Neuse River Golden Retiever Rescue
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Neuse River Golden Retiever Rescue

Rainbow Bridge - 2013

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.

In August of 2012, a wonderful, red, four-year-old golden guy came to us by way of a sheriff's department.  We found Hercules (NRGRR name Lennox) to be full of life and a big guy.  Too big in fact for the ACL surgery he needed from an old injury.  His foster got him through surgery and that's a good thing because he was a challenge because "let's play" was his motto. On Thanksgiving 2012, Hercules went to a new foster home where he was soon adopted by his foster.  He went everywhere with his adopter and he helped foster other dogs during the year he was in his home.   He loved running on the beach and it was there that he recently tore his other ACL in November. The leg didn't heal like the last time and he had a second surgery on Dec. 27th.  His bloodwork diagnosed hystiocytic carcinoma.  That was Thursday and on Saturday, he died. He was very much loved and will never be forgotten.

Desi was surrendered to us by his owner and as soon as he was examined, we found that that one of his eyes dead and the decision was made that the eye should be removed. After his surgery, Desi was adopted by his loving forever family.  Desi lived in his loving home with another NRGRR alum, Beauty, and he became a loving brother to several foster dogs.  Desi was the epitome  of a golden retriever and he is dearly missed by his forever family and the NRGRR family.

Maggie was much loved and recently crossed the Rainbow Bridge.  Her family shared their thoughts with us.  "Christmas Day...2013 would have been your 14th birthday.. Maggie.  We were so lucky to have 13 amazing years with you.  You gave our family so much joy.  I look back on all our family vacations and you were always were a well traveled dog!  We miss you everyday....and love you always..Maggie."  Rich,Karen and Paige.

The great and ever-popular-at-NRGRR-events, Nellssson Barnes, has crossed the Rainbow Bridge.  Nellsson was so easy going and would don whatever hat or shirt or costume his adopter had in store for him.  He won more than one Spooky Slash – first as “Hairy Potter “ and as Captain Jack Sparrow.  And he always looked fine in the Christmas or St. Patty’s parades!  There was also the matter of his life vest at all the swims – for as much as Nellsson loved the water – he could not swim too well.  He did a frantic dog paddle that churned the water.

Nellsson lived life large!  He will be missed by all who loved him.  We know there will never be another Nellsson but we do know that another golden will find our hearts and bring his adopters the unconditional love and joy that only a golden can! 

We are so saddened to hear that  NRGRR 2006 alum, Adam, known by his adoptive dad as Leo, has crossed the Rainbow Bridge.  We know that Leo was loved more than words can describe and that he will be greatly missed by his dad.  His adoptive dad wrote: "When I got up Sept 30th to let the guys out I found Leo had passed.  At first it looked like he was asleep.  He had been slowing down this year and had a physical exam in mid August. where. everything was great.  Leo would have been 14 years old Feb 23, 2014.  Leo was only the second male dog that I have had in my adult life and he was so great that I have had two since Leo. The good thing is that for the last few months I had been talking to Leo letting him know what a great boy he was."

It is with tremendous sadness that we learned that Big Ben/Finn Duke has crossed the Rainbow Bridge.  Finn was dearly loved by his adoptive family who also fostered him when he first came into our program.  His adopter writes..." Finn was our first foster with NRGRR, and like most first fosters, we fell in love with the happiness boy and quickly adopted him.  He was a welcoming ambassador for so many other foster dogs, loved nothing more than tennis balls and good times. For sure he was the smartest dog we've ever had and taught himself a range of cool tricks that made us laugh.   We will never stop missing him."

It is with a heavy heart that we are writing to you to let you know that Dixie, NRGRR club name Gaston, has crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Dixie crossed the Rainbow bridge yesterday at home.  Dixie was such a sweet, caring, loving and happy girl.  She always wanted to be around her humans at all times.  She thought every time the doorbell rang it was someone else coming to give her all the attention.

We adopted Dixie in 2008 after falling in love with her in our foster care. She was the perfect addition to our family. The house is quiet this morning.  Things are much different, but we know Dixie is running free, happy, safe and with no pain. All our love to our sweet girl Dixie.  She will be greatly missed.  Thank you so very much for allowing us the opportunity to love Dixie.

In August 2012, Malcolm came to us as an owner surrender. He didn't appear to be in good health at intake so we did some xrays and bloodwork and it looked like Malcolm would have a very short time with us --probably weeks at most.  We asked the "C" family to hospice foster him and he became a permanent foster.  Today, almost 15 months later, Malcolm crossed the Rainbow Bridge to meet his family's dog, Kiki.

Malcom had a happy life with us as a permanent foster.  He loved his foster brother and the dog park.  Most of all, he loved his foster parents.  His longevity despite his illness surely proves the power of love.

We are very sad to hear that Chloe, who was adopted by her foster in 2004, has crossed the Rainbow Bridge.  Chloe was her mom's seventh foster and, as applications came in and were never "just right," everyone realized that Chloe and her mom had chosen each other.  She had a great, long life with her family and is greatly missed by all.

NRGRR Waxley (now known as "Toby") passed away due to gastric dilation volvulus (bloat). His adoptive parents rushed him to the vet and were told that there was nothing they could do. Understandably, his family is heartbroken. Toby was only ~ eight years of age.  Toby was one of the most loving pups ever.  His family provided him with the most loving home and he will be greatly missed.

We wanted to write you and thank you for giving us the life we were blessed to share with Humphrey, and to let you know that he passed away at home peacefully Tuesday, June 11th, at about 7:30 a.m. 

Humphrey always had this expression of gratitude and when he looked at you, it was like his heart was smiling at you.  We thought we'd lose him several times before over the years, and a few weeks ago we thought it was close, but Humph rallied like he always did and lasted several more weeks.   He loved having his hair brushed, and it was so peaceful, like a meditation, to share that with him.  I remember the last night I brushed him.  As I brushed him, I felt it might be the last time.  I remember the look on his face that night, and thinking at that moment when his eyes were looking strait at me that he was thanking me for loving him and recognizing I felt the same way.  That's just how Humphrey made you feel.

Our sweet boy Luke (NRGRR Duncan) went to the Rainbow Bridge today. Thank you for introducing him to our family 15 years ago.  He had the biggest heart, warmest soul and sweetest love.  We will miss him so much. Thank you Neuse River Golden Rescue!  Love you buddy.

I'm very sad to write that our beloved golden, Kylie (NRGRR Arden) passed away on July 13th.  She was diagnosed with osteosarcoma on January 14th of this year.  She fought vigilantly through a biopsy, an amputation, and several cancer meds but eventually the disease took her from us.  To write that she is missed is an understatement.  Although we only had her for a year we feel a huge hole in our lives now.

Our golden retriever Franklin has left us to entertain all the doggies and their soul mates across the Golden Bridge.  When we get there, all we will hear is “Oh, you’re with Franklin."  Because that is all we’ve heard for the 12+ years we were together down here.  Everyone remembered Franklin, regardless of how long it had been since they saw him last.  When we first met Franklin, he promptly came over, sat on my feet, twisted around to look up at me, and said “I’m going home with you!!”  We couldn’t say no, and it was a wonderful decision.

A few memories…..He was always standing, ready to greet us at the front door, when we returned home……..  Somehow he knew when we were preparing to go out whether he was going to be included in the trip.  When he figured out that he was going to be staying at home, he just sat himself down royally, and watched us leave……...  When he wanted a few early morning pats before we were up, he would come over and whack the mattress with his tail, until he got his way.

Yes, we spoiled him, but we think he spoiled us so much more with his love for us.

Cooper has crossed the Rainbow Bridge.  Her parents wrote: "Cooper’s crossing over the Rainbow Bridge was sudden and not expected.  Cooper was a very special girl who will be tremendously missed by her family.  With her eager to please attitude, patented “Cooper kisses," unending delight of all things that squeaked and anxiousness to start each day with joy, Cooper filled our home with happiness and love.  She has left a tremendous void in our home but many wonderful memories that will soon bring everlasting smiles once the tears are gone.  We love you Cooper!  Ten years was not enough for your sweet spirit and we can’t wait to see and hug you again." 

Sweet Maggie has crossed the Rainbow Bridge.  Here is her story from her loving parents.  "A wonderful volunteer brought in a owner surrender one day so we agreed to foster Maggie.  Maggie reminded us of our Doodle-bug who had passed a few months prior.  We quickly decided to adopt her in 2009.

Maggie was the perfect dog, in the too-few-four years that we were fortunate to have her with us. Never once did she ever have to be reprimanded for anything.  She really was the perfect dog (if you don’t count the shedding from her thick curly coat).  She always welcomed new foster dogs and bonded very quickly with them.  We want to think of her now as playing in the meadow across the bridge with Barley, a permanent foster we had that she was very bonded with and enjoyed many hours of fun with him.  Ten years on this earth were not enough.  We miss you dearly, sweet Maggie.  Play nice with all the NRGRR alumni that are with you."

Toby, passed away in July of 2013.  Toby was seven years old when we adopted him from NRGRR.  We had six wonderful years together and miss him tremendously.  Toby was a gentle and loving companion who brought us great joy and happiness and filled our lives with cherished memories.  He was a Velcro dog and always wanted to be with one of us even if it was just to sleep.  He loved chasing tennis balls.  He clearly understood the concept of running after them but never really learned the idea of bringing them back.  It didn’t really matter since he had fun and we had a large supply of tennis balls.  He loved biscuits, broccoli, his walks, rides in the car, and patrolling his yard to scare away the deer and squirrels. He may not be the only golden that can tell time but he certainly knew when it was 9 PM and it was time for his evening treat. He would be staring you in the eyes as soon as the clocks started to chime.

Toby never met a stranger. He was always ready to greet anyone especially if it meant getting rubbed.  He was well known in the neighborhood and was very gentle with children.  Little children would remark about how soft he was, particularly his ears.  We would like to thank NRGRR for letting Toby come into lives.  We know that it is often said that dogs choose their owners. We are so lucky that Toby chose us.  He watched over us while he was with us and we believe that he still does now.

Walsh, (renamed Toby by his loving family) was adopted in 2008 by the "H" family.  Sadly, he crossed the Rainbow Bridge late in June of 2013. We heard from his adoptive family that "Toby was indeed a wonderful family pet through and through.  So stalwart and eager to be with us always."  He will be greatly missed.

Sweet Juno passed away suddenly on June 2, 2013 just days after her second birthday.  She was born Denise, one of Rhonda's puppies, on May 25, 2011.  She loved going for walks and chasing tennis balls.  She liked to talk like Chewbaca and she would lay her head on your lap anytime you were sitting still.  She was smart and funny and loved by children, adults, other dogs, and even the cat.  Her family misses her immensely.

Bridgette came into our program early in 2013 - and she was as beautiful as her name.  She had health issues that we were not able to cure, so she enjoyed some very happy days until it was her time to cross the bridge.  She was much loved and she knew it.  She was quite a princess and gave back as much as she received.

 Cabot lost his battle with cancer and is running free of pain with the other good dogs at the Rainbow Bridge.  He was brought as a stray to a vet's office several months ago.  While there, they noted and removed a large tumor from his side which tested as a soft tissue carcinoma.  Knowing they could not keep him there at their office, they contacted us, and our own examinations of Cabot made us pretty sure this aggressive tumor would spread.  While we waited, one of our dedicated foster families took him to their home to give him love and foster care.  Today it became obvious that the time had come, so they took him for a last breakfast and took him to the vet to help him on his journey.

Margot, one of our long time permanent fosters, quietly crossed the Rainbow Bridge after suffering with kidney problems for quite a long time.  Margot came to us from a shelter and didn't look a lot like one of our usual goldens.  Her foster had to work with a variety of Margot issues.  Despite the challenges, Margot's foster loved her very much.  Margot's time with her foster and her foster's dogs was the best of her life.

Spirit crossed the Rainbow Bridge in the spring of 2013.  Her adoptive mom writes:  "Spirit graced us with her presence in July 2009 when she was brought into NRGRR as a stray.  Matted, thin as a rail, with more medical problems than one could imagine, it was unsure from the start if she would ever be adoptable.  But she was appropriately named Spirit, as she had a zest for life that was contagious.  She was my first foster.  From then on, we were inseparable, and when it came time to look for potential adopters, I knew I couldn't let her leave my life.  We had a ball together....she loved camping, was a great hunter (I laugh thinking about the time she caught a bat that had gotten into my parents' cabin in Vermont, just snatched it out of the air), and was so sweet and affectionate.  We all had a very happy life.  Sadly, she developed a very aggressive presumed osteosarcoma of her leg.  We knew it was only a matter of time. That time came yesterday. I know it was harder on me than it was on her, but I will miss her so much."

Max came to NRGRR in April of 2012 with a sad story. His "dad"  had died a year earlier and, because plans had not been made for Max, he lived on his own until the estate could be settled. When he came in he was scared and confused but he was so gentle and kind - at almost 100 pounds he was truly a gentle golden giant. Max had cancer -- an aggressive nerve sheath tumor.

Max lost his fight. He was truly a perfect boy. He would look straight in your eyes to figure out what you were trying to tell him. He would stay in the yard to supervise yard work, he helped other foster dogs, he let the cats sleep with him, he loved going on errands and appearing at NRGRR community events. He was truly a perfect boy.  Hopefully he has been reunited with his dad and he is happy.

Brady passed away suddenly just days after his 6th birthday.  Brady was one of the “Bird” puppies that was born to a NRGRR rescue mother.  He was a big, loving boy who was devoted to his humans. Brady would sit for hours at our side and all we had to do was keep touch him.  If our hand fell away he would nudge us to start petting him again.  Brady had a very short, but full, life with his adoptive family.  He loved the beach, the pool, trail walks and attention.  The one thing he did not like was cats and he could spot one about two blocks away and perk up.  He never came close enough to a cat to find out what they were, but they were thrilling to him, nonetheless.

He is truly missed by his big brother Prefontaine (also a rescue golden) and the rest of the "D" family.

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