Neuse River Golden Retiever Rescue
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Neuse River Golden Retiever Rescue

Rainbow Bridge Memorials - 2012

Our Rainbow Bridge pages have many tributes to the incredible animals we have loved and lost.

The loving tributes on these pages are stories of loyalty and compassion and of the rescued goldens who conquered their past lives, and came out the other side. Those dogs who have a heart icon are NRGRR dogs who crossed the Rainbow Bridge while they were still in our program.

We would be honored to post your tribute and photo of your NRGRR alumni here. Email your picture and story to:

Please consider a donation in memory of your loved one or one of our NRGRR dogs who never had the chance to find their forever homes. We will add the name of the person or pet to our memorials web page.  If you would prefer that your donation not listed, please choose the appropriate button during the check-out process in our store. NRGRR will also send a gift card to the family or a friend of the individual/pet you have honored with your donation.


As always, your gift will be used to directly support our rescue efforts.  Thank you.

Harper has crossed the Rainbow Bridge.  From his adoptive family:  "On March 6, 2013 God called one of his angels home.  Jesse (club name Harper) peacefully passed away surrounded by his family.  Jesse was a sweet dog who loved to be with people.  He had a tradition of giving people his paw and used his nose to indicate that he wanted to spend time with you.  He loved to play with his ball named "squeaky" and enjoyed taking naps throughout the day. Jesse taught those around him the importance of patience and kindness.  Jesse truly was a gift from God and to his adoptive family will never forget the joy and peace he brought to their house.

Sweet Emma was adopted from us in 206 and was very much loved by her family.  She lost her battle with cancer late in 2012 and will never be forgotten by her forever family. 

Sad news from NRGRR's "Jacques" adoptive family:

Jack came to us from NRGRR on 2/28/2010, just a few months after his fourth birthday.  He left us on 2/23/2013.  In the short time between those dates he filled with love the hearts of more than just our family.   His papers named him “Jacques," and although the dignity implied by the French version of his name was deserved, we thought “Jack” more becoming of his personality, and so thus he became. 

He was a happy boy who was generally very calm, yet loved to run, loved his people, and loved to lie in the sun.  He suffered with quiet dignity the burden of sharing our home with an egocentric cat.  Jack often made eye contact with us, as if to ask “What would you like me to do for you?”  And he would do whatever was in his power to please.  He loved his toys, especially stuffed animal toys, which he would eviscerate quickly, within hours if not minutes, then carry about for months.  We took great pleasure watching him nose through the big basket of his toys in our bonus room, wondering what process led him to decide which one he’d like to carry around or play with. 

Curiously for a golden, Jack was afraid of water, and did not care particularly to retrieve. In a neighborhood filled with dogs of all shapes, sizes and breeds, Jack was known to everybody.  People who were strangers to us would roll down their car windows as they passed us walking, to shout out “Hey Jack!”  As a family, we have definitely lost any cachet we might have had, now that Jack is not at our sides.   It is hard to imagine a more gentle and loving spirit than Jack’s.  We miss him terribly

Bucky crossed the Rainbow Bridge in late February, 2012.  One of our wonderful volunteers found him drowning in a neighbor's pool in September 2012, and when we brought him into the program, she fostered him and what a great job she did as he was in sad shape!

Bucky was Pet of the Day on WRAL where his adopters saw him and fell in love.  And it was a great love but, far too short.  Bucky was adopted at the end of November.  He was running and playing one day and gravely ill the next.  We are so sorry to hear about his passing but we know he was well loved and he had the happy ending he deserved.

Early in December 2013 we got a call that a very sick golden was found by a Good Samaritan and taken to an emergency specialty hospital.  David was a frail guy who was very ill.

We took David in.  We put him on a long list of medication and, of course, he had heart worm disease.  His ears were so badly infected that it caused the nerves in his face to be paralyzed, so he had a hard time eating and drinking.  Because he was only 59 pounds, and had little to no muscle mass, getting food and medications in him was a challenge.

We had two very loving foster homes who stepped up and cared for David. His fosters hand fed him, played with him and given him the family that he deserved. As sad as it is, it was time....he had a mass on his abdomen and jaw and he had stopped eating and over the last few weeks had really begun to slow down.  

We will miss David greatly and know that he knows he was loved before he passed.

Rowan crossed the Rainbow Bridge in December of 2012 and he was a very special boy who captured the hearts of many of the volunteers in the rescue.  He had a hard time when he came into our program but with a lot of love and attention he started to blossom.  Then, his miracle happened, and he was adopted into a very loving and understanding family in May 2010.  They accepted him for who he was and they renamed him Quinn.  He had some issues at first, but after a couple of weeks he realized he was home and was just a sweetie from then on.  He always wanted to be where his mom was and loved being brushed and going for walks.  He was a gentle soul and will be greatly missed by everyone.

This is Porsche. She was adopted from NRGRR in 2004.  She loved car rides, going on walks, and laying in the front yard for hours.  She greeted her people when they came home, came downstairs, or entered the same room as her. She grinned when she was happy and she loved ear scratches.

She had cancer and crossed the Rainbow Bridge late in 2012.  She was very much loved and is missed by her adoptive family.

DeDe was forced to move several times in her life but finally found her her forever home with her adoptive dad.  She had a very loving home with her fur-siblings and her dad and will be greatly missed by him and those who knew her while she was in our program.

Otis crossed the Rainbow Bridge to join his many friends who have gone before.  Otis came to us in April of 2011 as a stray from a shelter and became a permanent foster in our program.  It seemed improbable to us that such a wonderful creature could have been out wandering stray.  Otis had some mobility issues and, in the end, his heart grew too weary to support his body and his soul.  He left this world knowing that he was much loved by his permanent foster mom and he will not be forgotten by any of us.

Venus was cast aside by her owner early in 2012 and came to us overweight -- but sweet and very happy.  Venus was soon adopted to a very loving family who gave her the best nine months of her life.  She was loved and cherished when she crossed the Rainbow Bridge in December of 2012.

We received the sad news that Zinfandel quietly crossed the Rainbow Bridge after a valiant battle against osteosarcoma.  Her adoptive family will always miss Zinny, who became a real dog in their home.  Zinfandel was one of the "Wine Dogs" we brought in from an overwhelmed breeder a number of years ago, and they were all predictably traumatized, unsocialized, fearful, and some were sick as well.  Zinfandel had all of those problems plus others.  Her adopters did a great job with her and it was a great joy to see Zinny at some of our events.  Such a beautiful dog and we are so sorry for her loss.

Fritz has crossed the Rainbow Bridge.  Fritz came into our program as a senior boy and he spent three wonderful years as a cherished family member by his adoptive family.

Beautiful Graham has crossed the Rainbow Bridge.  Graham lost a hind leg in an accident as a puppy and came to us from a shelter where his owner had turned him in.  He found his forever home with his foster and blossomed into a well mannered, polite boy.  He was very loved by his adoptive mom and will be greatly missed by us.

Seamus was adopted in March of 2012 and crossed the Rainbow Bridge in November, leaving behind many happy memories.

He was a multi-dimensional fellow who enjoyed going to the office (best co-worker ever), getting all muddy in a ditch and riding in the truck, but who could also appreciate a soft breeze, bird songs and organic vegetables (especially when he could catch them in the air).

His happy presence brightened our lives immensely.  Seamus was, to us, the perfect dog, and he will be greatly missed.

Juka crossed the Rainbow Bridge on November 4th, 2012.  This is a photo of him in April of this year. Juka was brought into the rescue in July, 2005.  I fell in love with this gentle giant; another "First Time Failed Foster."  Juka was a regular at the annual "Golden on the Green" golf tournament working both the putting contest and the 9th hole.  Juka was a scratch golfer!  He brought me much joy and unconditional love.  Those of you who knew him know what a special dog he was.

We adopted Nick from NRGRR in February of 2008. He blended into our family immediately, as if he had been with us since his birth.  He loved car rides and cooking in the kitchen with Pete.  Nick loved his toys and would greet us at the door carrying one every time we returned home to meet him.  He bravely fought his mast cell cancer for just over one year, tolerating trips to NCSU vet school nearly every other week during that time. (It is somewhat ironic that he died on Halloween, as he loved candy corns!)  Never once did he complain, in fact he wagged his tail happily until the very end.  I smile fondly as I think of his tail.  He would wag his tail so forcefully that we often called him "Nail Pounder."  His passing fills us with great sadness, but we are forever grateful to NRGRR that our paths crossed and we had him in our lives for these past years.  He will always have a place in our hearts and we will treasure our wonderful memories of him.

Memphis was left by his owner at a shelter a year ago March, but when we learned there was a gallant golden boy sitting in the shelter, we quickly picked him up.  Memphis' age at that time was pegged at between 13 and 14, and he had a laundry list of health issues, but Memphis probably enjoyed the best year and a half of his life with his loving fosters.  Memphis knew to the moment of his death that he was very loved and safe, a respected member of a great foster family.

Drum, one of our favorite rescue boys, and a NRGRR alum, has crossed the Rainbow Bridge.  He was adopted by the "M" family and was very much loved by them.  He had a large tumor inside his skull behind his eyes, and removing the tumor would have meant removing one eye as well.  Given his advanced age, it was decided not to put him through this extreme surgery.  Drum was one of our happy ending stories.  He was our first dog to have the "slow kill" method heart worm treatment, and despite having a very heavy load of worms, he tested clear about a year later.  He would not have enjoyed the happy life he had except for his adoptive parent's loving commitment to getting him well. We know his last years of life were good ones and we will all miss the beautiful Drum.

Elvis Crossed the Bridge in his yard at the very young age of four years old.  He was born with a bad heart and, due to the love and good care he received from his mom, he lived much longer than expected.  From his mom --  "I suspect he never realized what hit him. I imagine his soul never missed a heart beat, kept running, and is still running.  He was the energizer bunny that never quit - lasting seven times longer than anyone could have imagined.  Elvis lived a happy existence and while his heart was weak, his spirit was strong and will be with me, always."

 Durango was a great dog who wasn't able to know the love of living in his forever home.  He loved doing all the things that dogs do and he will not be forgotten by anyone who knew him.   

Trigg (call name Jake) came from a backyard at the great age of 11.  He was deaf but he adapted to his new life well.  Jake had the most beautiful, soulful eyes and had a gentle spirit.  Jake was adored by his adoptive parents who provided him the love and attention he deserved in his senior years.

Starburst was one of our "Candy Dogs" who were rescued several years ago.  She was rescued with several other relatives who were living in difficult conditions.  She found her prefect forever home with her adopter and was much loved and cherished.  

Leroy recently crossed the Rainbow Bridge suddenly, after just being adopted by his very loving mom in the spring of 2012.  He is greatly missed by his mom.  It is wonderful that, despite knowing him for only a few months, he knew he was loved.

Bilbo was adopted from us into a very loving family where he spent his last years.  He was a favorite of ours while he was in our program.  We  brought Bilbo into our program from a shelter
where he had been left by his owners.  Bilbo had a variety of medical
issues we took care of and he lived in several foster homes before he was adopted.  We will miss the happy guy as will his adoptive family.



Gourmutt lived three fantastic years with his adoptive family -- the McE. family.  He joined the family and his golden-mix brother, JJ, who also crossed the bridge shortly after Gourmutt. They will be greatly missed.



We are so sad to hear that NRGRR alum Wyatt (call name Baxter) has crossed the Rainbow Bridge. We remember Wyatt when his owner surrendered him to us …a matted mess and it was not until he was shaved down that we realized his body was covered in mast cell tumors. After we had them removed the poor boy looked like Frankenstein with so many sutures. 

His wonderful adopters understood the odds when they made him one of their family. They loved him and involved him in all of the kids' games. We are sorry for the loss of Wyatt but celebrate the two wonderful years he had with a wonderful adoptive family. Wyatt left this life knowing he was loved and that is the best we can do for these wonderful creatures. 

We miss you Baxter and hope you are at peace.


Rain Under Her Tree

Rain, our wonderful NRGRR special needs girl has crossed the bridge -- under her magnolia tree with her pine cone stash by her side and some rotisserie chicken in her stomach. 

I can remember her so clearly when she came in last Thanksgiving. She was a trembling, stinking mess -- no fur, gashes all over and a rat tail. We were shocked at how much she had been neglected. 

After "obtaining" a normal thyroid level for her, giving her multiple baths and giving her some pain support she really rallied after about a month. She was able to walk again, she trotted, she rolled in the grass, she ate pine cones, wagged her tail and smiled all the time...and she was mischievous. She became a dog again. Rain has moved on but she will not be forgotten.



Barley came to us from a shelter bone thin and with raggedy hair. We weren’t entirely sure he was a purebred golden, but there was no mistake he was in need. When we brought him in almost a year ago, we were unaware of the challenges we would face with the severity of his heartworm disease. Barley died from this horrible, preventable disease but at the end of his life he knew he was loved.

From his foster family: Our thank you to NRGRR for giving us the privilege of loving Barley for the past nine months. Barley was not a golden, but thanks to the great people on our operations committee he was given a chance. He was one of the most special dogs that I have ever known. He loved everyone and felt it his duty to greet everyone he met. His life was cut short by eight to 10 years due to neglect of his original owners. We thank you for all your kind words and thoughts. He has left us and his golden sisters with a very empty heart and home.



Gumbo was picked up by animal control, wandering in his misery, most likely dumped by an owner who either didn't know or didn't care that the dog was terminally ill. As soon as he was transported to Raleigh, our vets began lifesaving efforts, but Gumbo did not respond. 

This morning, one of our volunteers transported him from an after hours clinic over to Care First; he was carried in on a stretcher since he was too weak to walk. Throughout this ordeal, our medical coordinator, who was out of town, worked with the vets by phone. 

Our great thanks and sympathy to both of these outstanding women who always go the last mile for a golden. In this case, it was too late for Gumbo and the merciful thing was to let him Cross the Bridge. We tried, but in this case, we couldn't save him.
Neuse River Golden Retiever Rescue
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P.O. Box 37156 Raleigh • NC 27627 • Phone: 919-676-7144