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Over the Bridge

There is an Indian legend which says, "When a human dies, there is a bridge they must cross to enter into heaven. At the head of that bridge waits every animal that human encountered during their lifetime. The animals, based upon what they know of this person, decide which humans may cross the bridge...and which are turned away."



Rusty came into rescue in the fall of 2008. with a call from a man saying a Golden Retriever had been left in his neighbor's yard with nobody caring for him. The volunteer found Rusty, very old and in terrible condition. Rusty was given Permanent Foster status and found his soft spot to land with Barb and his brother Bruce. With his fabulous looks and charm, he was 13 to 16 years old, deaf and severe arthritis, everyone that met him smile and made an average day seem special.
Sadly, on the day of his death, the local community association’s newsletter for September arrived and Rusty was the featured "resident" He was the first non-human to have the honor. Well deserved and "take a bow, Rusty!"
Barb and her brother miss him greatly and Rusty as well as everyone at rescue are grateful for the love they extended to him. Rusty passed over the bridge on August 26, 2010 looking into Barb’s eyes and seeing only love.

Beau (aka Mr. Perfect)


Beau, one of the amazing Golden Retrievers with a gentle and happy personality. For two and a half years he lit up his furever home and Andrea's heart. Beau loved life and his sister Baylee and they were perfect companions. Sadly, Beau developed osteosarcoma and was held and loved when he crossed the Rainbow Bridge on January 17, 2011. He did not suffer and lived a wonderful golden life.

George, November 19th 2010


Rescued 4 years ago, my unsocialized senior pound puppy turned into such an amazing, gentle, happy, loving guy. I frequently marveled at his transformation and how much he learned. Along the way he came to adore small creatures... cats, lizards, birds (as well as his Golden siblings). He had learned not to touch or chase them and would just stand there mesmerized. (The lizards, I'm sure, were less excited about the situation but he never even approached them, just watched.). George celebrated everything. If you walked outside and came back, he would celebrate. Mornings, breakfast, meds, friends, getting his ears cleaned, everything was cause for celebration. We thought we might lose him a year and a half ago when his spleen ruptured but he made it through. This time we weren't as lucky. A tumor, probably a Hemangiosarcoma on his liver, ruptured. He was around 12 or 13 years old. My sweet George had become the epitome of a Golden. We miss him so very much.

Shendl and Grant


Rusty, August 26, 2010


Rusty came into rescue in the fall of 2008.

A call one evening from a man who said a Golden had been left in his neighbor's yard for the last month with no one caring for him, sent rescue volunteer Sarah C. to Laguna Beach. The dog was very old and in bad condition, but after a quick trip to the Vet that determined he was merely old, not ill, Rusty went to be fostered and to live with Barb and her brother Bruce. This was to be his "final soft spot to land." No one expected him to live much past that Christmas, but almost 2 years later Rusty was still living his very own personal version of "la vida loca."

Although age estimates were from 13 to 16 years, Rusty was one of the most charming dogs you could ever meet. He was deaf, had severely affected hind quarters from arthritis, and was as big-boned of a Golden as you could imagine, but what you noticed about him was that he made everyone smile and could make an average day seem special. Sadly, on the day of his death, the local community association's newsletter for Sept. arrived and Rusty was the featured "resident". He was the first non-human to have the honor. Well deserved and “take a bow, Rusty!"

Barb and her brother miss him greatly and Rusty as well as everyone at rescue are grateful for the love they extended to him.

Rusty passed over the bridge on August 26, 2010 looking into Barb's eyes and seeing only love.

Daisy, August 26, 2010


Daisy was in rescue for a day and a half when I had to help her cross the bridge. This precious little fur baby was poisoned months ago and was in kidney and liver failure. For two days our vet tried to save her but she was too weak to stand. Daisy cross the Rainbow Bridge in my arms. I held her and whispered in her ear and gave her all the names of all our other babies that are at the bridge. I asked her to please give each of them one tear and one kiss and tell them how much we miss them. She is running in the fields and the streams with all the energy of a puppy. Sweet Daisy, I'm so sorry I couldn't save you.


Auggie, December 2009


Auggie headed to the rainbow bridge after a brave and Auggie dog styled battle with cancer. As I write this I can physically feel how dearly dearly she will be missed. She was my heart and soul and my committed companion. She was a trooper to the end and I will remember her courage and her spirit in that battle - but mostly what I think I will remember are the hundreds of ways she made me laugh over the last 11 years.

Auggie was a simple girl - she loved eating, swimming, eating, carrying big sticks, eating, the snow, eating the snow, car rides, eating, and the beach and oh yah - eating!! And her favorite time of day (besides breakfast and dinner) was cooking time!!!! She had season's tickets and front row seats for "Cooking in the Kitchen".....and never missed an opportunity to lay smack in the entrance of the kitchen and watch any form of food being handled in the kitchen - that was her "food channel" and she was a dedicated subscriber!! So she was simple to make happy.

She also was my most committed friend. She could always be found next to me - and was a joy to have around. She made me smile every day and coming home today Marty and I tried to remember all the ways she accomplished that. The way she would fanatically swim in Lake Powell until she was past exhaustion..... and then go for just one more swim!! The way she would capitalize on any eating opportunity and only later discovering that 30 lbs of dog food, a whole vat of Costco red vine licorice, and an entire bag of brown sugar does not make a girl feel very good at all!! She would swim in the Mammoth lakes in the spring until her core body temperature was nearly below freezing and then be bummed when we left and she couldn't swim anymore in spite of the fact that she was almost frozen solid and shaking incessantly!! The way she learned to go off the houseboat slide and do a perfect water landing and let me tell you - there are few things quite as funny as seeing a big black dog hauling butt down a slide into the water right behind the person in front of her - and while she was definitely committed to being right behind you on the slide - she was not well versed in proper playground etiquette when it came to appropriate waiting times between sliders, so pretty much - if you didn't want to get taken out - you had to counted to 5 before surfacing - otherwise you were certainly going to experience a large black fuzzy dog flying into you the moment you came up for air!! Enthusiasm was her forte.

She was a gentle soul - never fought with another dog, never bit anyone, never chased kitties - every bone in her body was made of sweetness and love. She always always wanted to please and as vet tech asked me when they were taking care of her during her most recent challenge of cancer...."Has she always been this nice???" Yes - Auggie was always always that nice.

And she was a trooper throughout her battle with cancer. She had a great attitude and her trust and love was enormous - so she took everything in stride - accepted the cards dealt her - and carried on with her Auggie ways. She impressed everyone with her recovery and outlook. Through it all - she was the Aug Dog!! She was adored by Jazz - her golden sister - and we are feeling a very very empty space in our home tonight. There will never be another one quite like her and I will cherish all the extra months that I was granted to spend time with her. The one thing I promised her when she first got cancer - was that I was going to take her to the beach and take her to Mammoth one more time!! Well, we did it - in the last months of her life - and here are some of the pictures from those two special outings. These memories are very special to me and I am grateful that I could keep my promise to her.

Tigger, 01/23/2010


I adopted 13 year-old Tigger on April 26, 2009 from Melanie Bruski's kind and loving care when she brought him to the Best Friends adoption event in Westchester Park in LA County. When first with us he was timid and reticent, and unsure of his role in his new surroundings. Over a period of days, this beautiful creature adapted to our love and the warmth of my and his Golden Retriever sister Daisy's home and our friends. He then blossomed to King of the Land and became a fierce protector of family and home with a hearty bark when anyone came to the door. Mealtime was one of his favorite activities and he would jump up off the floor in excited expectation. He loved daily walks, rides in the car, special outings to restaurants, and hikes in new places. He welcomed our grooming sessions and asked for more. One troubling development was that he would not eat for 2-3 days at a time every month or so, but then his appetite would return and he was as eager as ever to dine and enjoy his food. The vet thinks he may have had an abdominal tumor which at the end may have ruptured and caused internal bleeding and shock. Please see below for an announcement I sent to all of Tigger's friends today, January 23, 2010, almost 9 months after I adopted him. He was a blessing in our lives, an angel who walked among us and shared his deep soul with me on a daily basis. His devotion to me was evident in his eyes when he looked at me - they shone with love, trust and gratitude.


Daisy, 1993-2009


Daisy was sweet, smart, kind and gentle. She nursed almost 40 rescues back to health and safety while she was with us. She had a natural ability to predict seizures in humans, and pushed her aunt down on the sofa and blocked her to prevent injury as she had a seizure. Daisy would gently slide up to dog after dog when they arrived from surgery and she would lie next to them and comfort them. She helped them to heal and calmed their souls. Her love was limitless and unconditional. She was a happy girl who would swim for hours, loved the beach. She loved everyone and everyone loved her. Daisy is greatly missed.

Alexis, June 26 - August 17, 2009


Alexis crossed the Rainbow Bridge in the arms of her foster parents when the beautiful one year old lost her battle with Distemper. She was given her shots at the shelter which made the virus difficult to confirm. Her upper respiratory infection and pneumonia were treated and she was a model patient taking all her meds and loving the constant attention and cuddling. Alexis did so well we were convinced she would be in the small percentage of those that survive but the relentless virus went to her brain. Our hopes of giving Alexis the loving life she deserved were not fulfilled. We will always think of Alexis running through the fields and streams across the Rainbow Bridge with no coughing or fevers and enjoying her friends, our beloved pets that live there.

Sissy, April 16, 2007-August 1, 2009


Sissy arrived over two years ago nearer death than life. She weighed 33 pounds and had a large ulcerated mass on her back, there was no life left in her eyes. Her fur was so covered in urine and feces and she had to be shaved. She had cancer but we thought she could have a few weeks to enjoy being pampered. She began to eat and little by little came to life. Her family decided that she could be fat and never denied her a treat. When she crossed the bridge she topped the scales at 68 pounds and loved every nibble and biscuit of it. In rescue a life is counted from the day the fur baby is brought in. Sissy had a wonderful few years. She was ready to leave and didn't wait for her family to gather and make the final decision. Three hours before her appointment with the vet she quietly slipped away. She now lives at the Rainbow Bridge with all her friends, sisters and brothers and will never be hungry or hurt again. Here's Sissy when she came to us and the beautiful fur baby she became.


Oliver, 2002 - March 23, 2009


Oliver was dumped in the shelter when his family found out he had Osteosarcoma. The kind, decent thing would have been to humanely say goodbye to their companion in the arms of those he loved, but that was not to be his fate.  Instead they brought him to a hard, cold unfamiliar place for a dog, where he became increasing depressed and wondered what HE had done wrong to up end up at such a place. The good folks at the shelter called SCGRRescue  to come and help this angel. Oliver had little time left, for his cancer was very invasive, and since it was neglected for so long, surgery was not an option...it has already eaten into much of his face.  So for a week, we kept him pain free and filled with his much loved Big Macs.  His tail still wagged, and his happiest moments were when he is being petted.  We do know that his time with us was filled with love, comfort and all the cheeseburgers he would ever want.  And he crossed over the Rainbow Bridge, surrounded by love and knowing that his life mattered.

Rusty, ~2002 - March 10, 2009


Rusty, a sweet senior, was turned over to our rescue in January of 2009.  He was thought to be around 7 or 8 years old.  Rusty had lived a hard life before a rescue angel brought him to us.  Len and Nancy Bunyan fostered him.  They noticed that he seemed unusually tired at times, so he was under a vet's care for the last several weeks.  On Monday he seemed to be doing better, but by Tuesday evening his breathe was labored for just a short time and he laid down and crossed the Rainbow Bridge.  Rusty did not suffer but went quickly and quietly.  He knew the best days of his life under the wonderful care of the Bunyans.

March 1, 1998 - February 17, 2009


Spencer was an Honorary SCGRR dog and we considered him "family". As a big brother to SCGRR foster dogs, Spencer was a wonderful mentor to golden foundlings, including foster puppies Ben and Jerry. He was a certified therapy dog at Northridge Hospital, where he comforted many an adult and child, and he instinctively knew who needed him the most. Spencer was the Will Rogers of Golden Retrievers as he never met a person he did not like, and the feeling was definitely mutual.  He had his own blog and had fans from around the world who would delight in reading about his activities:  http://blog.stickerdog.com/ 

We think that Spencer had accomplished the task that God had assigned to him...which was to have his human mom and dad fall in love with him and complete their family...and to teach the world  "golden retriever love" via his blog and his therapy work. Thank you, Spencer, for teaching us all so much and for giving happiness to so many. Rest in peace Spencer...You sure were loved. 

With Love from the Volunteers at SCGRR     

Gideon Brown, January 2008 - January 19, 2009

Gideon Brown

On January 13, 2009, Gideon, a small, very underweight one-year old, was rescued from the Lake Elsinore Animal Friends shelter by one of our volunteers, Melanie Bruski. Gideon appeared to have a bad case of kennel cough but Melanie took him to her home anyway to start him on the road to recovery. He was a very sweet boy, she said; he listened well and was gentle and calm. When it was time for Melanie to take him to our boarding facility a few days later, she asked to foster and rep him instead. By the 18th, Melanie felt he needed to see a vet as his "Kennel cough" was the worst she'd ever seen, with projectile sneezing, constant coughing, and lack of appetite, even though he was about 15 lbs underweight. The next day Melanie took him to the vet. His diaphragm was completely torn in two and his liver and his stomach were in his chest cavity.  If surgery wasn't done immediately, he had about 2 days to live. Her vet brought in a specialist to do the surgery that very afternoon, with Gideon having a 50/50 chance of making it. They found that Gideon had lung lobe torsion in all 4 lung lobes.  That means they were twisted in on themselves and he couldn't breathe.  The surgeon found Gideon's lungs so compromised that nothing could be done and Gideon was gently released to join his many friends over the bridge. The autopsy revealed extensive scarring of his lungs due to a long-term infection.

Melanie was by his side and will keep his ashes. For seven days, Gideon had a home full of love and care...most likely the best days of his short life, thanks to a very caring volunteer. Now he no longer is in pain,  can run with the fleetest, jump with the most agile, and...best of all...not hurt.  Farewell Sweet Gideon, you are back with the angels but still loved.

Sarge, August 7, 1995 - December 1, 2008

Sarge Martin

Jessy chose the most beautiful day of the year to give birth to her nine beautiful healthy puppies.  Just to please everyone Jessy made sure the litter had red and gold and beige puppies. For seven weeks Jessy cared for them and taught them lessons she knew they would need and she chose their future very carefully. At seven weeks and three days, the coordinator from Canine Companions for Independence came to select the most special puppies in the litter.  Sarge was chosen.  He was so proud that he did well on the test and his broad chest and big feet made him perfect for his future job.  He said goodbye to the family and happily went off to CCI School to learn how to be a companion dog for someone wheelchair-bound.  Sarge made everyone proud and learned his lessons well.  He learned to keep his tail straight when he sat or it could get run over.  He learned to brace himself so eventually someone could use him for support.  He proudly wore his yellow vest and enjoyed outings to SeaWorld, went to school with his foster mother, and studied hard.

Then it happened, he grew so big his legs hurt.  The doctor had bad news.  He needed hip surgery and couldn’t stay in school.  Sarge was going home to become a couch potato.  He had no idea how well he would excel at this new path his life was taking. The surgery went well.  First one hip and then the other.  Sarge did his exercises and relaxed.  He was very good at the latter.  He walked, ran and became the best couch potato ever.  Sarge slept on the rug during the day, on the couch to watch television in the evening and between his parents at night.  Yes, he was a good sleeper.

One day another dog arrived and he realized not all dogs had the life he did and she needed to learn not to be afraid, that she would be warm, hugged, fed and loved.  He showed her around the yard, where the clean cool water was, where the toys were and that it was sometimes okay to steal a shoe and run away.  Pretty soon she left for her forever home and another dog arrived.  Sarge became a pretty good teacher and his new career became teaching rescue dogs how to be, well, dogs.

Sarge crossed the Rainbow Bridge on December 1, 2008 at home in his mommy’s arms.  His daddy whispering in his ear that he was perfect from the minute he was born. His wonderful vet was with him.  Sarge never did a naughty thing.  Even the day he ate the couch he was good.  He was safe, warm, fed and loved every day of his life.  His wish is that every dog could be as safe, warm, fed and loved every day of their lives, too.  Sarge is proud to have been a part of rescue.  He will play with his mother and sisters and brothers and all the dogs that crossed the bridge before him and he will wait until his mommy and daddy come for him.  He will he young and healthy and not feel any pain. 

Sarge I hope you know how much we love you. ~Stevi & Dave Martin and Family

Camile, April 16, 2008 - November 25, 2008


Camile came into rescue on November 20th with an intestinal blockage.  She was immediately taken to the vet where x-rays showed "movement." But the next morning she began to vomit and was rushed back to the vet and into emergency surgery.  She had four blockages and the intestine was in very bad condition.  The surgery was extensive and she was in "guarded" condition.  By Sunday, she appeared to be doing well and the entire hospital was in love with her.  Despite her IVs and pain, her tail was still wagging and she wanted the vet to lie down and cuddle with her. Our wonderful vet did exactly that. Early on the morning of the 25th, the vet phoned with a decision to make: Camille had fecal leakage and was in pain and we needed to give permission to put her to sleep.  Against all our hopes and all our efforts, she couldn't recover from four blockages and the long difficult surgery.  Camille crossed the Rainbow Bridge in the arms of her vet

Ginger Torres, 2001 - October 30, 2008

Ginger Torres

I lost my Ginger on October 30th, 2008 to an illness that we could not determine.  Ginger came into my life by chance in November of 2002.  I was new to Rescue and was asked to visit a family who was relinquishing their golden retriever because she was too wild for their lifestyle.   What I found was this wonderful and beautiful 1-year old girl who had had some training, but because she had not been housetrained she was kept in a dog run for most of the day.  When they let her out of her run, she ran and jumped because she was so happy to be out of her dog run.  But I could see that she just wanted some attention and affection, and someone who could be patient with her as she learned her way and grew out of puppyhood.

Before arriving, I had expected to take her into rescue, foster her, and then adopt her out to someone, but I absolutely fell in love with her and decided to keep her to join my family of two Goldens, Fred and Sami.   They accepted her immediately and she became part of our family.  There were some of the typical rough patches with housetraining and some chewing, but those worked themselves out as she learned from the other two how to live in the house.  Also, with all the attention she was getting, she settled into the most wonderful girl, and the training she had received previously started to show itself. 

Ginger also became the Home Check girl for my work with the rescue.  She would accompany me on home checks and she would walk around the yard and the house checking everything out.  More than a few times, I was asked by the families that we home checked if they could adopt her.  I was so proud of her!

Our family will miss Ginger tremendously.  She was my first rescue dog, and was one the main reasons that I became involved in Rescue more deeply.  She was with us only a total of 7 years, but I know that she is now in a better place free of the illness that took her.                                        ~Vince Torres


Ginger Morita, 2002- October 29, 2008

Ginger Morita

Ron and Jenni adopted Ginger (Gember) from GRC in October 2004. She was two years old.  They had her for only four years, but in those four years she brought them a lot of joy and happiness.  All she wanted was to please you and that she did.   As you can see by her picture, Ginger had beautiful "doe" eyes.  She would look up at you and you would just melt.   She loved people contact and everyone who met her just loved her. She will be truly missed.

Valor, September 1996 - October 28, 2008

Valor Schoen

One very warm day in September of 2001, heaven sent me a very handsome, big angel boy named Valor. I met Valor when I rescued him in Camarillo after he lost his former owner. When I saw him, I knew instantly that this was the baby-boy I had been looking for and from then on, he was always the apple of my eye. Valor was such a sweetheart and a delight to have around. Like a typical retriever, he was very attached to his mommy. He was a very happy dog and was the entertainment of our house. There was never a dull moment for Valor’s doggy sisters and me as he always managed to entertain us. He enjoyed meeting people, and every guest I had over just adored him. Valor loved his walks, he loved to go for car rides and loved going to the beach. My big bubba also loved to meet all the female doggies in the neighborhood.
About two weeks before his passing, Valor was diagnosed with a high-grade soft tissue sarcoma, a blood vessel disease that progresses quite rapidly. He also had an infected abscess on his hind leg and lesions on his lungs. I felt like I was stabbed right in the center of my heart when I heard all these. You see, it wasn’t just Valor who was attached to me…I was also very attached to my handsome baby boy. On October 28th, I made the very painful decision of letting Valor go. I did not want his condition to get worst and have my angel boy be in more pain that he was already in. I wanted for him to be able to say good-by peacefully. Valor laid on his favorite blanket with his head on my lap, getting his head rubbed the way he liked it, and he was told by his mommy that she loves him very much…..as he took his last breath. His face after he took his last breath was that of a handsome baby angel at peace with no more pain. Abbey, Misty and I will miss you Valor and know that we love you very, very much….                                                       ~Rowena Schoen

Henry, 1994- October 27, 2008


On October 27th, we lost a rescue. His name was Henry, he was 14 years old, and he was in rescue for about an hour. Our volunteer, Melanie Bruski, picked him up from LEAF (Lake Elsinore Animal Friends). He was in very bad shape so she took him immediately to the vet where he was diagnosed with Cushing's Disease (a swelling of the liver and other vital organs). He also had a fungal infection of the skin, many tumors in his mouth, one on his cheek the size of a tennis ball, and several tumors in and around his abdomen. His ears were completely full or puss and blood. He could barely walk. When the vet palpated his abdomen he screamed...not yelped, not cried, but screamed. He was breathing very heavy, which the vet said is a sign of pain. The vet said his liver especially was very swollen. Melanie asked if he would survive anything (ie. surgery, meds, etc. ) and was told that he would probably not survive anything...his liver was too swollen and he was already too far gone. Melanie made the decision to have him humanely euthanzied. While waiting for the doctors, Henry had a Grand Mal seizure. It was awful to watch him go thru this. He was given a sedative about a minute after his seizure started and he died while being petted and told he was a good boy. Melanie said, "I have used about a box of tissues so far tonight. I will never forget Sweet Henry and his short time in rescue. But I know he will be one of the first to welcome me when my time comes."

For the last hour of his 14 years, Henry was loved.

Red, 1996- October 24, 2008

Red, 12 years

Red was a permanent foster with volunteer Kelli Maher. During the two years he was with her, he welcomed many fosters, making them feel comfortable during their stay. He was like the grandpa in his rocking chair watching over the youngsters, telling them to "knock it off" from time to time...except he had his orthopedic bed that he loved to lay on. Somehow Molly, a basset hound, snuck into the household but was a buddy to Red. As you can see, Red's smile lit up any room. Red suffered a stroke in June and he struggled valiantly the last four months to stay with his foster mom, knowing how much she loved him and would miss him.

Joey, 1997 - October, 2008


Joey came to us only a few months ago as a companion and family member.  He was a sweet, gentle, happy, loving boy, and was happiest sitting, cuddling or sleeping in my lap, in my arms or on the bed.  He had the deep need for love of a dog who had spent most of his life locked out in the back yard.  He had the voracious appetite of a dog who had missed a meal often enough to know real hunger, but he would take a cookie gently from my mouth.  Joey loved to walk the neighborhood with his big sister Daisy, and they walked nose to nose with no pulling or fighting for the lead.  He had many friends, both doggie and human, and he especially loved children. Joey did not know how to play with toys or balls, but he was happy to roll around on the floor on his back and wiggle and smile with his sister by his side.  He loved the attention of being groomed, being brushed, getting a bath and swimming.  He knew he was truly loved. There must have been some lonely children in heaven who needed him because he was taken much to soon from us.  We will miss him terribly but know he is being guided by some of the best dogs I have had the priviledge to share my home and my life with. ~Sarah

Miss Scarlett, 1995 - September 8, 2008

Miss Scarlett

Miss Scarlett was a sweet, gentle soul whose owners turned her into the Camarillo shelter because they didn't have time for her anymore. She was 12 years old. Thyroid cancer struck in June and we removed the tumor but it returned in October and had spread too far for surgery or radiation to do much good. Her spirit and love kept her going for far longer than the vet thought possible. She was a love, pure and simple.

Miss Scarlett's Valor 

She gave them twelve years of love and loyalty,
They gave her up...."No time for her anymore."
Rescue angels brought her to me.
Both ancient souls we were, our bond intense. 
Six months, disease appeared--hopefully removed.
Four months later, back--too invasive to defeat."
One more month," the doctor said.
Miss Scarlett just ignored him. 
"I'm not ready to leave," she sighed. 
"It took too long to find you."
For ten months more, Scarlett continued
to fight, to live, and to love. 
My valiant girl.

By Miss Scarlett's mom, Barbara Krohta

Bruin, July 4, 1995 - August 2008


Every person who met Bruin agreed he was an extraordinary dog. From the time Richard and Iris got him as a two-month old pup with rare gold eyes, they knew they had someone special. Out of 70 dogs tested for the ICU therapy-dog program at UCLA, Bruin was one of the 5 chosen (and the only Golden chosen) for the program, and he served for two years. He loved his job as he loved people. Bruin once visited a blind, 99-year old man who hadn't moved or spoken in weeks. When Bruin sat at the bed, the man laid his hand on Bruin's head and smiled. Bruin even got into bed with him and cuddled for a while. Later that evening, the gentleman passed on.

Bruin was always the center of any party at the Alter home, greeting guests and mingling, always the perfect host. He'd perform his many tricks, such as holding a treat or bone on his nose until told "Go," when he'd then flip it in the air and catch it. Bruin was even the ringbearer at Richard's son's home wedding, proudly carrying a basket with the ring in it down the aisle. Bruin loved the water and when the grandchildren came over and headed for the pool, Bruin would take a flying leap into the pool to play with them. He also loved riding in the car, going anywhere and everywhere Richard and Iris could take him.

Bruin was smart, patient, caring, and the alpha peacemaker at dog parks; he kept the other dogs in line. He loved everyone and never met a person or dog he didn't like. Although Richard and Iris adopted Zoey from SCGRRescue to help fill the hole in their hearts, they know they'll never find another dog like Bruin.

Lucy, November 19, 1997 - July 1, 2008


Evening Star's Golden Lucia crossed the Rainbow Bridge on Tuesday, July 1st.  Her everyday name suited her better, as our Lucy made all the dogs and people who crossed her path feel at home.  She was a rascal of a puppy who grew into an elegant and loving lady.  Lucy was taken from us much too early at the age of 10 by a very aggressive cancer.  She will be missed by all who knew her.  Good night, sweet Lucy.

Golden Memories

They say memories are golden, well, maybe that is true.
We never wanted memories, we only wanted you.
A million times we cried.
If love alone could have saved you, you never would have died.
In life we loved you dearly, in death we love you still.
In our hearts you hold a place no one can ever fill.
If tears could build a stairway and heartache make a lane.
We'd walk the path to Heaven and bring you back again.
Our family chain is broken, and nothing seems the same.
But as God calls us back one by one, the chain will link again.

--Author Unknown

Ben & Jerry, April 28 - June 30, 2008

At the tender age of 4 weeks, Ben and Jerry were dumped on the doorstep of the Downey Shelter in deplorable condition. Jerry had Puppy Strangles....his lymph nodes were swollen and his skin had sores. Ben came to us unable to walk...he was so weak that he would fall over onto his face and could not stand back up. Through the constant care, feeding, attention, and loving showered on them by their foster parents, Michelle and Sangtar, they seemed to be making full recoveries. But this week, they both took a turn for the worse. As our president announced: "Neither Ben nor Jerry were able to win their battle with distemper.  Our valiant puppies crossed the Rainbow Bridge today where they will have healthy bodies, happy lives and constant love.  We will never forget those wonderful faces.  We weep today for all those who tried so hard and lovingly to see them through their many set backs and we rest assured that every thing possible was done for them."

With Angels They Play

They haven't really been taken away.
They have only gone with the Angels to play.
They have been given wings with which to fly.
All their troubles have passed them by.

Their life in heaven now must start.
But we'll hold their memory in our hearts.
Nothing about them will be forgotten.
But now they sleep on billowy clouds of cotton.

— Author Unknown

Monty, 1996 - June 13, 2008

Monty, 12 years

Monty was found in late April wandering the streets in Ventura County, 20 lbs. underweight, and lost or turned out at 12 years of age. But he didn't give up on humans and loved to just sit by your side, chewing a rawhide, or run through the park as long as he could keep you in sight. Kelli Maher fostered him at first, showing him what life with a loving family, two golden brothers, and a basset hound sister could be like. Ed Buck then became Monty's foster dad and showered him with toys, love, and all the chicken he wanted. A surprise diagnosis of cancer took Monty from us too quickly, but at least he had two very loving homes for his last two months.

Monty's Story

I gave them my love for many a year,
I was loyal and good, always full of good cheer.
But as I grew older, their time for me waned,
And I found myself loose, running scared in the rain.

Some men snatched me up, in a kennel they put me,
There were so many dogs, all crying to be free.
I was sick and afraid. Would this be my end?
Alone in a strange place with nary a friend?

But then two angels helped me out of that place,
One took me home, she looked in my face,
“You'll never be lonely again,” she explained,
“You'll have love and food and fun again.”

Another rescue angel then brought me home with him,
We played and hiked and loved each other, life was no longer grim.
But far too soon the cancer took me, it came on me so fast,
My last two months were glorious, with friends up to the last.

So thank you all you rescue angels who take us from the cold,
And give us love and hope again, and peace as we grow old.

Bear -- June 3, 2008


Bear, beloved by Stevi and Dave Martin and their family, was an honorary Golden. Bear graciously welcomed over 80 foster dogs into his home throughout the years, helping scared and confused rescues from shelters learn about canine companionship and caring humans.

Request From Rainbow Bridge

by Constance Jenkins
In Loving Memory of Isolde Jenkins

Weep not for me though I am gone
Into that gentle night.
Grieve if you will, but not for long
Upon my soul's sweet flight.
I am at peace, my soul's at rest
There is no need for tears.
For with your love I was so blessed
For all those many years.
There is no pain, I suffer not,
The fear now all is gone.
Put now these things out of your thoughts,
In your memory I live on.
Remember not my fight for breath
Remember not the strife.
Please do not dwell upon my death,
But c
elebrate my life.

OSCAR, 1998 - June 3, 2008


Oscar, fondly known as Schizo, was cared for as a permanent foster for the last two years of his life by volunteer Kelli Maher. When she took him in, she was told the cancer would take him in just a few months, but she did everything she could to extend that to two years. Oscar loved the beach. Kelli's fondest memory of him will be how he always ran to get a toy to give her when she came home....his way of saying, "Thank you, Mom, for giving me such a good life."

Grieve not, nor speak of me with tears, but laugh and talk of me as if I were beside you.
I loved you so....
'twas Heaven here with you
Isla Raschal Richardson

ROSEBUD, May 24 - June 3, 2008


Rosebud was born in rescue, attended by caring volunteers, and nutured for her short life by her loving foster parents, Stevi and Dave Martin. Her four brothers are thriving, but little Rosebud was called because children crossing the bridge need little puppies to play with.


When God calls little puppies to dwell with Him above,
We humans always question the wisdom of His love.
For no heartache can compare with the loss of one small 'child',
Who does so much to make this world seem wonderful and mild.

Perhaps God tires - always calling the aged to His fold,
And so He picks a rosebud before it can grow old.
God knows how much we need them and so He picks but few;
To make the land of heaven more beautiful to view.
Believing this is difficult, yet somehow we must try,
For the saddest word that mankind knows will always be "good-bye".

And so when little pups depart;
We, who are left behind, must realize how much God loves puppies....
For angels are hard to find.

- Author Unknown


The Last Battle

If it should be that I grow frail and weak
And pain should keep me from my sleep,
Then will you do what must be done,
For this -- the last battle -- can't be won.
You will be sad I understand,
But don't let grief then stay your hand,
For on this day, more than the rest,
Your love and friendship must stand the test.
We have had so many happy years,
You wouldn't want me to suffer so.
When the time comes, please, let me go.
Take me to where to my needs they'll tend,
Only, stay with me till the end
And hold me firm and speak to me
Until my eyes no longer see.
I know in time you will agree
It is a kindness you do to me.
Although my tail its last has waved,
From pain and suffering I have been saved.
Don't grieve that it must be you
Who has to decide this thing to do;
We've been so close -- we two -- these years,
Don't let your heart hold any tears.

-- Unknown



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