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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



Remembering our “self turn in” Andy

People smile when they hear about Andy, because he was Golden Beginnings’ first “self turn in”. I spotted him as I brought my car to a stop at the entrance of our development. I don’t think he could read the Golden Beginnings magnetic sign on my car, but he was smart and I wouldn’t put it past him to understand that I am a rescuer.

Andy was severely emaciated, mangy and STINKY! Yet his tail was wagging wildly. As we all came to know Andy, we knew that was his trademark characteristic. Because we are GB volunteers, we immediately jumped into action.

The vet diagnosed Andy with sarcoptic mange, a heavy load of heartworms and kidney failure. He was so dehydrated that it took several bags of IV fluids before he could even produce a urine sample. The vets just shook their heads, sadly telling us that his kidney values were “incompatible with life”. And yet, Andy was still here.

Andy had great house manners, and loved being part of our pack of three Goldens. He joined them as they trailed us from room to room. He patiently stood in line at the door twice daily, waiting for his turn to go for a walk. When he saw us gathering car keys, he headed eagerly to the door: “Did someone say Bye Bye!?” Andy also was very social. He loved GB’s events and Meet & Greets, never failing to pull towards the kids.

Every day, that wagging tail would make us laugh. All we had to do was catch his eye as he lay in a dog bed, and his tail would start thumping. I never once heard him bark, but there were things he disliked: most notably, his baths.

Despite eating several meals a day, Andy continued to lose weight and was soon diagnosed with lupus. We were warned: the steroid treatment would either help him or kill him. Without the ability to process food, he was going downhill anyway. The steroids were his last hope.

We started steroids on a Tuesday. By Friday, it was clear that Andy had lost his battle. His appetite was gone. And most telling: his tail no longer wagged. He asked to take one last walk around the yard, refusing to cut short the walk even though he had to stop several times to catch his breath.

We said good-bye to Andy later that day. He was ready to go, but it still hurt our hearts. Even the vet clinic staff was crying. He was easy to love. We only wish that he had found us sooner. Perhaps we could have given more good times. We’d had him less than two months. Although our tears will eventually dry, Andy will be in our hearts forever.

Robin and Randy Miller




September 27th, 2000 – December 20th, 2010

It is with a deep sorrow that we tell you that Suezy, our first Golden Retriever, went to the bridge on December 20th, 2010. We adopted Suezy as a four year old Golden who had found her way in to rescue by chewing her way out of a chain link fence. She made her way in to our home and our hearts. Her wonderful golden spirit led us to adopt two more Rescue Goldens – Buster (7 years old) and Alfie (3 years old). It’s hard to have just one of these loving animals.

Suezy was a funny little girl and liked to poke her nose at everything around the house. We will miss her noseprints on everything. Suezy was able to join in the Senior Parade at the picnic this year. It was her last big outing.

We had a skin cancer removed from Suezy (hermangio sarcoma) about a month ago. Shortly thereafter, she became paralyzed in her back leg. We took her to Gulf Coast and found out that she had cancer all over her body and they did not recommend treatment for her. Her time was up. We did put her on prednisone and she was able to walk for one more week. We are very grateful for that one week. She made a sudden decline and was unable to move. Our vet came to our house and she slipped away quietly surrounded with all the love that we have.

Many thanks to the Holly’s who fostered our special girl. She had many happy years with us and is the reason that we will always have Rescue Goldens.

Lisa, Jack, Buster and Alfie



Thirteen Days

We love dogs, and of course, puppies. Volunteering to foster our favorite dog, the Golden Retriever, was an easy decision. In the past couple years we have cared for several wonderful foster dogs and each one of them has taught us a lesson about life. For thirteen days this fall, we were blessed by knowing a little Golden Retriever named Lulu.

Lulu was a 3-4 month old blond female who was found on the streets of Houston, and subsequently rescued from a dirty and overcrowded shelter by Chris Conway, a dedicated volunteer with Golden Beginnings. Christine Clynes called and asked us to foster Lulu. When we picked Lulu up from the vet’s office on Tuesday, September 6th, she weighed only 16 pounds. “No problem,” I said to her, “we are going to fatten you up.” As soon as we met her, her tail started wagging, in a somewhat submissive way. After all, she was leaving possibly the first place where people had taken great care of her. We gathered up her vet records, her meds, and a special canned food for her upset stomach. When we stepped outside, she didn’t want to get into our truck. It seemed that she needed to “use the restroom” and she let me know. I was already impressed by this cute little stray. “Good girl!”

In the first few days that she was with us, we learned that it was going to be difficult to get Lulu to eat. One day she would eat the canned food, the next day she would eat cottage cheese and yogurt, and another day she would turn her nose up at whatever we tried to feed her. And it didn’t matter what she ate –everything still upset her stomach. Fattening her up was going to be harder than we thought, plus herchronic diarrhea and new cough concerned us, so we contacted 1488 Animal Clinic and took her in for a visit. They felt that Lulu had distemper, and put her on new antibiotics, believing that would do the trick.


The staff at 1488 Clinic was very patient with us the following week when we would call expecting better results from the antibiotics, not sure if Lulu was making proper progress. “Give the medicine more time,” they advised. That patience seemed to pay off when Lulu’s diarrhea went away for a brief time.
One day, she actually had a firm bowel movement. Yes! We thought we were making progress, even though she was still not eating the volume of food that a puppy should. Despite not eating well, Lulu was becoming part of the pack in our house, and she loved going on our daily and nightly walks with Stella and Sophie. She was a proud girl and loved her new pals, as they did her.

Unfortunately, her slightly improved health didn’t last. After 10 days and 3 vet visits, she was not gaining weight and the symptoms of distemper were progressing. On Friday, September 16th, the vet suggested that Lulu needed I.V. antibiotics to help fight off the effects of distemper, so reluctantly, we left her at 1488 Animal Clinic. For the next 7 days, we would get 2 updates per day on how she was doing. We were not allowed to visit her because they didn’t want the disease to spread. After a while, we begged the vet to let us visit her, and finally got permission. We gathered up all the food we knew Lulu liked; string cheese was her favorite. The hour-long visit on Saturday, September 23th, went well -her tail still wagged and we got to love on her. However, she had lost about 2 pounds, and though she would sometimes eat voluntarily, she mostly had to be force-fed with a syringe. She did enjoy small bites of her sting cheese that day.

Our second visit to see Lulu was late Monday afternoon on September 24th. Again, she showed she was happy to see us with that familiar tail wag. She was now on a different antibiotic, plus steroids, and her cough was gone. Her fever, though, was like on a roller coaster, going up and down from 102 to 105. We asked Dr. Lewis if we could take care of her at home. The doctor, like us, thought that the home environment might be good for her, and agreed that we could take her home. With instructions on how to feed her and how to take her temperature, we happily headed home. Lulu had spent 10 days away from her pals, Stella and Sophie, and the reunion was special. They were happy to see her and she them, even though she was tired. That evening, Lulu went for a very short walk with her friends. The little girl wanted to continue, but we thought she needed to rest, so I picked her up and carried her home.

On Tuesday, Lulu’s temperature never dropped below 104.3. We spoke with the vet’s office several times, and were told that the high fever was a sign that she was fighting off the virus, and that it was OK. Feeding Lulu was only done with the syringe because she had no interest in food. Even the string cheese and the high-calorie puppy supplement didn’t excite her. That night, she didn’t rest well, but Wednesday morning she was ready for her walk, and still protested when she didn’t get to walk all the way like the big dogs. All day she rested, and was force-fed, still not interested in eating. We were very excited, though, when her fever came down to 103.2 that afternoon. Hooray! We were so sure she was going to make it.

Late Wednesday afternoon, Lulu lay down with a groan. During the dinner hour, she clenched her teeth tightly when we tried to feed her, and then began restlessly moving about the house and yard. Lulu’s decline was rapid. She began groaning frequently and her breathing seemed labored. She needed to be seen by a vet. Because it was after hours, we began the long drive to the emergency clinic. Sadly, Lulu died in our car on the way to the clinic.

I have dozens of “if only I would have done this” thoughts that haunt me. I was so sure that she would get better if we were diligent and worked hard enough to care for her. Throughout her time with us, we kept a positive attitude and prayed, as did so many in our Golden Beginnings extended family. I learned that sometimes a positive attitude doesn’t help, and our prayers are not always answered in the way we would like. We only knew Lulu for a mere 13 days, but that was more than enough for this vulnerable little puppy to touch our hearts so deeply. We are still very sad that Lulu had such a short life, but we take some comfort in the fact that, from the time Golden Beginnings took her in, she was able to experience kindness, and to know that she was loved.



Darling little Hunter, with his pure heart and joyful spirit, came to Golden Beginnings at 12 weeks old from a local shelter. Life was suddenly grand! He finally had a full tummy every day, he could nuzzle and play with his new human friends, and wow – he even got to star in a Star Furniture commercial and photo shoot.

But the good times only lasted about a week. You see, Hunter had been exposed to the deadly distemper virus before he was vaccinated at the shelter. Soon the virus was attacking his tiny body, causing his fever to spike, making it difficult for him to breath, and wreaking havoc with his nervous system. The little guy who came to us with a voracious appetite now had to be force-fed because felt too sick to eat. Still his sweet personality persevered. He loved to cuddle and never even had an accident in the house.

Despite expensive veterinary care and weeks of round-the-clock care by dedicated volunteers who invested their hearts and souls into his recovery, Hunter ultimately lost his fight with distemper.

Hunter never found a family of his own, but thanks to our wonderful volunteers, he knew love. And the heartache we feel at this terrible loss is equaled only by the love he gave us in return during his short life.

In Hunter’s honor, we ask that you spread this message: distemper is a deadly but preventable disease as long as puppies are vaccinated on time. A puppy may not look sick when you buy him. The symptoms can take weeks to show up. By that time, it may already be too late. People who buy puppies from unscrupulous backyard breeders, pet stores or roadside vendors risk getting their hearts broken if those puppies have not been properly vaccinated.


Golden Beginnings Golden Retriever Rescue



I  am writing with a heavy heart this evening to say that my boy Teddy passed over to Rainbow Bridge today at the age of 13. I will be forever grateful to GBGRR for allowing me the privilege to have this gentle giant be part of my life. I received Teddy in 2001. I had traveled to Rosenberg, TX from Austin to get him and got into an accident in Rosenberg which totaled my car and sent me to the hospital before I could get to him. ( A tractor trailer broad sided me) I remember telling the EMT in the hospital to please get the brand new leash and collar out of my car along with the phone number to GBGRR. I asked him to make sure and call them and let them know I still wanted Teddy- don't let anything happen to him. Unfortunately that evening when I was released the vet where I was to pick him up was closed and I drove my rental back to Austin. GBGRR hearing of my situation arranged for a couple to drive Teddy to Austin. I never did meet the couple as I was at work and had someone at my home for his arrival, but all these years later I think about how compassionate that couple was to drive him to his forever home. I was sure that God had sent Teddy to me after all that was involved in bringing us together! And today I can say that with 100% assurance that was the case.

My boy saw me through as a single girl, into a married woman and now into the stage of motherhood of my 2 beautiful children. He took care of me in a season of my own life where there was nobody else- and I didn't know if there ever would be!-- Such a loyal boy to listen to my broken hearted whining on the guitar without once insulting my terrible lyrics or the fact that I really couldn't play. He'd just faithfully sit by my side as he did on my wedding day- my best man. Just as I know Teddy made the best decisions for me whether it be letting me know if he didn't like a guy- or this one is a keeper when he met my husband-- I had to make a decision for Teddy today. There was nothing easy about it as his frame had just given out. For weeks I had watched him struggle to get up to not being able to stand at all and then came today when he would not eat- even his favorite meatloaf. That was his sign to me that it was time. My heart is overwhelmed, but at peace in knowing that my boy is waiting for me and has left me so many cherished golden memories. This is a story of just one adopter and how much Golden Beginnings changed my life in blessing me with Teddy. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.


Wendy Bergerson




With a heavy heart I need to let everyone know Barkley Ecklund went to Rainbow Bridge last week

Barkley was one lucky dog to find such awesome humans.



Back in 1999 (the year your organization was founded), my husband (then fiance) and I adopted a golden retriever by the name of "Jazz" (we named him Apollo) from your organization. He was an engagement gift for me, as well as a companion for my husband's golden "Atlas".

After adopting him, we named him Apollo. Apollo was a great addition to our family and we loved him dearly. He grew old with our family, sharing our wedding, anniversaries, the welcoming of three children, and then the death of Atlas. On March 3, 2010 at 10:30pm at the age of 12yrs old, Apollo went home to be with Jesus himself. He was surrounded by love and in his favorite spot when he passed.

I just wanted to thank your organization for allowing us to be a part of his life.

The Dickey Family



I'd like to thank everyone who's given their input and advice on my parents' dog, Mary, who has the torn ACL. We've appreciated you taking your time so very much. Like I'd said before, we just want to do what's best for her. We've been delayed doing anything as of yet because their other girl, Molly, got very sick, and we ended up having to put her to sleep Monday. It was extremely difficult - she was my original golden girl who made me fall in love with the breed. But it was also very peaceful - the vet came out to their house and she crossed the bridge in their backyard in front of the lake she loved so much.

Because of Molly, I adopted Allie when I moved into my own house (only because my parents wouldn't let Molly move with me), and I was introduced to GB.

Thanks again for all your words of wisdom - I'll let y'all know how it goes. Molly is the blonde in the center of the picture (above), and Mary (with the torn ACL) is the blonde on the left.

On Behalf Of Beth Kellner



I miss you sweetie!

Thanks to you all at Golden Beginnings. You do great stuff.
Wayne Crouch



We adopted Kaitlin from GBGRR in October 2002. We lived in Pearland at the time and had no kids yet so she became our fur baby (which was a big step for my husband, the cat person). I am sad to say she has gone to the Rainbow Bridge. She was in the beginning stages of kidney failure over a year ago but never showed any bad effects from it. Recently she had been losing weight but her appetite and energy level remained stable so we weren't too worried. We knew she was getting older but she was chasing toys around the backyard as recently as mid-December and going for walks just before the New Year. She just stopped eating one night, December 29th, the night before her routine Senior Wellness visit at the vet. After that, she ate very little for a few days and then stopped altogether, not even bacon, so we knew it was time. She was a sweet sweet wonderful dog who adjusted very well to our move to Frisco in 2006 and the additions of our two little girls after that. She was a wonderful companion to all of us, even the toddlers, and we called her "The Best Dog in the World". Thank you so much for all your organization does for these dogs. We never learned Kaitlin's history, just that she was treated for heartworms and was likely 4-6 years old when we adopted her, but we knew you gave her the chance to find her forever home with us. She may have been a little gray already but she had the spunk of a puppy and we loved her for that. She will be missed by our family and friends.

Thank you so much!
Jennifer and James Starke