This is a special section for dogs from or in our rescue who have gone to Rainbow Bridge.
Clark – passed away January 14, 2017
We adopted Clark from NorCal GSP Rescue in 2008 at the age of 9. We will always remember our first moments with him. He came running into the kitchen at his foster home, and after a few introductory pets, flopped over on his side so we could give him rubs, groaning in happiness the entire time.
Only very recently did he start to slow down. For the last 8+ years, he was game for anything, whether it was just a stroll around the block or a three mile run. Clark was the perfect dog – calm and stately, but also silly and playful. He seemed to have every side to him, and all of them were perfect.
The last week of his life, he told us it was his time. That he was ready to say goodbye, that he was ready to rest. We wish he could have lived forever, and he will in our hearts. There will never be another Clark, our soul-dog.
Dottie – passed away January 11, 2017
We’ve been so sad since you left us. Our hearts are heavy and it’s been hard to smile. How did you do it? You went through so much before coming into rescue, yet you kept smiling, your tail kept wagging, and your spirits were always high. Tell us your secret. What do we do?
From: Too Many Tears
Dear Too Many Tears:
Thank you so much for rescuing me. I’m so grateful to all of you. I got over the bad times by thinking good thoughts. I think about all the good things you did for me and the good times we had. You do the same. Think about how I warmed your heart when I wagged my tail and how you smiled when I did something cute. Open your home to another dog in need. There are so many dogs like me out there. Have a good life, have a happy heart and keep smiling!
Vicki – passed away December 2016
Vicki was found as a stray by Animal Control. Repeated notifications to the last registered owner went unanswered. The trauma of being in the shelter had Vicki not able to stand. Examinations by the shelter vet did not reveal a reason for her mobility issues. She was classified as PTS (put to sleep).
Our rescue was notified and I wanted to foster her and see if we can figure out her issue. The transportation volunteer went into her kennel with a leash and Vicki jumped up and walked to the car! After a 2 hour ride to us; she came in and paced for 2 hours without stopping. Apparently she had suffered something call “kennel madness.” She quickly gained weight and claimed her dog beds. When another lay in her dog bed, she barked at them, no matter what time it was. Rosie would jump up and run outside when Vicki barked, lol. Vicki tolerated other dogs but didn’t initiate any touching; Shelby did! She was not demanding of attention; she would approach to get a head rub and would continue on her route. She did laps often; from the living room to the kitchen through the pantry to the dining room back to the living room. We called it Vicki’s circuit. My mother in law was here recovering from a severe surgery, would get up and follow Vicki doing laps to get her exercise. It was so funny watching them both doing laps at the same slow speed too! After 13 months with us; her mobility in her hind quarters caused us to help her with the transition.
I highly recommend fostering or adopting a Senior, they are so mellow but have the funniest personalities. They are incredibly grateful for the comfort and love we offer them as many seemed to have never been allowed in the house and had regular meals.
Danica – passed away November 2016
No matter her health setbacks, Dani was always happy and continued to think that despite her age, she could do anything her younger, faster, foster sisters could do. She loved to “play” frisbee, although her version was more like chasing and yelling at the younger dogs, regardless, she always had a blast.
Sometimes she pretended that she couldn’t hear anything (usually when something outside smelled really good), but her ears miraculously recovered whenever she knew whipped cream was being put on my ice cream! She loved to follow her little sister Lady wherever she went. She happily slept the afternoons away particularly if she played hard in the morning. She picked out her favorite bed and she would sleep in it despite how many dogs were already sleeping in it. She reminded me of a sassy grandmother, she may not keep up all the time, but she was surely going to get what she wants.
Rosie – passed away November 2016
Fostering is an exercise in emotions. Happy tears when a dog finds the furever home, training frustration, laughter at their goofy quirks, calmness from their touch and love, and tears when they leave for the Rainbow Bridge.
After almost 3 years with Rosie, she had a stroke and needed our help today. I knew it was coming, but I guess preparedness doesn’t really ease the sadness.
RIP my lil old lady.
Rocket – passed away May 2016
Due to complications of old age, I had to help Rocket pass over the rainbow bridge at the age of 14. He was a wonderful pet and we spent so many happy years together running the beach. While all dogs are great, some are more special than others and Rocket was definitely special. He saw me through many of life’s events, some good and some bad but he was always there. He is sorely missed. Thank you NorCal GSP for connecting me with such a wonderful companion who was beautiful both inside and out. I hope I served him as well as he served me. He is gone but will never be forgotten.
Koa (rescue name Tristan) – passed away April 24, 2016
We adopted Koa when he was two years old – a tall, barrel-chested 90 lb. GSP. That first night home, Koa carefully climbed into my lap. The next day we purchased a big dog bed and put an end to his lap dog days. That first weekend we carefully watched Koa to make sure he would be gentle with our five year old daughter. We were planting tomatoes with Koa resting nearby in the driveway. We caught our breath as we saw our daughter back up and stumble over the dog. Koa looked up and promptly put his head back down. That was it. We knew Koa was meant for us.
Nine years have passed as we watched our daughter grow and our dog get a little grey. Koa passed away on April 24, 2016 (cancer). During his final weeks, we allowed Koa up on the sofa so he could be our lap dog once again. Rest in peace, Koa.
-Jeanette & family
Buster (B.J.) – passed away March 2016
We lost Buster (B.J.) to cancer in March 2016. The seven years we had with him just weren’t enough, and he’s greatly missed. Buster was the happiest dog we’ve ever had, tail always wagging. He loved swimming, gopher hunting, counter surfing, exploring, and meeting new people. He could never pass an open car door or body of water without jumping in! He didn’t like fireworks and the cat standing between him and the water bowl. I’m pretty sure the cat really misses terrorizing poor Buster. It’s impossible to say good-bye to such a great friend. So, I’ll just say we miss you, Buster, and we’ll see each other again. Have fun and make a lot of new friends till we get there!
-Lyn and Bill
Minnie Mouse – passed away April 28, 2016
Minnie Mouse was not in our care long, but she was loved well by her foster home. Rest in peace sweet Minnie.
Finn – passed away April 22, 2016
Finn was the perfect dog who came along at the perfect time. He was the biggest lover and comedian who always knew the perfect moment to steal his brother Scout’s toy. He was a great kitchen helper, picking up vegetable scraps (including brussels sprouts) and meticulously cleaning dirty pans. He was a great traveling buddy and a social butterfly. He knew when to call everyone together at meal time with his melodious “whoo whoo” (one of the things we already miss) and brought us together as our ring dog on our wedding day. Always ready for that deep ear rub, a cookie, no matter how tiny, or snuggling up like the 70 lb lap dog that you were. You never did convince the cats to play with you, but you sure tried… and even as your face greyed… you still got the zoomies. You are missed, but out of pain…we love you and we’ll see you at the rainbow bridge.
-Catherine and Mac
Meg – passed away April 2016
We rescued Meg and her daughter Jo in January of 2014. Meg then found her forever home with her foster home, Charlotte and Al, who have fostered and adopted many NorCal GSP Rescue dogs. Meg and Al bonded big time. She became his dog through and through and they had a wonderful few years together. In April 2016, Meg developed fluid in her lungs that made it more and more difficult to breathe. She went to the rainbow bridge in her own bed surrounded by those that loved her. Rest in peace, Meg.
Otis (rescue name Enay) – passed away March 2016
It is with deep regret that we inform the league that our dear, sweet Otis passed away on March 31, 2016 at 9.9 years. Otis came to our family in January of 2008. My husband and daughter were skiing that day so I was home alone when Otie arrived. He ran in the door, jumped up and licked my face, ran to the back yard all in a matter of seconds. I fell in love with him the moment I saw him and he melted our hearts. I am certain he knew he’d been rescued. Otie had a heart murmur which led to congestive heart failure. In addition, he had a mass on his kidney that we chose not to remove because the idea of our dog running around without one kidney worried us. We fed him healthily, made sure his life was as normal as possible and enjoyed every day of his last 10 months. He was such a funny character. He could not catch a ball to save his life. He “demand” barked for a walk or a meal. He looked like a stallion when he ran. Neighbors would stop us in the street and comment on how beautiful he was. He never wanted to be apart from us. So much so that when we first rescued him he had such bad separation anxiety that we decided to foster another GSP to keep him company. Little did we know that Otie would fall in love with her (Gemma) and within one month, we’d adopted 2 dogs. Otis loved to cuddle, chase squirrels and neighborhood cats, POINT!, give you his paw, nibble on your nose and oversee his backyard. He did not have a mean bone in his body. When my twins were toddlers he’d let them pull on his ears and tail, dress him up…. He passed peacefully in our backyard on a sunny afternoon with my husband Rob, myself and his sister, Gemma. We will miss him endlessly.
-Danielle & & Rob Vogt
Prince – passed away March 2016
It is with a heavy heart our Prince went to rainbow bridge last night. He had been in reasonable condition and suddenly he developed fluid in his lungs. He was such an amazing dog we rescued in 2003, he was 17-1/2 years. I am so lost without him being here and all of his things are around to remind me. Run free my sweet Prince for you are without pain and you can use your rear legs again. There will be friends waiting to show you around. Until we meet again.
-Deborah & Richard Thomas
Lassen aka Buffy – passed away March 2016
I am contacting you with sad and heavy heart of Buffy passing, (Cancer) she was my best friend, and our story makes it harder to have lost her. She lived a very comfortable life going everywhere I went for the past few years. She followed me everywhere including the restroom at times, she was never far behind me, always my shadow as my wife so called her. She loved to float down the river with me in my drift-boat, fishing. She was able to make a full recovery because your efforts in healing her back up. Buffy was almost 15 years old. She live a long and full life. She was my best friend and I wanted to say thank you for reuniting her with me, and the great care given to her. She will be missed by my family and I and thank you keep up the good efforts because these GSP are more than dogs, they are our families.
Spuds – passed away February 2016
We are sad to announce we lost our sweet handsome boy, Spuds. He was a very special boy. I passed him over when viewing his pictures several times. Then I found Coconut and he was being fostered at the same house as Spuds. So, we requested a visit and Spuds was a throw in. When we got to Catherine’s property BeBe and Coconut took off full speed ahead. He wanted nothing to do with me. I then turned to meet Spuds. Within 30 seconds I was on the ground holding him and saying “I have to have him!” It was Love at first sight and handshake from this sweet special boy. He was very hard of hearing. BeBe was his eyes and ears. When we brought him home he went out back to explore. He had never seen a pool before and simply walked right into the deep end. He was like, “when did that get here?” He had never seen stairs before and I carried him up for the first couple of days. Before we knew it he was running up and down like it was nothing! He learned to walk around the pool and that it was there all along. He had the most adorable snaggle tooth that his lip would catch on. He was so mellow and regal. My life has forever been changed with “hims” in my life. He was 15 and ultimately had a tumor in his groin preventing him from pooping. He went out fast, hiding his sickness. He was brave and gave me a pitter patter sort of kickoff on my chest at the moment he passed.
-Lavonne and Frank
Mo – passed away January 15, 2016
I have some very sad news… My beloved German Shorthaired Pointer, Mo, passed away last Friday. I was absolutely heartbroken. Mo was my faithful companion and friend to many winery visitors, and he will be greatly missed.
Mo came to us at the age of 5 as a rescue through the NorCal GSP Rescue organization. That was 8 1/2 years ago. He had a long and happy life, but at the age of 13 1/2 his body just gave out. Someone once told me that Mo won the “doggie lottery” when he came to us. I say that WE are the ones that actually won the doggie lottery. Mo was the most amazing dog I have ever had.
Please raise a glass in Mo’s memory. And if you are considering getting a dog, please take a look at the NorCal GSP website. There are some wonderful dogs in need of forever homes.
REST IN PEACE, MO 2002-2016
–Amy Kemp, Loma Prieta Winery
Gretchen – passed away January 1, 2016
Gretchen Gravely, GSP Adoption 2009 – It is with great sorrow that we have to let everyone at the GSP Rescue know that we lost our beloved Gretchen on January 1, 2016 at the age of 17. We adopted Gretchen as a senior dog (age 9) and have loved every minute she was with us. She was so playful when we first adopted her, loving to go for walks, play in the park and sleep on the couch while we watched television. She was a joy to be around and brought happiness and joy to use every day. As she aged beyond 15 years old, she developed COPD, Cushing’s disease, cancer in her ear and her back left leg. Unfortunately, due to her age she also went almost completely blind due to cataracts and deaf to due to the cancer. Later she suffered from dementia and had several strokes but she still was a fighter, and enjoyed her walks until the end. Our vet was able to provide us medications that allowed her to continue to be active and enjoy her life, but she was never prescribed medication for pain, I believe her Cushing disease, may have allowed us the extra time we had with her. It was interesting that for her COPD that she took prescription meds plus Robitussin and Benadryl and when she became really congested that she loved chicken broth with a some cut chicken, it was her favorite and it worked just like it works for us. We were able to spend Christmas with her; however, she was not able to make it through the New Year’s holiday season. We will remember her for the rest of our lives and will always be grateful to the Northern California GSP Rescue for bringing us together. I know many of the people who visit the GSP Rescue site are reluctant to adopt a senior dog, however we would clearly recommend that anyone who is considering an adoption, consider some of the senior ladies and fellas as an option. We were very fortunate to have had Gretchen enter our lives and will forever love her. We are sure we will again adopt more senior GSPs in the future, however for a while, we are interested in remembering all the love and good time we had with Gretchen. Thank you everyone at the Northern California GSP Rescue for all your assistance over the years. I am sure we will be contacting you again in near future.
-JoAnn & Mike Gravely
Roxi – passed away January 4, 2016
What can we say about our old girl Roxi other than you were so very kind, loving, sweet and accepting of others whether animal or human. The little romps you would do when walking out to get the mail and the little rocking jumps and howls when following the garden tractor were way beyond cute. Have fun romping, running in your new healthy body while enjoying the wonders of heaven. While tears fill our eyes we will always love and miss you. We take joy in your new freedom. We Love you our old girl.
-Charlotte & Al Johnson
Case – passed away January 1, 2016
It is with heavy hearts that our Case Boy has passed onto the rainbow bridge today. He was as they all have been the bestest lovable child for Chris and I. As much as it hurts, the saving him in the beginning and making his life a dream come true helps with the pain of his loss. The pictures show him as he was, loving and giving and loving like mom the sun! RIP Dad’s Boy ………
-Kelly Lawrence & Christi Woodwards
Cyrus – passed away September 2015
He chose me. His gorgeous gray face lept out at me when I was idly looking at adoptable dogs. We’d just lost our basset hound and really, truly, we weren’t ready for another dog.
FlapJack – passed away August 2015
Flapjack spent about a month in foster care after we learned that he had aggressive cancer. We knew he didn’t have much time left, but we wanted to make sure every moment of it was happy and full of love. He made the most of his time left, crossing items off his bucket list.
Flapjack passed away peacefully with his foster mom by his side. Rest in peace, sweet boy!
Tango – passed away June 2015
This is Jojo. His original name was Tango. He was an English Pointer adopted from GSP Rescue over 10 years ago. After contacting Wendy Hilton about our other GSP “Max” passing away, Wendy suggested we adopt Jojo, as he would be a perfect fit with our other pointer Rescue “Sadie/Doocy”.
He was a very special guy. Never complained, never barked (unless he was playing), never ever growled, loved children… perfect!!!
This picture is of him celebrating his 11th birthday last month – May 1st, 2015. Until his last 2 weeks of his life, he never showed any signs of illness. I brought him to the vet due to his sudden loss of appetite. The vet did blood work and x-rays and found terminal cancer. He was suffering and would have died within the week. I made the most difficult decision to say goodbye.
R.I.P. -Sean & April Disbrow
Fred – passed away June 2015
Fred was rescued from a shelter by NorCal GSP Rescue in April 2015 and he had a wonderful two months with his foster home. Although he was not with us long, this 14 year-old left quite the impression and was very loved by all who met him within the rescue. His foster mom says “he knew he was loved when it counted.”
Einstein now Mason – passed away April 2015
I wanted to share with you that we just had to put to sleep our GSP that we adopted from your organization 7 years ago. His name with your organization was Einstein and we renamed him Mason when we adopted him. Just this last week we lost Mason but I know that we gave him the best life a GSP could dream of. He live on 6 acres with a big pond that he swam in daily, he hunted gophers and chased birds. We also have a female GSP and a female Rottweiler that were his sisters. His self-appointed job was to bark at anyone that might walk by even if they walked by EVERY SINGLE DAY for the last 7 years. The neighbors expected him to run out barking at them and if he didn’t they would ask where he was. He loved to bird hunt, even though we did not adopt him for hunting, my husband took him out a handful of times to see if he knew what to do and BOY DID HE. He was at some point in his life before us someone’s bird dog. Even though he loved to hunt birds he never touched a feather on any of my free-range chickens. He knew the difference. He was great with our children and we loved him very much. We think he was around 14 years old. I still can’t believe he is gone. He was my constant companion, always with me when I would be out on the property.
Otis – passed away March 2015
Otis was only with us a short time, but he left an impression on everyone he met, from his transporter, to his foster home, to his foster case manager. We are so grateful that we had the chance to know Otis and that he had a warm bed and a loving home at the end of his days.
Mack – passed away February 2015
In memory of Mack – we miss your curious face and wish the world had given you more in your short time, with fond hugs and memories of our short time loving you.
Love, Claire, Art and Cassius
Quinn – passed away February 7, 2015
It’s hard to believe that Quinn could have become such an important part of our lives in just a few short weeks. Although he was clearly not in great shape, he wagged his tail, looked at us with total trust and gamely followed us out of the shelter and into a new life. He loved his bed, his walks, his yard and his dinner – things every dog should have, but which he had been without. In return, he gave us his obvious adoration. He was a good dog and we are grateful for the time we shared.
-Barbara & Keith
Rhett – passed away February 6, 2015
Rhett fought a valiant battle with a number of serious medical conditions, but in the end he continued to lose weight, he stopped enjoying all the things that shorthairs enjoy, and we knew it was time. We are glad that he spent his last five months with us getting love and care. His foster home described him as a Great Dog, who was super friendly to anyone, anywhere, and any other dogs. He loved sleeping on laps, even if it was to get his ears cleaned. His favorite activity was cornering the cat, despite getting his snout bloodied on several occasions. And he enjoyed walks through The City and dining al fresco at Polk St cafes.
Farewell, dear Rhett.
Lily – passed away December 2014
She has crossed over to Rainbow bridge. She passed away from cancer in one of her legs. We were blessed to have her.
– Tina Stidman
Bowdie – passed away November 4, 2014
In 4 years he taught me more than any other animal; both in medicine in how to care for senior pets, and in life. He was happy every single day, and made the most of every moment despite losing vision, hearing and mobility. He never had a bad day. He loved everyone, every animal (whether it was a cat, dog or squirrel), and every vegetable he ever met. I’m so thankful he was in my life.
It’s with a heavy heart that I tell you that our precious old man passed away yesterday. He passed away gently with the same smile on his face he always had. We will never forget his youthful exuberance and the love he brought to our home. It was truly a joy to open our home to that senior pooch. Thank you and everyone at NorCal GSP Rescue. He came into our lives as NorCal GSP Rescue #182 and left as my very best friend.
Elliott – passed away October 10, 2014
We wanted to let you know that Elliott passed away peacefully on Friday, October 10th. He was diagnosed with hemangioscarcoma in mid August. Our brave little guy recovered from a splenectomy beautifully and gave us two months of love on bonus time.
Looking back, Dan and I had no idea what we were getting ourselves into with a GWP. We, somehow, just knew that we wanted Elliott and only Elliott. Thank you for in trusting him in our care. What a fantastic journey we have had with him over the last 10+ years. So much love, fun and mischief all around. Two things he loved the most – a game of fetch and a trip to the beach. He was simply the best.
-With gratitude, Angela and Dan
Maverick – passed away September 23, 2014
Our beloved Maverick crossed the Rainbow Bridge on September 23, 2014. I cradled his head, petting and stroking him. My husband and two girls pet him and showered him with kisses. All the while telling him how much we loved him and what a good, good boy he was as he softly fell asleep and passed on.
We had the good fortune of adopting Maverick just three short years ago. I still remember our first meeting. He was at a foster family’s with two female GSPs, both younger than him. We met him solo and went for a walk and he was a natural with our family. The foster Dad commented on how well-behaved he was. When the foster Mom returned home with their two dogs, the older female grabbed Maverick’s leash in her mouth and began leading him around. We were all laughing and commented that it was his sweet nature that allowed this.
Maverick filled our lives with so much joy, love and laughter. When we brought him home, he wouldn’t walk into our house due to the hardwood floors. He slipped all over the place. So we had to buy small carpet circles. We called them his “islands” and placed them in a path on the floor. He would “leap” from island to island to make it around the house. A hardcore snuggler, if there was an inch of space between two of us on a bed, he would maneuver his 90lb body into it, resting his head on your chest or shoulder, and draping his legs across you. So cozy. He particularly loved snuggling with my husband and resting his head on his shoulder. So sweet! He and our girls loved each other deeply. He was generously patient with them. He’s been dressed as a pirate, princess, the Mad Hatter, Bat-Dog, worn tutus and long wigs all with a debonair dash and an open tummy available for scratching. He would take turns tucking the girls in at night, moving from bed to bed for a long snuggle and then finally settling in with my husband and I. In his last months, he had taken to “perching” on a large ottoman in our living room. The girls would push this up to the couch and he would sneak his ample behind up onto it. So he could be on the couch, but not really….
He was our constant companion wherever we went. Yard work is a lonely affair lately as he would be with me everywhere, cutting the grass to weeding the garden. He loved the car, our morning walks, and visits to the water. He just wanted to be with us and we with him. It was a perfect combination.
His family was even larger than ours as he was a neighborhood fixture. Maverick would visit the four homes closest to us as part of his daily rounds. Each neighbor had a special treat for him and gave him lots of love and attention. Our immediate neighbor has a pear tree in his front yard. Daily, Maverick would steal a pear, or two, or three, from his tree and off the ground. He loved it and we’d smile as he’d stretch up on his hind legs to get that perfect pear a little higher up the tree. We all had a sniffle as we noted the pears now gathering on the ground.
We were all emotionally gutted as Maverick’s passing came on so very suddenly. The vet, Dr. Schwartz at Sage Veterinary Clinic, was a rock. Thoroughly explaining what he surmised was a brain tumor and our limited options. His kindness and care affected us all deeply and provided us with the support we needed to make our difficult decision to say goodbye to Maverick.
Maverick, we hit the jackpot with you! Sweet, loving, affectionate and beyond devoted. We will miss you terribly. We know you are looking down on us with a pear in your mouth!
-The Hanna Family
Coconut – passed away September 17, 2014
We wanted to let you know that Coconut passed over the Rainbow Bridge… the cancer in his gum got the best of him and he quit eating and wagging his tail… it was time… thank you all for everything you do for Nor Cal and welcoming us into the family.
Almost three years ago to the week, I was about to hand off my first foster success to his new human and Cathy asked, “Would you be able to take Coconut for a couple of weeks… he bounces too much for Maggie’s elderly dog?” Conveniently, I picked up Coconut on my way home from dropping off Spuds. Coconut never let on that he was 11… he didn’t believe in numbers. I discovered his interesting quirks… bolting out doors and gates, barking at unknown things under the deck and of course the panic-inducing (at least the first couple of times) hour-long romps through the fields across the street (he loved to run!!! and for you to chase him!!!) But soon I figured out that if I drove down the street and called to him from the car, he’d come running. Coconut made himself at home… at first on my bed and then claiming his corners of the couch (he could give Scout a “look” and he would begrudgingly give up his spot)… he knew he was home… we were just a little slow to catch on. He earned great nick names… Nutnut, Nutty Professor, Nutterbutter, NuttyNuttyCoconut, Nutty, and just plain Nut. He loved to climb the hay stack, hog the bed, steal empty toilette paper rolls, car rides (as co-pilot of course) and warm fires. He learned to love his feline siblings (and loved to steal their food). His tail wagged soooooo fast and he had the most expressive eyebrows and ears. He wiggled his way into our hearts and he will be missed!
-Catherine, Mac, Finn and Scout
Rory – passed to Rainbow Bridge on September 4, 2014
I cradled him in my arms and kissed his sweet muzzle and soft ears as he passed on at the age of 14.
He had been having difficulty urinating and his vet examined him and took an xray. The plan was to do an ultrasound and consult with a specialist on our options. Sadly, they advised that he had an inoperable malignant prostate cancer.
After losing Charles, my 14 ½ year old rescued GSP, to old age, I wanted to find an older dog needing a forever home. Then I found Rory (then named Ollie) on the website. He was about 9 and had seizures. But we met and it was instant love for the both of us – he rested his head on my shoulder and rubbed his muzzle on my cheek!
When Rory arrived at his forever home he was amazed at looking out the windows and checking out every thing in the neighborhood. He left long snot marks on all the windows – one of his aunties called it “lace”. He loved to ride in the car and went to daily doggy day care until I retired. Rory made friends with everyone he met – he was a sweet and gentle soul. Everyone loved him!
Rory found his new calling in life when his forever home had a back garden full of dwarf fruit trees – apples and pears galore. He became Farmer Rory and tended his garden faithfully and organically in all seasons. Rory harvested his apples and pears by bumping his body against the tree trunks, ripping branches off the trees or simply balancing on his back legs and grabbing a piece of fruit. One year he was caught climbing into the pear tree! He ate 99% of all the tomatoes and strawberries every year and no zucchini lasted to any size larger than a finger. The occasional snail and worm was also devoured.
He loved his doggie treats but was most fond of the cheese wrapped around his meds for seizures and his arthritis – he preferred good cheddar or fontina!
The sweet gentle soul in now laid to rest in his back yard deep in the raised flower bed in the shade of his pear tree. His casket has carved flower branches that look like pear tree blossoms.
Before he passed on that morning, he ate the last juicy pear from his tree!
The house and garden are empty without my sweet boy!
Brinkley – passed away September 2, 2014
It is with a sad and heavy heart that I must announce that Brinkley, my beloved GSP, has crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. We had to let him go and we will miss him. I rescued Brinkley about 6 years ago from the shelter and fostered him before a brief placement into a permanent home. When that didn’t work out I decided he would stay with me. He was not in good health when I pulled him from the shelter but I got him back in shape and for an old guy he did alright. Seeing him swim in the pool was one of the most enjoyable things to see. He had his own sort of grace as he paddled around splashing the water all over and then biting at the splashes. He had the best time and provided us with great entertainment too.
Brinkley was estimated at 10 years old when I got him, which would make him about 16 now. He developed a cancerous tumor on his elbow about a year ago. Jyl kept him going with all sorts of great stuff, herbs, drugs, lasers, etc. You name it, we did it. I was determined to follow an alternate route to allow him the best quality of life. Brinkley was doing just great until recently when he suddenly could not bear any weight on the leg with the tumor. Being an old wobbly guy anyway he could not make it around well with three legs. By the next day he could not get up and was in considerable pain. He looked in my eyes and asked that I release him from the pain and I of course obliged his wish.
We will miss all miss him but I for one will miss him terribly. He literally lit up when ever he saw me. I used to say he worshiped the ground I walked on, he knew I saved his life and gave him second chance. As I sent him on his way, he peacefully slipped away, freed from the pain and off to the next adventure. I told him to look for all of our other furry friends (Audra, Snipe, Jake, Schmedley, TJ, Chelsea, Olivia, etc) and let them know we’re doing ok and to send our love until we meet again.
People think we’re crazy when we tell them we have six dogs and you might think with that many we don’t notice one missing but I can tell you there is a big empty place in this house right now. Having six dogs is a lot of work but we loved it………..and then there were five.
-Ron & Jyl
Dallas – passed away August 20, 2014
Dallas Novak was adopted on 2/2/02 when he was 3 or 4, and was with our family for 12 1/2 years more years. He was a special beastie, and will be wagging his tail in my heart for a long time. Thank you for all you do to find forever homes for these sweet dogs.
-Alessandra and family
Ernesto – passed away August 15, 2014
Ellie – passed away June 8, 2014
Sweet Ellie was one of those memorable dogs, from the time she came into rescue until the day she passed away in her loving forever home. When she first arrived, she was in terrible physical condition, with lumps, bumps, saggy parts, and terrible skin. She started out in one foster home, and over time and with care, she felt better and looked better. Then she moved to another foster home, and that’s where she stayed – lucky Ellie was adopted by her foster family! They didn’t mind Ellie’s “vocalizing” and she fit right in with the other GSPs, enjoying hikes, walks, and hanging out. But at the beginning of this year, Ellie began a gradual decline, eating less, becoming less active, and her family made the decision that she should not suffer – so Ellie has gone to Rainbow Bridge. Goodbye, sweet girl.
Molly – passed away May 13, 2014
Molly passed today from leukemia. I only enjoyed her for 6 months. I find peace with the fact she had more love in 6 months than her previous 14 years as a backyard only dog.
-Carol, foster mom and forever mom
Webber – passed away May 12, 2014
It is with great sadness (and disbelief) that I say goodbye to my jolly, clumsy, always-loving dog Webber. Just two weeks ago he was diagnosed with gastric carcinoma (stomach cancer)–a cancer that unfortunately in dogs doesn’t always show symptoms. I am running on empty right now, reeling from not having my buddy here with me. Gabby is quiet and subdued as well. I am grateful for the time I had with this loving, special boy.
Huck – passed away December 2013
Huck was a great dog, very therapeutic for Al, he was very devoted and loving with the strong will to live and pull through so many surgeries. He was about 12 years old. He gave and gave to us! Loved rocks, silly boy. After we adopted him, he had his mouth done, and then major surgery on his back. UC Davis was sure he would never walk again but don’t underestimate a shorthair. He got pneumonia and they said he would not make it, but he did and was walking – walking funny, but walking. At least he was out of most of his pain. This time, his leg swelled up and he decided he was too tired to keep going, but he tried for us. He was ready to leave us, we were not ready for him to go. The decision was best for him. We will have his medical bills for years but no regrets as he paid us back in love and therapy for Al. He will be missed!
-Charlotte and Al
Luke – passed away December 2013
You were the star of Thanksgiving 2013. I’m so glad I got to sneak you copious amounts of turkey. We had crazy fun with you and miss you dearly.
See you on the other side “Hollywood”.
– Eddy and Lisa
Frida Kahlo – passed away July 3, 2013
Frida Kahlo, my princess of perfection, came to live in her forever home, that is with me, in Oct, 2006 and changed my life in the most rewarding and delightful ways imaginable. Now there is a hole in my life and in my heart that cannot be filled or replaced.
Frida Kahlo, was incredibly smart, loyal, patient, sneaky, loving, gorgeous, stubborn, playful, uncomplaining, and much more. Frida loved to eat the crumbs from anywhere–but never dared to eat a non-food–eg a foil wrapper or a wrapper with the leftover scone or cheese or apple. Frida carefully dissected any spoonful of peanut butter or meat treat when suspect of any hidden medicinal tricks within and only enjoyed the bounty.
Frida Kahlo and I would visit off leash dog parks/beaches. She could spend literally minutes and minutes, statue-still, with her adorable long nose down a mole hole until gently pulled away. Not even the best of treats could move her from a gopher or other ground hole. At other dog parks, Frida was an ace flushing out a bunny/hare/jackrabbit, and then in GSP-hunting heaven while in wild pursuit, chasing her frightened victim (she never caught one and I was secretly glad.) Or when when we went to Fort Funston or other water designations, and my Frida is the only dog running in the hills –and nowhere near the water. Just beautiful.
As some of you may have also experienced, when Frida wanted you to keep petting her, she’d look up with those expressive eyes and ‘paw’ you, as if thinking, “no-one told you to stop petting me.” It was magic.
Frida came to work with me for most of our 6 1/2 years together. She made colleagues and strangers everywhere adore her with her gentle spirit, undemanding disposition and soulful eyes. She had visitors at her side through out the day. I couldn’t walk in the office building without a colleague asking “where’s Frida?” how’s Frida’s?” She made everybody happy.
Frida taught me patience, and appreciation for consistency and routine, a new kind of nurturing, and selflessness in completely new ways.
I am still lost without her. I want to thank all who have supported me in her last year, when I learned of her diagnoses of degenerative myelopathy and then cancer, until her too-soon death of perhaps, 11 or 13 yrs young. I was so very lucky to have Frida Kahlo in my family. Thanks to NorCal GSP Rescue and the entire team for making her a possibility in my life.
Bogie – passed away March 2013
Bogie, known as Rudy when he was in rescue, was adopted in 2003 as a young pup. His mom tells us:
This photo is one of my favorites of Bogie in his later years, about a year before he passed. I am not sure what to say about Bogie, brings tears to my eyes. He was very loved and he was a very special boy from the very beginning! He is still very much missed!!
Tanner – passed away July 7, 2013
Today we put our sweet dog Tanner to sleep. He had a very rare and aggressive cancer called histocytic sarcoma which had metastasized in his lung and in his groin. We tried chemo but it did not make him feel very good so we decided to let the illness run its course instead of putting him through chemo. He hung on for a lot longer than we thought, having some bad days but also some very good days, filled with yummy food and trips to run off leash at the dog park. Every time we thought it was “time” he would rally and have a very “normal” day with all the energy that at German Shorthair Pointer should have. But ultimately, the tumor in his lung caused fluid to build and for him to cough at night. Although we are so sad to let him go, it gives us comfort to know that he is no longer in any pain or discomfort and is probably playing with his brothers Cody (Viszla) and Jasper (GSP) in Doggie Heaven right now.
Tanner was from NorCal GSP Rescue and was approximately 2 years old when we got him. We do not know what his history was before we adopted him but all we knew is that we had an untrained dog who had not lived inside before and who had pretty severe separation anxiety. The first night after adoption, we invited him to sleep on the bed with us. It was clear he had never slept on a bed before as he proceeded to fall off with a ”thud!” on to the floor. Not to be deterred he jumped back up and proceeded to the middle of the bed and stayed there the rest of the night. The next morning we woke to find him standing on top of our dining room table with his head in a bowl we left on the table the night before (this gives you an idea of how untrained this boy was!). He then proceeded to run full speed around and around the dining room table (several times). My husband thought we had adopted a monster! However in the 11 years that we have had him as part of our family, he had blossomed into a very sweet, cuddly and very well-mannered boy who slowly lost his separation anxiety and was able to trust that his new family would not ever give him away. We knew we had won him over when he rolled over on this back to get his tummy rubbed!
We will miss this sweet mellow boy …the chow hound, the fearless, focused hunter that “stomped” on his prey (he did not have any finesse at all) who had that soft, pleading face that you could not say “no” to. At the dog park, Tanner had an “extra gear”…he could run with the fastest dogs and then turn on the extra gear and speed ahead. It was quite amazing to watch.
I am sure he is chasing squirrels, running free and eating as much grass as he wants to without hearing the word “no”. And I am sure there is a bottomless cookie bowl and toys as far as the eyes can see.
Enjoy your new found freedom! R.I.P. sweet Tanner.
Vera – passed away May 6, 2013
We first met Vera in June 2011, and for almost 2 years, she lived a wonderful, happy life in her foster home. She had a great time with her foster brothers and sisters running around pointer paradise. Towards the end, she used a wheelchair to keep going as her back legs became too weak to support her. She wasn’t ready to give up! We are so glad to have known Vera for as long as we did, and so grateful we could give her love and comfort in her senior years.
Beatrice – passed away May 4, 2013
Although Beatrice was not with us long, she made quite an impression. After being rescued from the shelter, she spent a week at her foster home soaking up the good life. Her foster family showered her with love, good food and gave her a all the comforts of a home. She was very special to her foster home for the short time that they knew her, and we are so grateful that beautiful Beatrice did not end her days on a cold shelter floor.
Ziggy – passed away April 12, 2013
Our sweet girl Ziggy has made her way to the Rainbow Bridge after battling kidney disease. She came into the rescue heart worm positive and was able to recover from the treatments. It was love at first sight when we met Ziggy. We knew she would be a great addition to our little family, and would be a wonderful doggy sister to our other GSP Zoe. Ziggy was always willing to share a snuggle and loved to be right by your side. She always enjoyed a ride in the car, trips to the park, rolling around in the living room with her bone, and running around the yard with Zoe. Known to many as “Zigger the digger”, she was able to dig trench sized holes in little to no time and her incredible sense of smell always let us know when an unwelcome critter was around. Our time with Ziggy was way too short, but she enriched our lives in so many ways. Our sweet angel definitely earned her wings and she will be missed by all. We love you Ziggy Doo!
– Ryan and Katie
Olive – passed away March 6, 2013
We are saddened that sweet Olive has gone to Rainbow Bridge after losing her battle with pneumonia and numerous medical issues. Three days in the veterinary ICU were not able to stop her decline. Though she was only in rescue for two weeks, we are grateful for her foster homes that lavished her with love and attention, that the decline was rapid and she did not suffer, and that she did not have to spend her final days alone at the shelter.
Shotzi – passed away February 2013
It’s with great sadness that we announce the loss of our two GSP rescues over the last few months. We adopted Remington as a 1 year old pup in 1999. He faithfully served as my shadow for over 13 years until he just couldn’t make it anymore. In 2007 we added Shotzi as a 10 year old companion for Remington. For 5 years they battled over the sunny spots in the yard. Shotzi succumbed to old age this February and joined Remington in the Land of Never Ending Tennis Balls.
Cassie – passed away January 28, 2013
Samson – passed away January 2013
As soon as we saw the pictures of Sam, we knew he deserved a home where he could be loved and treasured. I have never seen a dog so appreciative of human touch. Sam would lean into you and rest his head in your lap for as long as you would let him- food would not even lure him away. He would look at you so thankfully when you would sit with him and scratch him. Sam had an unusual bowlegged stance, when people would see him approaching they would call out “howdy partner”. He was the oldest dog we had in the house and he was the boss up until the very end. People tend to shy away from adopting the older dogs for fear of only having a year with them but if you take the chance like I did, it is all worth it. We will miss our little monkey!
Mackey – passed away December 5, 2012
Mackey hit the jackpot when he came into rescue in 2005, and was adopted by his foster family just in time for Christmas. He had a good life and made it through surgeries, an arthritic hip, mast cell disease and metastatic carcinoma, but finally succumbed to kidney failure. His outlook was positive, with every day being a good day, another day to be entertaining, to eat, to go for a walk on the trails, to squeeze himself into small spaces. Farewell, dear Mackey.
Sadie – passed away November 28, 2012
Sadie had a rough start in life, ending up in rescue when she was 8 or 9 years old. A difficult spay with hemorrhaging nearly took her life, but she recovered. She was adopted and then returned when the family had a baby and no longer had time for her. Was she ever going to have a true home? Yes! At the age of 9 or 10 she was adopted by a wonderful woman who had adopted from us before. Sadie had finally found her home. She enjoyed the company of the other dogs, and played older sister to the foster dogs. Her arthritis slowed her down a bit, but she always enjoyed her walks, especially along (or in!) the creek. Sadie had over four years of love, walks, and companionship. Goodbye, sweet Sadie.
River – passed away June 13, 2012
River was at least 8 years old when he came into rescue. There’s not a waiting list for older male dogs, so we hoped that the right adopter would come along. River did great with his foster dads, enjoying his time at the dog park, on errands, and just generally hanging out. Then one day his dads realized that River WAS part of the family, so they made it permanent and adopted him – it just took them a while to figure out that he was already in his forever home. River enjoyed five more years of the good life before it was his time to go.
Jolie – passed away 2012
Jolie passed on before her time. She began having seizures after she was adopted, and her family tried everything the neurologist recommended. She needed more and more medication, and finally even that was no longer helping.
Trigger – passed away December 3, 2011
Trigger had been dropped off at the shelter and he came into our program terribly ill and on his last legs. Thanks to two wonderful foster homes, he spent his final days in the warmth and comfort of a home environment, with lots of love, care, and blankets.
Claudia – passed away March 12, 2011
“And so she came to pass much too quickly. My hopes, my goal was to simply make her comfortable just long enough to enjoy at least one full day of love, of kindness, of the grass under her feet, the spoils of being “my” dog. To prove to her that, once she was out the shelter, I would make it better along with all those who were rooting for her. But it was not meant to be. Claudia’s illness was relentless, nullifying her medications and the best of my intentions in a matter of days. And so, on a beautiful Saturday morning, I held her head in my hands and never stopped kissing her forehead as she peacefully slipped away. All the while telling her she was a beautiful dog and that my wish for her was that she should run like the wind without a care in the world.
Claudia must have been a fabulous dog in her day. Even in her failing health, she was strikingly beautiful. Her liver colored coat was spotted with—what looked like—snowflakes of white. Her eyes appeared golden in the sunlight. Her expression, her look was quintessential GSP. Especially when she stood perfectly still in the middle of the yard taking in the fresh air; her head tilted slightly upward toward the sky. She quickly assumed the rituals and routine of my “girls” (Emily [GSP], Molly [Cocker Spaniel], Sassy [Jack Russell mix]), politely enjoying an abundance of dog treats, the comforts of the couch, and the ever present touch and attention of someone who truly cared. And in those moments I knew she knew she was, without a doubt, my dog. My only wish was that it could have been for just a little while longer. Sweet dreams Claudia.”
– Celia A., Claudia’s (Foster) Mom
Moose – passed away in 2011
Mercy – passed away January 4, 2011
Mercy was rescued by NorCal GSP Rescue in Feb. 2010. Even though she suffered from advanced arthritis, Mercy was full of character and personality and made sure her body took her wherever she wanted to go! When it was mealtime, she seranaded everyone with a hilarious “Woo woo” and never met a morsel of food she didn’t like. She spent her last 10 months hanging out with the other dogs in her foster homes, catching some rays by the pool and even swimming a lap or two. Unfortunately our sweet Merc took a turn for the worse as the New Year approached and was helped to the Rainbow Bridge on Jan. 4, 2011. This “sweet old bird” reminded us of why we love the oldies so much. They’re just so pure of heart and deserve to live out the rest of their lives in comfort, not end their lives in a shelter. It was good to know you “Moosie”. Rest in peace sweet girl.
Oscar – April 2001- November 13, 2010
Oscar came into my life as a one-year old stray in May, 2002, having found his way into the San Francisco SPCA shelter. He quickly found his way to the center of my life and bed. He was a remarkable dog: intelligent, loving, friendly, attentive, clever, precocious. independent, alert, inquisitive and very focused, intuitive, playful, loyal, interested in people, squirrels and gophers; stuffed toys were a joy.
I know he had a good life. He knew he was loved. He had his own rights and needs that had to be respected and at the same time understood so much about me, and all people he met. Sadly he was diagnosed with an enlarged heart and tachycardia in January and lived well with medical treatment for another ten months, fully involved with his adventures. He left when his life was still full. As a friend observed: He was an unusual dog with capability of friendship and caring and sensitivity beyond any other I’ve known and loved.
– Rick Carrington
Tiki – passed away September 17, 2010
Sweet Tiki passed away in foster care after complications from her spay surgery – she declined very rapidly and could not be saved. Her foster family is heartbroken – they were considering adopting her.
Bandit (formerly Bradley) – passed away April 15, 2010
Bandit came south to live with us as a 6-7yr old. It took a bit to figure out that he was pretty tightly wound. He seemed to internalize all his anxieties so the symptoms were much less noticeable than one would expect. We were a bit concerned when he first came home because he would never look anyone in the eye. I just wasn’t used to that! The whole first year he was with us he would look next to you, not directly at you. And we used to call him “The World’s Quietest Shorthair” because he NEVER barked! But what he did do was obsess over lights. He chased lights and shadows constantly, it sure kept him busy.
Then after about a year, he not only started looking us in the eye, but he found his voice and his light chasing became just a game, not an obsession. We had six wonderful years with him. He loved to go traveling in the RV and camping. He saw the sites all over the southwest, and enjoyed it all! He also loved to swim, and would jump off of the side of the pool to fetch a ball. He wouldn’t play fetch on dry land, just out of the pool. He had his rules! But his very favorite game of all was hunting for rocks in a lake or river. He would do it for hours on end if we let him!
This past year has been a bit more difficult for him as he aged considerably and was diagnosed with Cushings. He still loved his daily walks, and still was always available for some shadow chasing if you were willing to play. He still had his voice, although it was a bit hoarse. And oh, he would stare in your eyes for as long as you wanted.
He will always be in our hearts . . .
Candace – passed away March 27, 2010
Candace was probably at least 14 years old when she came into rescue. She was so terribly emaciated, yet still happy to be with you. Her foster people took wonderful care of her, she had a couple of months of being spoiled, and we are glad she didn’t have to spend her last moments in the shelter.
Oscar (Turbo) – passed away February 2010
Oscar(Turbo) crossed the Rainbow Bridge on Thursday, February 18, 2010. Oscar was a loving and loyal member of our family. Even though he was officially a foster dog, we knew when we got him that he was approximately 14 years old and that he may never be adopted.
When he was young, he must have been striking because even at 14 he was remarkably handsome.
He loved to be petted and demanded to be present in the same room as his human roomates. Until recently, he would sleep in our master bedroom located on the second floor with our 4 adopted GSP rescues. Even as his hips started to lose full use, he insisted on going up & down the stairs. He enjoyed every minute of life and would toss his toys in the air then catch them and squeak them like a puppy.
Even though he was too old to alter, he immediately fit in with our 4 boys. He loved his daily walks and was social butterfly with humans and dogs he met on these outings. Many people showed interest in adopting until they discovered his age.
Well, the two years and four days with this valiant, sweet and gentle friend was our gain. Oscar, you will always be in our hearts and you were indeed a member of our family. Thank you.
Gracie – passed away January 2009
“Gracie died in January 2009 and the hole in our hearts remains. She was our first GSP and easily the most intelligent and precocious.
Gracie had a full life – she got off leash exercise daily (except during the numerous orthopedic fixes where she had to stay on leash) and she loved to chase critters-rabbits, squirrels, deer, etc. She was so fast and clever that she would occasionally catch a critter. She was always willing to give the critter up, EXCEPT for the times she caught a pheasant. Now a pheasant was a PRIME catch and NO ONE could have her pheasant. She also had more than one encounter with a porcupine in the Sierras while cross country skiing. We felt sorry for the porcupine as we watched Gracie run around it while it tried to keep her at bay. We never hunted with Gracie but her instinctual hunting ability was amazing and her point was beautiful. We have a picture of Gracie pointing when she was about 4 weeks old.
Gracie had so many classic GSP traits – loyal, Velcro (follow from room to room), loving to family but standoffish with others, not allowing head touching, intelligent (show something once and learn it), insistent on getting what she wanted, and stoic. She had an Achilles tendon repair and had to wear an external fixator and she still insisted on going for a walk. In the end, even the osteosarcoma, which is supposed to be incredibly painful, did not stop Gracie for seven months, yet the vets all said she had only 2-6 weeks to live, primarily because of the pain.
Gracie was the reason we became involved in GSP rescue. She was so even tempered that she was wonderful to use to evaluate shelter dogs. When she first met the shelter dogs, she would allow them to do almost anything – she would take their frantic behavior and would look away, give calming signals and diffuse negative energy. If a shelter dog went after Gracie, it was almost always dog aggressive.
We miss Gracie so much and love her dearly. We wait for the time when she can be back in our lives. We hope she is frolicking at the Rainbow Bridge with her boxer pal, Icky.”
– Karen & KC
Polly – passed away October 31, 2009
Polly was a middle-aged female with some issues around love and trust when she came to me — a description which fit me pretty well, too. She was so sweet and silly (and sometimes sad) — wonderful with kids and cats, other dogs — everyone. We had far too little time together, yet still enough to make lots of happy memories. She was very much loved, and will be remembered and missed. –I like this photo of Polly because she’s happy, having been digging for critters in the dunes at Ft. Funston (and uprooting the native plants — don’t tell the native planters!).
– Lisa McGowan