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In Memory of our beloved friends....

Just this side of Heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. 

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food and water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable. All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.

The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing: they miss someone very special to them; who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. The bright eyes are intent; the eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to break away from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster. YOU have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together......."


"...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 Paschal Richardson

2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005



Patches found us, through Cindy at All Aboard and GBGRR, in June 2002 at the approximate age of seven years. It is impossible to know how things were for her during those first seven years but when she entered the GBGRR system she had hook worms, heart worms, whip worms, hot spots, hair loss, skin infections and she was hypothyroid. All of these afflictions were treated and when we met her, Patches was the most loving dog ever to cross our paths. She loved to hug, had the fastest and busiest tail in the west and the greatest affinity for tennis balls. Had we been so inclined, I believe we could have enrolled her with the NBA because she could dribble a ball with the best. Over the years we (Patches, that is) found balls at the tennis court, on the street, in the park. We didn't ever have to buy her tennis balls, she seemed to conjure them up, to the point where we must have had four dozen balls. She found tennis balls we didn't even know were lost and chased them, ever so slowly, up to four days ago. Over the years, her back legs had given her a lot of trouble and on Tuesday she decided she had had enough and she crossed the rainbow bridge. She loved us well and we loved her too!

Margaret and Larry O'Brien

"Bailey" Kessler

Waiting at the Bridge for Mom, Amy, December, 2006



Today is a very difficult time for Stacy and I.  It was time for our precious Arnie to go to the Bridge. He fought a great battle and overcame so many hurdles in his life. Stacy and I feel very privileged to have been a part of his life. He touched us in so many ways that we will never be the same.  Please keep Arnie in your prayers. It is comforting to know he is waiting for us at the Bridge- I know ready to give us his next order.

Our gratitude and thanks to everyone at Golden Beginnings for allowing us to be a part of such a special dog's life.

Barbara & Stacy Holly

A Legend in his own Time
2000-Septmeber 26,2006

It is with great sadness and heartache that we must tell our family and friends that our wonderful Ramses died today.  He was suddenly struck by an unexplainable illness that took his life.  He was a wonderful friend and companion, not to mention a fisher-dog with a legendary reputation.  He will be missed immensely and forever seen stalking fish from the bank or floating in Canyon Lake.  Ramses was a true dog, who will be an asset in heaven.

Bob, Susan, and Trevor H.


I wanted you all know that my Libby lost her long battle with an enlarged heart. She crossed over on July 7th, 2006. She was a great joy and a large part of my life. One of the reason that I bought a house was because the apartment I was in would not allow dogs of her size.

Scott B.


As most of you know Sugar, our senior citizen foster/adoptee, has been in failing health for several months.  Sugar had a tumor removed about two months ago and the pathology came back that it was malignant. The vet told us that the cancer had most likely spread to one or more internal sites.  For the past several months we have been giving her pain medication and generally trying to make her life as pleasant as possible.  During the past several days she has become lethargic and refused most of her food.  This afternoon her breathing became labored and at 5:15 pm she passed away.  Her paws were held and her head stroked by the humans that had come to cherish her so much.  She will be buried under her favorite live oak tree in the back yard, next to Sandy, who died about six months ago.

We look forward to seeing her again at the Rainbow Bridge, with her youth and vigor fully restored.
Lou B.

 "Daisy" and "Maggie"

Dear Golden Beginnings

My name is Maggie and I wanted to thank you for all that you do.

Back in late 2000 my two humans adopted Daisy from GBGRR. They had come out to visit another puppy but when they laid eyes on her they knew she was the one for them.

She had been labeled a little aggressive and her previous humans did not know how to deal with that. Well as it turned out she was not aggressive at all but she just had so much love to give. She moved in and found that she would have a great teacher, Ubu. Ubu was the first Golden my humans had taken in to their loving home. Ubu trained Daisy into being the best companion that she could be.

One day, one of my humans found me near the freeway, scared and alone. At first I did not come to him but after a little bit I could feel that I was in for the best life I could ever have. I was taken to their home were I was fed, bathed and taken to see a doctor, to make sure that I was going to be ok. Once I saw Daisy I knew we were not only going to be best friends, but sisters.

When Ubu passed, Daisy knew she had some big shoes to fill, and boy did she fill them. She taught me things that she had learned from Ubu. Like how to watch over our humans. Make them feel better when they felt sick. Helped them exercise by taking them for walks. And just over all taking care of the house hold. However, my humans did make it easy for us. We have our own pool to play in, a king size bed that we would share with them and as many tennis balls as we needed. Life was great!

In true Golden fashion, Daisy thought of her humans first. Buy the time she had shown any symptoms, it was too late. Cancer had taken over her body. They tried to make her as comfortable as possible and she knew it. Daisy passed away on August 12, 2006 at 10:30pm. My humans were at her side and they let her know that she was loved by all of us in every way possible.

I know Daisy would want me to pass on the knowledge that Ubu had given her. And when my humans and I are ready we will welcome another member into our loving home.

Thank you again for what you do and especially for my best friend and sister, Daisy.



Attached is a picture of Daisy and I. It was taken during the Christmas vacation we spent on the Frio River. We had just finished playing in the water thatís why we look wet.


Dear Everyone,

We lost Sadie to internal bleeding on Tuesday 8-8-06.  She had a lovely morning with me supervising the building of 14 chairs.  In the afternoon she slipped into a lethargy and off we went to the vet.  I was always worried that the brain tumor would cause her pain or neurological problems (and she was having those). Internal bleeding had not crossed my mind but I guess this was a kind way to quickly slip away.  I can't tell you how much we will miss our pistol of a dog...she gave me a run for the money  : )  The house is already way too quiet.  No one is sneaking in the kitchen garbage, racing me to the door, doing the dreaded upside down puppy dog in the front yard or stealing my ribs.  My family will still be talking about Thanksgiving when she stole an entire pie, ate it all and left the crust.  She was a great member of our family and will be sorely missed!

Jody B.


Sadly, Ziggy's heartworm infestation was too much for him and he succumbed to them 8/3/06.  His foster Mom and her daughter came home to find he had passed away. They are devastated and absolutely heartbroken.  He was a heavy positive and we were doing a split treatment but the heartworm damage was just too severe.   They have buried him in the yard next to their beloved Emma.  Bless him, he was a sweetheart and deserved better than that.


Our hearts are so very heavy today because our beautiful Elldree (alias Honey) passed into Spirit this afternoon after a heroic 15-hour battle against the acute pancreatitis that brought her down suddenly at 8:30 last night (Saturday). She was a most extraordinary being. She loved lights; lights on the ceiling, reflected light and sunlight on the carpet - especially when moving leaves outside made changing light patterns inside. Her gorgeous coat sparkled as if the ends of her hair were coated with 14K gold. In the sunlight, she was a sight to behold. Then there was the time during her first days with us that she would stand staring at the outside of the coat closet in our living room for long periods of time. Search as we might, we could find nothing, either in the closet or out, that struck us as something that might keep her attention fastened so intently for so long. We would call her away, and she would come for pats and loving, feeding, walking but, inevitably, she kept going back to stand in the same place fixated on the closet.  Finally, I opened the door to the closet and said in a loud voice, half in jest:  "OK, will you please come out of there, as you're driving our dog crazy! You are welcome to dwell in the house with us and don't need to hide in our coat closet!"  After a few moments, Elldree relaxed and walked over to plunk down near us and it never bothered her again. Like her namesake, and our Nimue who came before her, she could see into other worlds. We are so grateful that part of her life's journey was spent with us. We love her deeply and miss her terribly. Tristan is sad and looking for his playmate and we put our arms around him and each other and imagine her with us forever in our loving circle.

Glenn & Lynn P.


Dear All,

It with great sadness in our hearts to have to let everyone know that our Sadie had a massive heart attack and passed away last night. She was 12 years old. We had just come back from a party and all of the dogs were out at the gate to welcome us home and we found Sadie laying on the ground not breathing.  I tried to call to her and got a foot to move and then one last "whoosh" of breath and then she was gone.

Sadie was one of the original dogs that helped to found GBGRR.  Although, not a rescue, she was there on the spot to welcome all of the new rescues that we took into our home, in those first early days.

She's now at peace and will be sorely missed, but we know that she'll be waiting, with all of our other dogs, at the bridge for us to join her.

We loved her so much.  She is going to be truly missed.

Orin & Ronna L.


We lost our sweet Saydra on Friday, June 23rd.  She became critically ill in her crate and the vet could not save her.  So, we made the difficult decision to put her down. She was only 6 years old.

We adopted Saydra 3 years ago as a companion for our male Golden, Rex.  We loved every minute we had with her.  She blossomed from a shy, skittish girl into a confident princess.  She loved everyone and bestowed doggie hugs on those who were very special to her.

She was very sad when Rex died about this time last year.  We are comforted knowing that she and Rex are playing together until we join them across the bridge.

She is greatly missed by her mom, dad, and bubba, Jasper.



My gentle soul has left my side, taking with him an enormous portion of my heart. Thank you all for your kind words and thoughts.

Cindy M.


Dear GB, I want to give you an update on Robin, an Oldie Goldie that I adopted from you last summer. I had to put him down today due to illness. My goal was to keep him comfortable and when the bad days outweighed the good days I would do the humane thing. He lived a good long life and it was my honor and privilege to have him in my life for this last year. He truly was the sweetest dog I have ever met. He will be missed.

My sister commissioned a painting of him and gave that to me for Christmas. It captured him perfectly so he will always be with me.


Michelle P.

 "Annie", Susan and Warren

On July 9th we adopted Annie ("Tootsie") and loved her like there was no tomorrow.  Tonight our precious loving girl died of cancer.  I came home to find her unable to walk.  Xx-rays showed cancer of the pancreas and stomach.  She had hemorrhaged into her body cavity and died in our arms with help.  She did well right up to the events of today.  She just seemed tired lately. Our hearts are totally broken and we will grieve her forever.  I would rather have had my beautiful Annie for 10 months than to never have had her at all.

Warren and Susan H.

"December", "Amber" and "Skylar"

April 17, 2006

Dear Golden Beginnings,

We are mailing to you two donations: one is from our children Tim and Christy, and one is from my husband and I.  Both are in memory of our Golden-Yellow lab mix December Hubbard who died on April 1st of this month after fourteen years of love.

December was our only dog who was not rescued.  My son, who at the time was 14 years old, begged and begged for a dog, as only he could, having raised "begging" to an art form.  As he promised to feed it, walk it, and clean up after it, I found my heart changing towards dog ownership.  Warren, my husband, a true dog lover, agreed if ONLY the dog would live in the house and be part of our family.  I had never loved dogs and found them annoying at best.  Hard to admit today as I write this to Golden Beginnings!  A co-worker had two sets of dogs, Goldens and Yellow Labs, who were their field trial dogs.  They cross bred accidentally and had 7 red labs and 7 blond labs.  After picking out a five pound, five week old red lab for our son's Christmas gift, he named her "December."  I believe it took me exactly five seconds to fall in love with her.  Of course, Tim had loved her forever it seemed, and never let her feet touch the floor for weeks.  She doubled in size each week that first month, and grew to be a 98 lb. Golden-Lab with a barrel chest and strength galore, like her 115 lb. father.  She went to work with Warren everyday at his warehouse and was adored by one and all...UPS drivers, mail carriers, customers.

December was our loving but persnickety dog.  She loved to be petted, but only at her bidding.  The WHEN and WHERE of petting were guarded carefully by her.  She loved her food a certain way or she would not eat.  We were well trained!  She liked to have choices regarding treats.  Only after offering her two treats would she carefully consider the choices and take her favorite (for that day.)  Sleeping on our bed each night until her first birthday, she stopped suddenly and slept on the floor near us.  Obviously we were taking up too much room on HER bed, and she was moving on to greater freedom.

Tim and December wrestled and played until Tim would be worn out, but rarely did December tire.  In high school when Tim ran cross country and track, often December became his running partner.  Keeping up with her kept improving his time!  She played "hide and seek", chase, and loved to learn new tricks.  Her love of people and children was astounding.  Our neighbors had a one year old baby that December adored, and when Amy came out to play December ran at her as fast as she could and then would stop on a dime before running Amy over. They were friends!  Being a pillow, December would offer up her body to any child who needed a rest.  She would quietly rest while the child slept on top of her.  Her gentleness amazed me.

When we rescued our first Golden "Skylar" from the SPCA four years later, December was incensed.  Every opportunity she had, she attacked him, leaving teeth marks in numerous places.  Eventually, she grew to love him as her greatest play-mate just as Tim left for college.  The two of them ran through the house playing chase, wrestled everywhere...on couches, beds, floors, rugs, grass, you name it.  Their favorite place, however, was the master bedroom bed.  When they would finally exhaust themselves, the bed would be totally destroyed and covers strewn everywhere around the room.  The two went on several cross-country trips with us and LOVED being in the car all day.  Skylar was happy in the hotel beds, but December would sleep on the floor, facing the doorway, with her nose on the door frame.  She missed her own bed each night.

The one thing she loved the most was riding in the car to the Bayou, going off leash and galloping along the path.  Each morning when we awoke, she stared at me with burning eyes until she heard me say, "Yes, Cem, we are going to the Bayou in just a minute."  Then she would lie down and wait for the moment of departure.  She was always the last dog to go down the path, because she wanted to explore and smell everything; however, on the way back to the car, she insisted on first place, leading us all safely.  She had her favorite seat in the car, and Skylar had better not sit in it, either!

Suddenly, we found ourselves watching the years slip away to 10, 11, 12, 13.  Her sight diminished and then disappeared; her hearing was lost, and she lost strength and power.  The dog who could pull Skylar through the house on the end of a rope, could barely climb the stairs or rise from a nap.  When we first began to help her up, she was humiliated and let us know it was not appreciated, but soon she accepted our help lovingly if not happily.  She lost control of her bowels and chewing "chewsies" became painful, so we found thinner and easier treats.  God made carpet shampooers just for December, I think.  Her wonderful sense of smell compensated for her loss of other senses.  Sometimes she fell when she still tried to run on the Bayou.  Some days, at the very end, she skipped going to the Bayou in the morning, so we made a second afternoon run just for her.  Our hearts could barely speak the words that she was slipping away.  Tears would flow at the very thought.  Last summer, we adopted our precious Annie (Tootsie) from Golden Retriever Rescue because we knew her days were dwindling down and we would all need the comfort of another sweet, loving dog.  Kathy Belling (I thank God for her) was her foster mom and kept Annie for us until we found her.  December accepted Annie with grace.  So did Skylar.  As Annie and Skylar bonded, December would lie quietly on her bed.  Sadly, we watched her lose weight, begin to stumble and grow weak as she passed her 14th birthday.  But, she never lost her love of the Bayou.  She would actually run and be free of all that time had taken from her.  Everyday I told her that the Lord would come for her and take her to Heaven soon and she would see us there again.

On April 1st, just as she so loved to do, December ran on the Bayou and suddenly collapsed with a heart-attack.  Although we couldn't believe it, she came back from unconsciousness and survived, but had lost all strength and ability to stand.  We took her to the nearby animal hospital and gave her the help she needed to slip away from her pain.  It was such a wonderful time to hold her, to kiss her, to tell her how much we loved her, to thank her for her love and devotion.  She buried her head into my chest and waged her tail several times.  Her leaving us was without physical pain, in the very end, but her eyes said, "Please let me go.  I am tired.  I don't want to leave you, but I can't stay."

All our hearts are broken, even Skylar and Annie.  Skylar knew she was dying on the Bayou and laid down next to her, back to back and stayed with her there until we went to the hospital.  We all miss her at every turn, at every meal, at every drive in the car.  We miss her when we go to sleep at night and when we awaken.  We miss her when we laugh and when we cry.  I see her next to me in the kitchen begging for a bite, and I see her when I pass her favorite spots in the house.  I see her at her water bowl and feed dish.  I see her everywhere.  But I love to "see" her in Heaven waiting for us, young again, full of energy, with regained sight and hearing, and playing with all the children there.  My favorite vision is  her running with strength and joy on the Bayou and riding in the car with her head out of the window.  Then, I miss her the most.

Annie is our new gift from God.  Her love and utter sweetness are such a comfort.  Thank you for her.  Thank you for rescuing her.  December could leave more easily knowing Annie would be here to help fill in the terribly painful void.

When you receive our family donations in the mail, please receive them in December's memory.  She taught me to love dogs, and that half a Golden is better than no Golden at all.  She taught me to love all of life a little more deeply.

We love you all at GBGRR!

Warren and Susan H.
Tim and Christy S.
Skylar and Annie


Here's a picture that I took a few weeks ago of Bud, showing his support for Humble High School....Go Wildcats! Our beloved gentleman, Bud died unexpectedly this week of what we've come to know as hemangiosarcoma. He was 10 years old and we feel blessed to have been able to adopt him from the SPCA. We've had Goldens for over 20 years and when my husband and I first started dating, he expressed an interest in getting a dog. He wanted either an Afghan or a Golden Retriever. I'm so happy he chose a Golden, because Afghans require more grooming and hair care than I do.  All of us who have discovered the love, companionship and wonderful personalities of Goldens know that each one is special. Bud was no different. He wasn't a typical Golden who liked tennis balls or even retrieving. He was a companion. If you saw my husband, Bud was by his side, off leash. They walked to Starbucks for their daily coffee and water break. Bud would wait outside under a table for Warren to return. We never feared him running away, because he wasn't leaving Warren's side. Everyone who met him, came to love him. He and my husband used to participate in an Humble/Kingwood area short run each summer. They won each year they participated. Vendors would approach us and tell us  how well behaved Bud was. In fact we had been approached several times about testing him to become a therapy dog. We never took the time to do it, because we knew that despite a test, he was therapeutic for us. In the years we had Bud, he tolerated several dogs that we kept for friends when they traveled and all of the fosters he shared us with. When we adopted Chloe from GBGRR, it seemed as though Bud would ask our permission to teach Chloe manners. He always knew he was top dog despite Chloe's antics to be the Alpha. He let her have her way most of the time, but he'd keep her in check with a low muffled growl. We miss him terribly, but know that he is at the Rainbow's Bridge healthy again.

Thank you for your support during this time.

Kathleen and Warren O.


Arthur passed away during the night last night. He was a great dog and I will miss him a lot.

Cindy M., his foster Mommy