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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


Buddy Holly

Our big, lovable, goofy and very much loved Golden friend, Buddy Holly, passed away suddenly on Monday afternoon. His passing has left a very large hole in our hears and will be greatly missed.

It was a little over 3 years ago I saw an ad in the Green Sheet that read, "Free to good home, 3 legged Golden Retriever". I thought to myself "how can I pass that up!" and made arrangements immediately to go see him. What I found was Buddy and he was more than happy to go home with me. We thought at the time we would foster him for a little while until a home could be found, but Buddy had other ideas and won our hearts with his silly antics and lovable nature. Buddy never left.

Despite his handicap, Buddy never slowed down and was the instigator of many Golden wrestling matches, tug of wars and races across the yard. Rarely did a day go by that he didn't make us laugh and smile. He leaves behind his Golden pals Dozer and Pilgrim and the kitties he so bravely endured. In addition to his family, he leaves behind the many friends and acquaintances he meet on his daily walks. It was always Buddy's job to be the neighborhood greeter and to make everyone feel welcome.

Thank you sweet boy for making our lives a so much better and brighter for having shared it with you.

Barbara and Stacy
Dec 5, 2012



Our sweet Annie passed away last night in her sleep. Last week she was diagnosed with an enlarged heart and heart arrhythmia for which she had been on medications. She left us peacefully in her bed next to ours.

Annie was our first foster over 8 years ago and naturally, was our first foster failure. She came to us underweight, in heat, her coat in horrible condition, and with heartworms. After 5 months of getting her healthy, she and our Sophie became best friends. Annie and Sophie became the welcoming committee for many foster dogs that came to us.

Annie blossomed into a beautiful blonde with long flowing locks. She leaves us with many fond memories of her time with us. She was our talkative girl so she always told us what was on her mind. One minute she was our little diva, our prim and proper little girl with an attitude and the next she was a rowdy tom boy chasing the squirrels.

Annie, we’ll miss you so. You enriched our lives beyond measure.

Mike & Nadine
Oct 29, 2012



In September 2005 the most beautiful girl in the world came into our lives. We rolled out the red carpet for gorgeous loving Wendy. She took over our hearts. Wendy loved to take trips in the car whether near or far, play catch, eat and keep the family together by herding
us into the same room.

Wendy was 5 years old when she arrived from Golden Beginnings. She never had any major health issues. She was always happy and became the focal point of our family. We were concerned because we had 2 parrots at the time, and since Wendy is a bird dog we thought this could be a problem. But it never was. Wendy and the birds hit it off the moment she

Wendy was our loving companion 24-7; she was always us. In fact, we used to say this is her house and we live with Wendy.

Last Saturday morning we were outside having our coffee and Wendy was having her stare down with the squirrels as usual, everything was normal that day. That early evening Wendy walked out of the kitchen and collapsed. We fell to the floor hugging and loving her while trying to figure out what was wrong. We didn't know what was going on we just knew to hold her tight and love her, she passed in our arms. We were devastated; just last night she was playing ball and now she's gone.

Without Wendy we have a hole in our hearts that feels like it will never heal, we loved Wendy so much I guess we forgot to realize that some day she would leave us, it was so unexpected.

We tell each other what a wonderful 8 years she gave us. She never had a single bad day since the day she arrived. Wendy was our baby girl and she had a passel of nicknames, Wendy Sue, Love Bug, Bug and Bugette. We will never forget her and will miss her forever.


October 18, 2012



Annabelle may never have found a “forever home” but we all take comfort that her last six weeks were filled with love, good care and a soft place to sleep. In the end, she had stopped eating and had nausea that didn’t respond to medication. She was already so frail that her body just couldn’t take any more. She went to the Rainbow Bridge peacefully, with her foster mom scratching her chin (Annabelle’s favorite place to be scratched).

Each rescued Golden deserves to be honored for what they contribute to our world. Annabelle’s foster mom said afterward, “She added a lot to my life and was a real sweetheart.”

As one GB volunteer put it, “This was rescue at its best. When care is given in love and then the release is unselfish.”

Run free, sweet Annabelle.
Aug 25, 2012



Osso came to our home in July of 2003 when my daughter was 8 years old and went to the Rainbow Bridge in November 2011 after a brief bout with cancer. My daughter posted on Facebook the evening he passed "Osso -- the best friend a girl could have" -- and he was.

Osso loved to be petted and loved more than anything else in life, other than food. He never quite learned to savor his meals! Playing was fun, for a while, but what he really wanted to do was curl up on my lap or my daughters where he could be petted to sleep. When I married in 2007, it was love at first sight for both my husband and Osso...they were inseparable, at least when I wasn't around, until the end.

It has taken so long to write this memorial because he was such a wonderful, loving soul that losing him hurt more than I ever imagined it could. He gave so much, asked for very little, and occasionally would knock my beer bottle over so he could have a taste...always with a smile and wagging tail. Our family was very blessed to have the eight years we had with Osso and share stories often of his antics. This picture was taken in 2008 when we evacuated our home for Hurricane Ike -- not even a hurricane or strange city could wipe the smile off his face!

Aug 24, 2012



I'm sorry to say that I let sweet Maddie go to the Rainbow Bridge last night. She was deteriorating very quickly from a brain tumor and I did not want her to suffer any more. Maddie was my first golden retriever and because she was such a sweet, smart, loving dog I knew having just one golden would never be enough. I adopted Kipper next and then started fostering and failed with Monte.

Maddie helped save many other dogs because she lovingly welcomed them into our home. She had to knock some sense into some of them first (of course), but there wasn't another dog that she didn't warm up to and make part of the family. Many us have seen Maddie with the "OMG another one???" stare whenever a young pup arrived but she eventually warmed up to them too.

Maddie's happiest days were riding in the car, days at the Urban Market, and of course she shined brightly at the last picnic (picture above). Maddie loved riding shotgun in the car with her two brothers and Gordie. She delighted in attending the periodic Urban Market - thankfully I have pictures to remember her big smile from these events. The last picnic was probably her most favorite event of all. She roamed freely, tried to catch snacks/crumbs/whatever from folks in the food line, played in the rain, greeted as many other dogs and people as she could, and when she got tired she hopped in a car with a family that was leaving. Luckily Cil was there and brought Maddie back to me.

Maddie will always have a very special place our hearts,

Kipper, Monte, Eli, Tessie, and of course Gordie...
Aug 7, 2012


Savannah Mae

Savannah Mae Morgan: The sweetest, most protective, eager to please companion anyone could hope for! From her curly red eyelashes, the black spot on her tongue, to her stoic stance whilst being bathed or trimmed, she was a golden unlike any other. Her easy-going nature gave comfort to all who had the pleasure of being subjected to her persistent nudges in hope of just ONE pet, just ONE.

Thanks for loving us and being a part of our family for 12 years.

George Eliot said it best, “We long for an affection altogether ignorant of our faults. Heaven has accorded this to us in the uncritical canine attachment.”

July 20, 2012



On Labor Day weekend 2001, I brought home Daisy to be my golden companion. Today we had to say goodbye to Daisy. She has been more than I could have ever hoped for in a dog. Thank you to Golden Beginnings for entrusting me with this precious treasure. She will be dearly missed by all who knew her!

July 8, 2012



It is with a sad heart that we want you all to know that Perry, our Golden Beginnings dog, has moved on to the Rainbow Bridge. Perry was probably 12-13 years old but came to us eight years ago after being fostered by Stacy and Barbara Holly. He was a wonderful, happy boy and is so missed. He was diagnosed with two fast-growing tumors and we knew it was time to let him go. We will always thank the Hollys and Golden Beginnings for bringing him to us in the first place.

S. B.
July 4, 2012



Chuma went to the Rainbow Bridge on February 27th. It’s been four months and I still can’t believe that she’s gone. She had a full, happy life and we had 10 wonderful years together.

When Cil brought her to me to foster, she warned me that Chuma liked to sing sometimes. Boy, was that the understatement of the year! Never a day went by that I didn’t hear her “roo, roo, roo” at least once. She’d bust out in a song at the drop of a hat – sometimes for no other reason than you looked at her sideways. Eventually any other dog around would get drawn in and they’d have their own doggy choir.

Chuma lived for water puddles, riding in the car and running around in the country. That’s her on the right with her Golden pal Vixey, who went ahead of her in 2009.

Goodbye, precious Chuma. There will never be another one like you. Sing sweetly in heaven now.

Denise H.



You've all heard the expression - "Who Rescued Who?" Well, Duncan was the embodiment of that expression.
He first came to me as a foster in June, 2005 and I knew almost immediately that I would be a foster failure with him. In July, 2005 I officially adopted him and that's when I rescued him. Very unexpectedly, in September, 2005, my first golden, Max, died of hemangio sarcoma. That's when Duncan rescued me. I can't imagine what it
would have been like without Duncan waiting for me when Max went to the Bridge. After a few months, I was ready to foster again and Duncan became a wonderful foster brother to many who passed through our home. He was always steady, happy and my constant companion.

Duncan was game for just about anything - expect for swimming! He loved to ride in the car, play with other dogs, or just hang out. He was always happy and with the exception of some mild thunderphobia, was just about perfect! He taught foster dogs how to play nice, how to trust and how great it is to be someone's pet.

Sadly, in February of 2012, at the approximate age of 12, we learned that he had both a lung tumor and osteosarcoma (bone cancer) and he went to the Rainbow Bridge on April 15. He took a piece of my heart and left behind beautiful memories. I was lucky enough to have him in my life for seven years - not nearly long enough - but I wouldn't trade that time for anything.


I love him and miss him every day.

Midge Leonard



Our big beautiful boy, Jackson, peacefully went to the Rainbow Bridge on Monday June 4th. He started showing signs of serious illness only a few days before. A large mass was found on Jackson's liver and he was given a poor prognosis for successful surgery. As he moved on, I held him, stroked him, and whispered my usual greeting to him, "my baby boy, you're the best dog in the whole wide world!"

Jackson really was the greatest dog, at least in our world. He loved to swim and lounge on the steps of the pool. Thus the reason for the summer shave down he's sporting in the picture. We loved our nightly walks together, probably what I will miss the most. It always amazed me how, on more than one occasion, unbeknownst to me, Jackson would scoop up a frog in his mouth. We would get home ten or fifteen minutes later when he'd open his mouth and out would jump the frog across the kitchen floor! He was so gentle.

I could go on and on about how wonderful Jackson was, but all of you Golden lovers already know how great these dogs are. This guy truly had all of the endearing qualities that the breed is known for. Thank you so much, GBGRR, for giving Jackson to us seven years ago. What a blessing he was and we will miss him terribly.

Roy and Gaynel C.



I am so sad to report that Molly, probably the oldest, or at least one of the oldest rescued Golden from our group has passed.

I got Molly in the Spring of 2000 when I moved here from California. She and her mom had been found on Westheimer, lost, but together. Molly was about 9 weeks old at that time. I picked her up from her foster home and it was love ever since. I brought her home to Maddie, my Golden I had brought with me when I moved to Houston, and they immediately became inseparable. You might remember them from the Senior Parade last fall, and I have included pictures of her there.

Molly loved the water, and stayed in the pool year-round. She loved to just sit there! When she was younger, she learned how to get on the float and be a princess in the pool, just floating around. She loved to chase squirrels, cats, birds, but would never harm them. Another thing Molly loved to do was to be vacuumed. It was impossible to clean the house when you turned on the vacuum. She would just amble over and get in front of you, requiring you to vacuum her.

I have had and raised many Goldens, but Molly was the biggest hearted of any of them. She would come over to you, look at you with those big brown eyes, then nuzzle her nose under your hand or arm, begging to be petted. She loved unconditionally.

There is a big hole in our hearts; our entire family was so attached to her. But everyone agrees that she could not have had a better life, gotten a better rescue, nor been loved more fervently by everyone, especially me.

I love you forever, Miss Molly.
Jane K




Many of you have probably seen Annie on the "Available Now" page for quite a while. She went to the Bridge on March 6, 2012 and her foster mom Patter wanted to share her story.

When Annie walked through my front door for the first time my sister, Kathy, visiting from Ohio, and I knew what a special girl she was. Being small dog girls, we were very surprised how big she was. It took such a short time loving that beautiful golden head right at my hand when I put it down by my side. Of course, I am a devoted golden lover now. Kathy and I reveled in watching Annie prance around the pool with her burnished hair that flamed red gold in the sun. What a beautiful sight.

As every foster knows, it is very hard to let your foster go to their forever home, especially the first one, and I was no exception. Annie loved every human, big or small, but definitely had a problem with other animals,
especially dogs. We had a number of altercations on our walks and many families were interested in Annie, but I didn't find her forever family for many months.

Beth, a wonderful woman, and her son, came by one day and in a very short time decided Annie was the right one for them and they were the right match for her. As I said, Annie loved people and when they were ready to leave, Annie trotted right along with them and jumped right in this strangers car without a backward glance. My heart was breaking, but I knew this was my job. Fortunately for me, Beth allowed me to visit every couple of months and I looked so forward to each visit. On my last visit something felt off and the brightness in her eyes was missing. About a week later, Beth called to surrender Annie back to Golden Beginnings and I went over immediately and picked her up brought her back home, knowing that I would have to go through the whole adoption experience again, but I was going to enjoy this wonderful creature as long as possible.

Through the months and years ahead, there were many interested families, but nothing firm. Her aggression toward other dogs continued and that held a lot of families back. It is so odd how Annie had that trait, but with people she was so gentle, loving and quiet. A bark rarely came out of her mouth. I continued to fall more in love with Annie as the months and years passed. She loved having her belly brushed and could go for hours in such
contentment. Her favorite toy was Mr. Aflac. I signed up for Aflac insurance and the salesman brought along an Aflac duck toy. When pressed in the right spot it would squawk AFLAC AFLAC AFLAC. When we played I would tell her to get Mr. Aflac and she went right for that duck and reveled in making it squawk AFLAC AFLAC AFLAC for herself. I so enjoyed playing with her with Mr. Aflac, even though she had many others. She even received a large Christmas box full of toys and treats from Peggy and Carol (who generously sponsored Annie) and their animals from Chatham, MA.

Every morning we had our daily ritual. As soon as I peaked my head over the edge of the bed, that beautiful head would pop up and I would hug her around the neck and good morning kisses were always in order. She would rub herself along the side of the bed until she wanted to go outside. I miss that so. Annie was always the first face I saw in the morning and the last face I saw at night. She was such a comfort.

After 8 1/2 years of battling cancer , my husband, Philip, passed away October 3, 2011. Without Annie, I really don't know how I would have survived. Annie was such a comfort and so loving. Every time I had to go to
the grocery or anywhere, I couldn't wait to get home to see that beautiful being, always happy to see me. Loosing both of them in a 5 to 6 month period nearly killed me.

The last 2 weeks of Annie's life were so very difficult and stressful for her and for Cil and myself. Cil took Annie to her house for a week trying to get her to take her meds and to start eating and drinking. She was very ill
and couldn't pull herself out of it, as hard as Cil and I tried to pull her through. All of the Golden Beginnings volunteers are the most dedicated and wonderful people in the world. Thank you Cil, Mike, Midge and all the rest of you wonderful devoted people. I am so proud to be a small part of this fantastic organization.

Annie went to the Rainbow Bridge on March 6, 2012. She went very peacefully with myself, Cil, Sandy, one of my best friends, and the very special vets Dr. Hensley and Dr. Brice all around her. As I write this, I am still
crying, but Annie and I had tremendous support. Everyone who has been through this experience, knows how terrible it is for all involved. Annie will always live in my heart and I hope I made the last 6 years of her life happy ones. It has been my most profound pleasure and honor to know and love and to have been Annie's foster Mom and so fortunate to have spent 6 wonderful years with this gentle hearted wonderful girl. It
always felt like she was my own.

So in the end, I may have thought I was helping Annie, but in fact, she is the one who helped me and saved my sanity and life. Wherever a beautiful soul has been, there remains a trail of beautiful memories. If love could
have saved you Annie, you would have lived forever.

You will be loved forever,
Your Mom Patter



As foster parents to a golden retriever you go into it with the knowledge that there will be some form of heartache, whether it be through the loss of one that is just too sick or when
one goes on to their forever home. They always take a piece of your heart with them.

I’d like to tell you about a beautiful golden girl, Dakota, which came into our lives in the summer of 2005. I received a call from one of our local clinics that had a little girl about age 3 that had an injured hind leg. When I got there, she waddled up to me with her battered little body and the normal golden smile; I knew she was someone special. As luck would have it, when my husband laid eyes on her, it was love at first sight. They were inseparable from then on. He knew she had found her forever family. We took her to our vet and found that she had a fractured hip and multiple previous fractures that had not been set and allowed to heal on their own causing her a great deal of pain. After surgery on her hip (FHO) she learned to walk again.

A very short time later she became our papergirl. Every morning she would stand by the door and wiggle with excitement until you got the message that it was time to let her do her job. She would trot out to the drive and occasionally greet one of our jogging neighbors then trot back to hand the paper off to one of her brothers at the door. She was ever so happy with her job. The Sunday paper was sometimes a struggle due to its size, but she would work at until it was delivered, every week

Dakota became a certified therapy dog through the East Texas Working Dogs Assoc. As such, she visited our local hospitals, nursing homes and care facilities. She was required to have an ID badge for one of the hospitals with her picture. My husband boasts that she was the expert as her badge said “Dog Therapist” while mine merely said “Dog Handler.”

She loved to walk in parades and visit the kids that were spectators and never tired of their loving. She would sit for hours while I groomed her and would let you know if you stopped too soon. Even though Dakota had lost some of her strength at the loss of her hip, she was a great squirrel hunter and loved to run with her bigger brothers. I don’t think she realized she was half their size. If you were not paying enough attention to her she would sit beside you with her big beautiful brown eyes, imploring you to love on her. Whenever you were sad, you would feel a head bumping your hand, and there she was. Better than any counselor or psychiatrist. She made you, hers.

Dakota was with us for six years and after a short illness, lost her battle. She was gone so soon. It is with tears in our hearts that we must watch her cross the Rainbow Bridge. I pray that she knows how very much she was loved. We will miss you my beautiful golden girl until we see you again.

Your Mom and Dad
p.s. Don’t forget to pick up God’s newspaper.


Jenny (formerly Gigi)

Today I said my final goodbye to my wonderful girl, Jenny. She was a gentle, loving companion and we loved her very much. She will be terribly missed.

(Back in 2004) having just lost 15-1/2-year-old Zeke, our beloved Golden who had been with us since he was a few weeks old, the month before, I was not sure if getting Jenny was the right thing for us or for Jenny.

Well, it is amazing how much we have both helped each other. It feels like Jenny has always been a part of our lives.

Jenny was very reserved and polite the first few weeks and Max, our Bichon Fise who is about the same age (around 6 years old) was a bit hesitant and wondering when the newcomer would leave. A few weeks later, things changed dramatically, Max came to accept Jenny, and Jenny came into her own.

Jenny (we sometimes called her Miss Piggy) had taken over most of the toys and, yes, she tended to snack on Max's meals when no one was looking, but they were also good companions. They even played together a bit (despite the size difference) and Jenny became perhaps a little too protective of little Max around larger dogs.

She was as loving as can be and we adored her as much as she loved us.

Thank you for having introduced her into my life.

Samantha F.


Burk & Clyde

Burke crossed over the Rainbow Bridge on 3/1/12. After a sudden illness it was discovered that he had inoperable cancer of the lung and spleen which was bleeding into his abdomen.
We got Burke July 19 of 08 and were blessed with his love for only 3 1/2 years. We’ll miss his “singing” to ambulance sirens and the theme song to NCIS and that face popping up in the window when he heard my van pull up in the drive. He can now play with Clyde our previous Golden of 15 years. I know there both watching over and waiting for us. They’re always in our hearts.

Craig & Mary H.




Our sweet girl Lacey crossed the Rainbow Bridge on February 3, 2012. When she joined our family in 2004 at approximately age 7, who knew that we would fall so madly in love with her sweet, laid back personality? After a rough start as a puppy mill Mom, we were dedicated to providing a place for her to rest after her hard work.

Even with a diagnosis of Cushing's Syndrome which left her with weakened legs, a tendency to pant with minimal exertion, the ability to drink prodigious amounts of water, and a belly that looked as though her next litter was imminent, she was with us for nearly 8 years. She was an extremely good "Velcro" dog.

Because of being kenneled for much her life before we knew her, Lacey found the concept of "toys" somewhat confusing and could never seem to quite get the point. She did invent her own game of stealing apples from my open suitcase, nuzzling and rolling on them for a period of time and then eating the evidence. It was a hoot!

We are very grateful for GBGRR and its part in uniting this sweet lady and our family.

Jo Ann H.




I'm so sad to say that my dear golden girl Heather passed Jan. 9, 2012. We had three and a half years together. I think it's safe to say that Heather was between 11 and 12 ish years old. She was such a beautiful and calm and kind girl. She loved her trips to the Starbuck's drive thru until the end. She was a very gracious greeter of all my clients into my home and at the same time could sound like a fierce protector. And that's one of the things I so loved about that girl, she was kind, but also strong!

I'll never forget the first weekend I had her, walking her around the neighborhood and feeling this calm coming up through that leash. I realized then that our feelings and theirs travels up and down that leash! I'll never forget her....my Heathercita.

Thank you a million times Golden Beginnings for providing me these opportunities to live with these gracious and powerful beings!

Deborah S.




We adopted Elsa over 8 years ago and she was my constant companion. She had been fostered for a while as she recovered from having 15 PUPPIES, just days after Golden Beginnings picked her up. Thirteen of the puppies survived and I’m sure there were many happy recipients of these adorable pups.

The vet thought at the time we got her that she was probably 5-6 years old and it appeared she might have been a ‘puppy mill’ dog. It was obvious she hadn’t been cared for and desperately needed someone to love her. How blessed we were to have this sweet, adorable girl.

She passed away in July 2011 in my arms in the middle of the night, most likely from a stroke or heart failure. She had awakened me and then began to stumble around and finally collapsed with labored breathing. She was in no pain and she actually ‘smiled’ at me as she took her last few breaths and buried her head up against my chest as I lay on the floor with her. From the time she woke me to when she passed was probably only 5 or 10 minutes. How we’ve grieved at her passing away, but we know that we LOVED her and gave her the best life she could have had. The countless hours she spent just cuddling on the couch with me, riding in the car for her treat of French fries at What-A-Burger, watching Animal Planet together. They were some of the sweetest hours of my life.

Stephanie S.



It saddens me to write about this wonderful lady. And a lady she was. She was pure love. There was never a cross sound from Haley, she silently endured my grandbabies and all their antics, numerous trips to the vet during her last months of life where she was poked and stuck with needles, and attempts by my other Golden, Emmasue, who wanted to play 24/7. She was definitely a velcro dog, always by my side. In the morning she would lay her head on my bed and I would wake up because of her presence. For eight years I knew total acceptance and love from this exceptional dog. I miss her terribly.

Pat Q