues her love affair with our
school crossing guard. If we get
there too late, Molly will insist on sniffing all the parked
cars just in case she's sitting in her
car. When we go for walks and she sees someone else walking
she will stop and wait for
them to pass us so that they can make a fuss over her.
The cats are
interacting more with Molly, too. Rose will sit next to her
and reach up to nuzzle Molly's chin with her head. Henry
likes to sit behind Molly and swat at her tail; he thinks
this is the greatest thing: it's
furry and it moves! So all is well with my little family.
the update Susan, and your donation! We’re happy to hear
that Molly and the kitties are all getting along now too.
We’d love to see some pictures of her.
Barbara (GRRI foster mom),
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, belated. I hope your
Christmas holidays were wonderful. It was a busy time here,
I hope you made out OK in the snow. Woody absolutely loved
the snow. I tried to get pictures of him out in it, but he
doesn't stay in one place long enough. While my son was
home on leave from boot camp Woody spent most days with him
at our home and even when he was visiting friends, Kyle took
Woody. Woody has adapted well to the invisible fence and is
sleeping where he likes in the house, usually in the
basement. I think he likes the couch in the basement better
than the floor in my room. Woody comes up and is my alarm
clock for the 5:30 workout. He is doing well and everyone
loves him. At Christmas dinner he was as good as gold and
at New Year's, the fireworks didn't bother him. When a
little girl from the neighborhood started to cry from the
loud fireworks, Woody leaned over and gave her a kiss; she
started to laugh and hugged him. We're still working on the
jumping, but he's getting better at commands to stay "off".
Hope all is well.
PS Woody got so many gifts at Christmas I put several
away for later. The candy cane in the picture he loved but
it didn't last very long. I keep a close eye on what he
plays with that he may eat. I usually give him a Kong
ball stuffed with frozen peanut butter in the morning.
sounds like Woody hit the jackpot this Christmas, didn’t
he! What a wonderful photo of him together with your son.
Please pass along to him that we’re grateful for his service
to our country, and we wish him a safe tour of duty.
To All Our
Friends at GRRI-NJ:
Thank you for
bringing Kip into our lives. While the historical record
would indicate that we adopted him back in October 2004, the
truth of the matter is that 6-yr old Kip adopted us
in that car ride back from his foster home. He had a total
personality change - from crazy lunatic to mild docile
'perfect citizen' - in the span of a few blocks! He chose
us to be his family and that was that. For over six years
he was the perfect companion!
Early yesterday morning Kip passed away in the same way he
wanted his every day - in the company of Paula and myself.
He died the way he lived - proud, with grace and presence.
He had a great Christmas, tearing apart squeaky toys! He
continued his habit of a daily walk in the park until 8 days
ago. (The attached picture was taken the day before he
died.) No matter how many times you go through this, it is
incredible how quickly a dog's condition can deteriorate!
People always say you should get a dog as a puppy so that
you bond and develop a special relationship. Kip was our
7th dog, some from puppies, some came to us as adults. I
have never known a dog - especially a golden retriever - to
be as faithful and loyal as Kip. He followed me everywhere,
and I do mean everywhere! Three months after he adopted me
I got a bad case of the flu. Kip took his meals at my
bedside and left only to run outside to relieve himself,
then ran back upstairs to be with me! And that's just the
way it was. Please tell anyone who considers adopting a
dog that age doesn't matter. Kip taught us the true
meaning of unconditional love, of loyalty, of devotion. His
passing leaves a terrible void in our lives. I sure hope
there is an endless supply of squeaky toys to keep him busy
at the Rainbow Bridge!
Thank you so much for bringing us together. Yes, I just
lost my best buddy, but - oh my! - what he gave us for the
last six years is beyond words. He was special!
Joel and Paula
We’re so sorry
to hear your sad news, especially after reading Kip’s
enjoyable email to us in December.
We know that he’s at the
Bridge, with a lot of furry friends, playing and having a
wonderful time. He’ll wait patiently until it’s time for
you to all be united again. He’ll always be there in your
hearts to bring you more of that wonderful “golden” love.
Eileen (GRRI volunteer),
Mystie is perfect! It took her about 15 min to find the toy
box and remove each toy one by one. It looks like we have a
two year old in the house with all her scattered toys.
is fitting in nicely with my two other goldens and slept
with them the very first night in our bed. (It was a little
cramped) Luckily she found her favorite bed so now goes
down after a good night snuggle then doesn't return to our
bed until early morning.
Thank you for all you do with GRRI - you have made us the
luckiest parents time and time again.
and Rich for adopting so many of our wonderful senior
goldens - we wish there were more people in this world like
you! We’re truly grateful that once again you’ve come to us
to adopt a senior – and choose one with a manageable
medical issue. We’re thrilled that she fit in so seamlessly
into your home; it’s like it was meant to be!
It is with deep sorrow that I write this. I had to give the
ultimate gift to my sweet Barney boy by sending him to the
Bridge today. He really started to decline over the past
few months and he let me know it was time to go yesterday.
He was the dog that really changed my life. Adopting him
from GRRI 7 years ago at the age of 9, opened my eyes to how
many great dogs were out there that needed homes. Barney
was my heart-dog, one in a million. I loved him so much
that it feels like there's a hole in my heart. I feel
honored and blessed to have had him in my life. I will miss
him more than I could ever express.
Please light a candle for my sweet boy tonight.
Attached is one of my favorite pictures of him taken over
this past summer.
Amy, we all feel your pain and send you our sincere
condolences. Barney’s spirit will stay with you to bring
you comfort and peace. He’s always going to be with you in
spunky old girl was taken away from me this morning by a
massive stroke. We just made it into the vet's office and
there was no hope for recovery.
I will miss
that girl, she was one in a million; don't think there will
ever be another just like her. She was truly an unique girl.
She had to endure so much in her older years, especially
being given up by her owners after 11 years of being a
member of that family. Last week was 3 years that I had her
and my life definitely was never boring with her around.
I truly love
you Emma and I hope you are in better place
Lilli & Tom, you’re both in our thoughts and prayers. Thank
you for all you did for Emma while she was both your foster
dog and then your foster failure. We know she was grateful
for all you did for her and she showed that to you in her
To my friends and family,
For the first time in 22 years, I woke up this morning
without the greeting of a Golden Girl.... our dear precious
Sara died yesterday, so suddenly and without a hint of even
Right up until Monday of this week, she was still "helping"
me entertain Therese in my downstairs Grandma's play room.
Then on Tuesday, she indicated she was very tired. She fell
asleep in the TV room never getting up to come upstairs to
bed with us.... this was a FIRST for her as she followed us
everywhere from morning 'til night. Wednesday she slept all
day in the kitchen, never getting up. But yesterday
morning, it had become very obvious she was not well. We
hoisted her up with a bed sheet into our car.... thankful
beyond words for our friends who came to our rescue as I
could not do any of the lifting myself. Once at the vet,
with Xrays taken, it was discovered she had a massive growth
in her abdomen, along with incredibly enlarged vital
organs,.... the decision was already made for us to give her
up.... yet I was not prepared to at all. We spent a quality
quiet hour with her saying goodbye. She acknowledged us
with her eyes and gentle licks. We thanked her for her love
given, and for teaching my granddaughters all about the
unconditional love only a canine knows how to give. She,
along with her late sister Stella, began the telling of a
love story to Sabrina and Therese, with dogs that I know
will continue to read like a romantic comedy novel with
Pickles now as the main character.... and now, it is Pickles
who will get us through this... a 9 month old spit fire!
..... in fact, as I laid awake last night, I thought about
Sara and her "responsibility" after Stella left us only 5
months ago.... she helped us get through one of the greatest
losses of a friend like I have never felt before.... and at
the same time, stayed around long enough to teach Pickles
the ropes of this Pursley household ..... when she felt she
had done the job that had been unwittingly assigned to her,
she felt her job was done, and only then allowed her broken
body, NOT spirit, to let go..... and so she did, yesterday
Funny how we take in these Golden rescue dogs, and the time
frame to fall in love is abbreviated as you know you have
taken on the responsibility to give this precious dog a
second chance for a loving life.... and Sara, like those
before her, was no exception... Thank you for listening, and
join me in closing my eyes and envisioning Sara join the
ever-chasing of rabbits in the sky with Stella, Lainie and
Imus..... my family of Golden Girls
With love and sorrow,
all join you in envisioning Sara running and playing with
her pals up in the sky…what a wonderful vision it is. To see
her happy, healthy, and carefree. Please know we’re
thinking of you.
With the great joy we experienced in our home this week, we
now have great
sadness. Our beloved Cleo has passed after 11 years of
gracing this world. She
had a wonderful life and was happy and healthy until
yesterday. She saw our
family vet yesterday, but today declined terribly and we had
to help her to the
bridge to end her suffering. She was given up by her first
family because of a
preemie's allergies and after she got into my car, I could
hear her former dad
sobbing as I drove away. She never had a day in her life
that she didn't feel
love. She was fostered by Judy Lilien, for whom I will
always be grateful, and
was our first foster "failure". Cleo was a big and very
beautiful girl, my
beauty queen, with the paws of a polar bear. She loved to
eat, run at the farm,
and every single person she ever met, even if they were
sticking a needle in her
arm. In return, everyone always loved Cleo. She will be
greatly missed by
everyone in our family. Stetson has been looking for her,
she was his favorite
playmate. Attached is a pair of photos of Cleo taken during
our trip to Florida
Amy Jo Kazahaya
Cleo was indeed a beautiful golden girl, inside and out. You
couldn’t have chosen a better foster failure!
1999 we adopted two year old Slider from the home of Bea
Villa in Monmouth Beach, NJ. He was so afraid of everything
that Bea said we could return him if he didn't work out.
year old son fell in love with him immediately.
the most gentle, loving dog I have ever known. He suffered
from many idiosyncrasies from his abuse, but we worked with
him over the years to make him feel secure.
November 2010, Slider left us at the age of 13.
you for all the wonderful work that you do, and for giving
us 11 years with Slider.
Bruce, we all extend our sincere condolences to you and your
family. It takes a great deal of love, time and patience
to help an abused animal learn to trust again. Thank you
for not giving up on him.
Just a quick note to let you know that we are head over
heels in love with Max!
Tonight, after supper, Max and Sophie were in the living
room. Max runs over to Sophie, stops short & play bows in
front of her. She gives him a nudge with her nose, play
growls & runs into the kitchen to Joe wagging her tail.
She's really curious and excited, but still playing hard to
Tonight we gave each of them a rawhide chip. Sophie has a
special towel she lays on in the dining room when she chews
her chip. We gave Max his towel and chip in the kitchen so
I could sit on the floor with him to watch him and make sure
he didn't try to swallow it while it was too big to swallow.
Well, he got up & walked toward Sophie's towel. I called
him back. He came, but immediately sat & got up again &
headed toward Sophie's towel. I called him again, he came,
sat & then got up. This time, I left him
alone. He went by Sophie, circled once and sat down smack
in the middle of her towel right next to her & proceeded to
chew his chip. Max and Sophie don't have a jealous bone in
their bodies. They just laid there like this is something
they've been doing together for years!
When we took Sophie & Max out a few minutes ago for their
last pee of the night, Max came in with us and Sophie stayed
out by herself for a couple of minutes while I cleaned Max's
paws of snow balls. Sophie goes into her regular howling at
the moon and Max starts to whimper, wanting to know what's
wrong with Sophie. I swear, I really think he's concerned
for Sophie and expects to watch out for her.
OK, so this wasn't such a short note. I just had to let you
know how well Max is doing and how well he has fit into our
Lots of happiness,
Marcia, Joe, Sophie & Max
What a great big brother Max is turning out to be! We can’t
thank you enough for adopting one of our “golden oldies”.
May you have many happy years together.
Here are some
recent pictures of Miley enjoying her family! Hope all is
sending the photos, Sue. We particularly love the one of
Miley hanging out with her kitty; who says dogs and cats
don’t get along! Give her a hug and kiss from us.
Dear Judy (GRRI
Hope all is
well with you. Cannot believe we are almost celebrating
one year with Apollo! Time goes so fast!
“gotcha day”! Looks like Apollo is enthralled with his new
Hi everyone. Some well overdue shots of the pack. Shylow is
more of the camera ham & enjoys the outdoors more than
Sammy. I'll send more pics in a few days.
the Sbraga gang doesn’t disappoint…great photos. And a
belated Happy Birthday, Shylow!
(GRRI foster mom),
Sorry I have
been out of touch. I have been fighting a potent virus and
bronchitis since Saturday. Doc wanted to admit me to the
hospital but I refused as I can care for myself at home.
Feeling a bit better now but have a ways to go. Toby is
doing great, he appears happy and totally acclimated to our
home. He did deserve my chin on his nose/snout a time or two
as he loves to grab my throw rugs from the kitchen and run
all over the house with them. Boy is he fast.
Toby is such a
little lover, attention is his middle name. And he gets a
lot of it. It didn’t take long for the adjustment, Reno and
Toby now sleep in the same bed together…very sweet. Toby
is quite a character. Mark or I will go out to the road to
get the mail and come back to a warm reception as if we were
gone for hours. You can’t beat it; it’s the best feeling in
Thanks for the
article, will be reading it later as I am getting tired
enough now to sleep.
Keep in touch,
looked into the shoe tags? I can’t find much on them.
we hope by now that you’re fully recovered from your
illness. Can’t say we blame you for not wanting to go into
the hospital! Toby and Reno are probably doing a fabulous
job being “nurse dogs”; there’s nothing like a golden
retriever to snuggle with to perk you up and make you feel
better. Thanks so much for the update.
I'm sorry to
share the news that our bold, survivor boy, H. P. was helped
to the Rainbow Bridge by Dr Scott Stekler, my daughter,
Chris, and sil, Joe. I am still in rehab — have been here
for 3 weeks after 10 days in hospital. Before that neither
Harry Potter nor I were able to do the stairs often and so
missed one another most of the time. Michael (my youngest
son who lives at home) became HP's faithful companion and
nursemaid. As I talked to all my kids and their spouses, it
became clear that even the most sympathetic of them felt
that the quality of HP's life was too poor to continue to
So Chris and
Joe took him for a final work up at the Glen Rock Animal
Hospital at 5 PM. Dylan is staying at Chris and Joe's
with their three little girls whom he loves and their crazy
6-month-old cock-a-poo puppy whom he has begun to civilize.
Scott Stekler is always reluctant to put an animal down, but
when C&J returned at 7:00, he told them he fully supported
the decision. HP could barely walk, was continually losing
weight despite a healthy appetite until very recently. I'm
sure my precious Harry Potter is in a better place--back to
the energy to wrestle and enjoy all his favorite foods, to
say nothing of being able to hear the birds and squirrels in
the back yard.
Sorry this is
so long. My laptop works very sporadically---so I'm taking
advantage. TIA for the candles and happy memories of our
Oh MJ, we’re so sorry to hear about your sweet boy. HP was such a
character, and his escapades always amused us. Thank you and
your family for all you did for him. He had such a tough
life prior to coming into rescue, and we know that he was
happy and well loved with all of you. Our candles were lit
to guide him on his journey. We’re sending good wishes for
you and Michael as well.
I get the annual adoption follow up each year and have great
intentions of filling it out but then time gets away from me
and . . . well you can guess what happens! Laci is still
with us although she is slowing down and having some
issues. Laci is a very friendly and loving dog. She gets
along with everyone - human and animal. She loves her two
doggie sisters - Lexi and Miley and her cat sister, Sassy.
I find Sassy (age 15) and Laci curled up together quite
often. She loves to play and to be wherever the action is.
She and Lexi do not like to go in the pool but one of their
favorite things to do in the summer is to lay out by the
pool and watch Miley swim around. Laci has no behavioral
issues per se - she is fearful of some things. As for her
health, she is slowing down some and she is very stiff when
she first gets up. She is having some trouble with her
bladder and I find puddles when I come down in the morning -
we have been leaving the doggie door open for her so that
she can get out when she needs to. I am attaching a picture
of Lexi (left) and Laci (right) from Christmas morning.
thanks for the email. The girls look great! We know Santa
was very good to both of them!