Neuse River Golden Retiever Rescue
rescue. rehab. adopt.
Neuse River Golden Retiever Rescue

Rainbow Bridge - 2018

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.


Alex was a NRGRR rescue that truly had a heart of gold. He came to us an owner surrender due to his owner's medical situation and was a very big boy. Fortunately his big appetite included loving green beans and that weight melted right off. He was absolutely a stick dog, no tennis balls for Al,and the bigger the stick or branch the better. He would go into our woods and come out with just the right one! Alex trained new rescues that came into our home. He would grab the leash and walk the new dogs and guide the new rescue into the house. He did this on his own. No need to teach him those tricks; it just came naturally to him.

Alex was a founding member of the Retrieving Hearts Therapy Dog group which allowed him to brighten lives that needed extra sunshine. He was truly meant for this work. He would often perform his "retrieve the newspaper" trick to entertain the kids and let the kids throw the newspaper. Alex also served as an Ambassador at one of the NRGRR Galas where his job was to pose for pictures with the sponsors. He got right in close like he was their dog!

Alex was the type of dog that everyone should have a chance to have in their life at least once. He came to us ready to love and be loved.

Thank you to NRGRR, Retrieving Hearts, Grace Park Animal Hospital and Quartet for all you did to make Alex’s life amazing and supporting us through his journey.

It’s with a heavy heart that we tell you Shadow (Shiloh) has passed over the Rainbow Bridge. Shadow joined our family January 3, 2013. She had just been surrendered to a Pender County shelter when we met her- NRGRR only had her a few days. She was immediately the perfect fit for our family who had just lost our 16 year old lab Madison.

Shadow had her quirks, but quickly fell into the “our way of life”! She loved being under our feet supervising everything and not missing anything, getting a new toy, and especially going for rides in the car. Sometimes she didn't even get out of the car!

We were so lucky Shadow chose us for her forever family, she will ALWAYS have a special place in our family and our hearts. We will miss our sweet girl. Thank you for letting us love her.

Samuel Adams (Sammy) came to us in 2009 after losing our beloved Lady (Cassie), a 1999 NRGRR alum. Sammy didn’t play with tennis balls or toys – all he wanted to do was chase birds from the dock and sit around with us – regardless of where we were and what we did. He loved the beach but only because he wanted to smell all around the dunes – he didn’t care for water. What a Golden! He was a proud, beautiful soul and we were blessed to have had him for over 9 years. He’s no longer in pain, and I’m sure he’s chasing all the birds away from the Rainbow Bridge as we speak. Rest in peace now Sammy, and thank you NRGRR for having blessed us with him. 

With a heavy heart, we wanted to inform you that Ivy (NRGRR alum Gretchen) passed away on July 31 at the age of 13 from cancer (Hemangiosarcoma). She lived a long and happy life, and we still miss her terribly. We adopted her in September of 2011. We thank you for all the services (and dog swims!) that you offer.

Grizzly Bear (NRGRR alum Patriot) was my second foster in 2008. We chose each other, and then we went on to foster a handful more together. Grizzly crossed the Rainbow Bridge on 28 October 2018 after a short battle with cancer. He was my best bud for almost 11 years, he would have enjoyed his 12th birthday party in February 2019. Grizzly loved his long walks, his niece and nephew, laying in the sun, rolling around in the grass, staring and smiling at everyone that walked past him, adventures with his mama, american cheese, his stuffed toys (especially his donkey) that he would carry around and lay his napping head on. Grizzly knew every restaurant/store/gym within a mile radius that put water bowls outside and kept treats at the front desk, and wouldn't let you forget to visit them on his daily walks. He was loved by so many. Grizzly had the most joyful, gentle spirit, and I will miss that sweet boy for forever.


Jagger began displaying symptoms associated with brain tumors and heart disease in July.  Over a five week period he weakened to the point he was no longer able to stand up on his own and the decision was made to have him euthanized in mid-August at the age of ten.
NRGRR paired Jagger with me when he was three years old, and I’m incredibly thankful for the seven years Jagger was part of my family.  He was very much loved by his whole extended family and participated in many family get-togethers and vacations.

Jagger enjoyed trips to the lake and beach, hikes at White Deer Park and Lake Benson, his evening neighborhood walks, retrieving his Frisbee, playing keep away with his Frisbee or a branch pruned from the plum tree, sitting in his spot in the backyard that looked out into the woods and watching me cook.  He was incredibly gentle with small children, and he always really tried hard to be a pleasing obedient dog.  The photo was taken on Jagger’s first day in the backyard of our home.

I want to let you know that our beautiful 13 year old golden died three weeks ago. She came to us at nine years of age as a nervous, anxious dog that urinated on the carpet when you looked at her. She was loved so much by everyone and evolved into the most beautiful loving dog. She intuitively gave comfort to those when they needed it most. Until two days before she died she was running around, playing and being her silly self. She not only meant a lot to our family, but to two other families who loved her as well. She even had a personal oil painting done of her ! My husband and I feel so lucky that your organization helped her choose us. Thank you.

Beautiful Laci, "rescued" her adopter seven years ago, as senior dog of eight years old. Laci was the best four legged girl a mommy could have ever hoped for and was loved by many. Her adopter appreciates NRGRR for giving her seven years has Laci's companion.  Laci was the December calendar girl in 2012.

Once upon a time there was a magical queen named Maggie who had lost her kingdom but wound up in the land of Golden Retrievers. She had to beat her foe, cancer, but once she did she needed another kingdom to she looked around and found Opie and me. Maggie convinced Opie he really did want to be her minion, and Tucker too. Along the way she battled her foe a few more times and cemented my place in her life as her biggest minion. Sadly, cancer visited Mags again and this was a battle she did not win. Maggie, who was probably Catherine the Great in another life, was my joy, and I stayed her minion until the very end. 
 --written by Maggie's minion and slightly edited by the page's admin.

Tucker - Ernie17
Tucker (NRGRR alum Ernie17) came to Neuse River after an urgent plea from a local shelter about a dog hit by a car, and we worked hard to make him well.  He blossomed in our program, and was adopted by his very smitten foster. Sadly his time with us was short due to medical issues, but he blazed a path of charm and happiness while he was with us.

Mati crossed to Rainbow Bridge recently. Her family hoped that they could spend a day enfolding her with love.  It was not meant to be.  But it became clear that she was in respiratory distress and suffering.  Their hearts are broken, but they are trying to be grateful for eight wonderful years with this beautiful girl.  She brought them so much joy.

Recently Daisy (2004 alum Maria) went to the rainbow bridge after a hard fight. She was a beloved family member for almost 14 years.  She had many adventures in her life and loved the beach, camping and hiking almost as much as a peanut butter Kong and sleeping on the bed.  She was a constant companion and loved to be close to her family.  After several years with our family, she allowed us to adopt two brothers for her, and she loved to play with them and have adventures in the backyard.  Daisy kept us safe from squirrels and birds, always looking so satisfied after chasing them out of the fence.  Her family is thankful for NRGRR bringing Daisy into their lives.

audi murphy

Murphy (NRGRR alum Audi Murphy) has crossed the Rainbow Bridge after a short battle with cancer. His family was so glad to be given the opportunity to be Murphy's forever family. They only had him for a short two years, but that time was the best. Murphy came from a loving home, but due to health problems his family was unable to keep him. It was clear that first family truly loved Murphy as he was already a wonderful dog when going into his adoptive home.

Murphy had the best personalty. It seemed like he was a stubborn teenager in a seniors body, but was so much fun! He loved walks, pizza,catching the ball, swimming in his kiddie pool and taking in the NRGRR swim meets. He was loved by immediate and extended families.


I have edited this page since 2012 so I am going to use my prerogative to write my dog's story in the first person.

I fostered/adopted Jody in the summer of 2013. From the very beginning she made it her job to take the leash in her mouth and lead me back when we started the return portion of a walk or hike. I can't count the number of smiles we got from from people seeing that and asking, "who is walking who?".

Jody was all that I could ask for in a dog. She climbed mountains, swam, and hiked all over with us from NC to Maine, the upper mid-west, Washington and British Columbia. She was up for every car ride! She was a friend to all and helped kids to read by being a ready listener.

Jody passed away recently after complications of old age ruined her quality of life.


Jules (Juliette) was the second foster dog for an NRGRR volunteer. When the volunteer went to pick her up from the vet’s office, she came bounding down the hallway full of happiness and gratitude. She was four years old and had been surrendered by her previous owner. Jules helped the volunteer grieve the loss of her first dog, and soon Jules filled the void. She was always happy, loved eating, snuggles, walks, car rides, laying in her fluffy spots in the yard, and tending to baby chickens in a sister’s coop. Jules even helped foster kittens for the SPCA. She was a gentle and loving soul. She was perfect and will be missed forever.

Jules was the logo dog on the previous version of the NRGRR website.

Our sweet fourteen year-old Baker (NRGRR alum Hobie) recently passed gently over the rainbow bridge. He was adopted in 2006 and enjoyed eleven fun years. Baker loved to hike, chase a ball and go in the car wherever we went as a family. He was patient as a golden can be, yet kept his puppy personality through all 14 years. He was an absolute joy to family and they are glad to have been given the gift of time with such a sweet furry friend! He was known at the end of his days at his favorite dog park as Mayor Baker, and he will remain in everyone's hearts forever!

Neuse River Golden Retiever Rescue
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P.O. Box 37156 Raleigh • NC 27627 • Phone: 919-676-7144