WAAGR – In Memory
Sometimes, goldens come to WAAGR with ailments that can’t be fixed. While we do everything we can to help them, they cross the rainbow bridge. On this page, we would like to honor some of our recent memories of dogs that have touched WAAGR with the courageous spirit, love and loyalty that goldens are known for.
It is with deepest regret that I am informing you that Ringo, #1224 passed away at 6:15 this morning. His brother and lifetime companion Chief, #1225 was with him when he died.
Ringo was not only the biggest dog we have ever owned, but he also had the biggest heart. I can’t imagine a gentler dog. We and Chief will miss him greatly. Thank you for giving us the wonderful opportunity to know these two brothers for almost three years now. Of course, we continue on with Chief.
David and Linda Koeller
Taz 2011 (Adopted) – 2017
It is with deep sadness that I am contacting you regarding the passing of our beloved Taz, whom we adopted through your rescue in August of 2011. We experienced the most wonderful 5 years any family could possibly ask for with a companion like him.
When we first met him at one of your events at a pet store, we knew immediately that he was the one for us. The day that my husband picked him up from the foster home, he jumped right into the truck and immediately sat down in the front seat, where he felt the most comfortable. Upon entering our home and sniffing out his surroundings, he jumped up on the couch next to our other Golden Retriever and made himself at home. It was as if he was meant to be with us.
Taz loved his tennis balls, which we were informed about during the adoption. We purposely bought several containers for him, and he definitely couldn’t get enough of them. And even though he never learned to release it, for us to throw it again, he was always the happiest with one in his mouth and wagging his tail. It was as if he was showing it off to us, “Look, I’ve got my tennis ball.”
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to provide Taz a loving and caring home. He will forever be in our hearts.
Rick and Jennifer Borowski
Mocha 2008 – 2016
I lost my beloved Mocha who I adopted as a puppy in May of 2008 to a mass on her spleen. She died in my arms when I was told there was nothing more that could be done on September 20th. I miss her terribly, She truly will be missed.
Riley 2002 – 2016
On October 30, 2010, I went to a WAAGR Foster Mom’s home to meet a Golden Retriever named Riley. The Foster Mom brought Riley outside and as I was talking to the woman my daughter knelt in front of Riley and Riley put her paws on my daughter’s shoulders giving her a hug. It was immediately clear that this was a very sweet dog.
After spending a little time with Riley it was obvious that this was a special dog who would be very easy to love and we took her home. She got along with my very shy Sheltie right away and soon they were hanging out together. From the very beginning Riley fit right in with my lifestyle. I worked full time so she was home with my Sheltie during the day. I always looked forward to that ‘Golden’ greeting when I returned home.
Two years ago I added a Cavachon puppy to my life. When I brought the puppy home I was a little concerned that the puppy would be afraid of Riley or Riley might be too rough with the puppy. As soon as I walked in the door and put the puppy down Riley sniffed her and they started playing. The puppy pulled on Riley’s ears and nipped her paws, but Riley was very gentle with her. It was so incredibly cute to watch them play and it just made me love Riley even more.
Riley had a great personality. She seemed to always be happy and even looked like she smiled. She loved toys with squeakers and always had to have one in her mouth when she went outside. She loved to be outside and I never had to worry about her leaving the yard. She just knew what her boundaries were.
I was so blessed to have Riley in my life. If there’s such a thing as a perfect dog, she came extremely close. Over the last two years Riley developed several health issues and recently succumbed to Laryngeal Paralysis at the age of 14. It is an absolute heartbreak to lose this special dog. She slept on the floor alongside my bed. Every morning she would look up at me with those big brown eyes and wag her tail. It was a such a nice way to start my day. Riley will always hold a special place in my heart.
Thanks to WAAGR for giving these very special dogs the second chance they definitely deserve.
Boz aka Bowser 2016
It is with deep sadness that I am informing you my beautiful Angel, Boz, aka “Bowser”
adopted from, WAAGR ~Feb 2008, has passed away 5-8-2016. He passed due to a mass on his spleen. Fortunately, fairly comfortable while in my arms at home.
Boz was a stray pulled from
MAADC by your organization. Boz left behind a border collie mix brother (see photo), Rocco, also a rescue,whom he loved spending time with. Boz turned out to be the sweetest, most loving dog. After experiencing some life trying events, he had been the best therapy with all the love and companionship he gave to me.
I miss him tremendously and wish to thank your organization, especially Karen, his foster Mom, for seeing through to the potential he had and giving him a second chance.
He will never be forgotten. Bless you all for what you do. Sincerely, Carmen G.
Simon – August 2015
Hello WAAGR. We would like to inform you that our beloved Simon whom we adopted through your rescue organization in February of 2011 crossed the rainbow bridge on August 22, 2015. He was 11 yrs of age. Two weeks before we became concerned because Simon could barely walk, he was losing bodily functions and had almost no appetite. We took him to the vet to be examined. His tests indicated prostrate cancer. Soon after his health spiraled down so fast that we had to make that difficult decision to end his suffering. He passed peacefully surrounded by his “mom and dad”.
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to provide Simon a loving and caring home for the last 4 yrs of his life. We still remember like it was just yesterday the first time we laid eyes on him. He instantly won us over by his beautiful smile and his eagerness to make a very good first impression. He made himself at home the minute he first walked into our home and immediately took the task of being a big brother to Maggie, our then 1½ yr old border collie. He was truly a family-oriented dog. At 7 years of age, Simon was already set in his ways, stubborn as a mule and so headstrong. That withstanding, he was a “gentle giant” who wanted nothing more than the love of a family. We surely gave him that and in return he gave us so much more.
REST IN PEACE BIG GUY! Your paw print is now forever etched on our hearts.
Maria, Jim, Maggie and Jake Mattingly
Cognac – May 2014
Hello my WAAGR friends, I apologize as it has taken me a few days to write. Every time I sit down to begin, my eyes well with tears and I can no longer see the keyboard, or the screen. Not fate, but rather someone of a greater power would bring Cognac and our family together nearly 6 years ago. Already a more senior dog at the time it has been a magnificent journey full of stories and memories since. From his antics, to his stubbornness, he has blessed our family in countless ways. Adopting him is beyond anything we ever thought we deserved. Cognac has earned himself numerous nicknames over the years, including, Bazooka Boy, The Yak, Cracker, Big Guy and plain old Mr. C. He at times is best described as one of those dogs that should have come equipped standard with a wet vac. Stories, we could tell so many; like the time at the lake where Ava and I were in the paddleboat and Cognac decided he wanted to jump into the boat and join us; a maneuver that ultimately found us all in the drink and doing the dog paddle. Or at the dog park, one of his favorite places, where he loved to run and needed to meet and greet every dog in the park, especially the littlest ones. If not totally exhausted, it was nearly impossible to get him back in the car to go home. He was like a giant energizer bunny that did not care whose tennis ball he fetched, he needed to fetch them all. He was not going to waste one minute of life and so often he tried to teach us the same. He loved all the simple things, tennis balls, his stuffy toys and ice cubes. Whenever at home, if not directly in your path he was lying on the floor and would position himself to be sure he was touching up against one of us, or his doggie siblings. He was a friend and lover to everyone, he was our gentle giant. Somewhere I once heard a dog’s eyes have the power to speak a great language, I believe this to be so true, and Cognac was such a dog. So many times he would push his big head into my chest with the weight of his whole body and then back off only slightly so that he could look upward directly into your eyes. Sometimes the message was simply to say scratch my ears, but most times it was just him expressing in his own way a selfless love. Without trying at all, and without looking very hard, Cognac was able to see the very best in everything and everyone. Even when you scolded him for something, his tail would be wagging the whole time, then to pick up one of his stuffy toys, as if to say let’s play, life is too short, all needs to be forgiven. He was like a giant heart covered with golden fur and I cannot even begin to tell you how we will miss him. Even when his body would say “no more” his mind would continue to want to run and play, it so hurt to watch him slow down these past few months. And although we knew Cognac was a very senior dog, and as much as we knew this day would soon come, nothing, absolutely nothing at all could prepare us for it. Please know that Cognac passed away cradled in our loving arms Wednesday afternoon May 28th; we will love him always. Your WAAGR friends; Rick and Kathy Kennedy
Carl Hardy – July 2014
We are so very thankful to the WAAGR organization and the mission of rescuing these precious angels, educating the community and giving second chances to displaced dogs. It is with the deepest sadness I’m writing to inform that we lost our beloved Carl in early July. He came to our family only a few short years ago and within that time, he truly changed our lives. Carl was the very definition of unconditional love. A few years ago, there was an event happening in Racine, WI where a bunch of rescues had an outreach program with the intent of bringing awareness to the community. I had signed up to bring a few baskets of items for HOPE Safehouse to auction off. While there, I had the opportunity to understand how many wonderful people and organizations are involved and truly dedicated to animal rescue – and this is when I noticed a shaggy dog following me around. It was only after about 20 minutes (and me telling him “go home Lassie”) that a kind woman approached me and told me about this dog, Carl. Carl came from a farm in Bangor, WI where he lived with a little ‘ol lady who depended largely on her son to care for Carl. Carl had multiple hematomas lining his ears from untreated ear infections and was obviously beaten at some point. Carl was then dropped off at the Human Society to be put down. I’m not sure if the Human Society is where they discovered he had Lyme’s disease or if WAAGR had found out after picking him up. WAAGR rescued Carl from the Human Society and gave him the treatment he needed to get better from Lyme’s disease. This kind woman helped me understand how debilitating the treatment was on Carl, how he mostly just slept a lot and the fact that no one really wanted him because ‘he has a disease’. She was surprised to see him up, moving around and following me everywhere. After telling her my intention of just dropping off the donation baskets to HOPE Safehouse and me not here looking for a pet to take home, we parted ways. As I walked away, Carl was whimpering and fighting to follow me back to my car. I have to tell you, WAAGR-how & why Carl changed our lives. When I attended that event, I had just recently finished up my treatments of radiation therapy for an advanced stage of invasive ductile carcinoma-more commonly referred to as stage 3C breast cancer. It was a long, tough road for me – surgeries, chemotherapy and finally radiation treatment. I now wear the badge of ‘diseased’ too. Of course, this information was not shared with the woman who was telling me all about Carl. I only nodded and thanked her for telling me about WAAGR’s mission and the care they give to displaced animals. When I got home that night, I quickly researched as much as I possibly could about Golden Retrievers, WAAGR, Lyme’s Disease, food allergies and ear hematomas. As you can imagine, I became overwhelmed at the information. I decided that I didn’t need or want another dog because at the time, our family was lucky enough to have a dog named Remington. Remington was an 11 year old Doberman Pincher. He was the most beautiful, wonderful dog a family could have. As the night wore on I tossed and turned and couldn’t stop thinking about this dog named Carl, so I did what any girl would do. I had a long talk with Remy, who helped me understand that he wasn’t going to be around forever-and I better move on getting another dog so he could teach him “how to be a good dog and take care of the boys”-I have 2 sons, now 9 & 6 years old. The next day, I filled out an application and Carl came home less than a week later. Remington held up his end of the bargain and taught Carl the ropes of being a good dog and they instantly became good friends. When the time came to say goodbye to our Remy-Carl quickly stepped up as top dog and held the torch of being the best dog a family could ever ask for. Carl was such an inspiration to me, personally, because after the rough start he had: being abused, neglected, rejected & being diagnosed with a disease “where no one wants him” -he still found the courage to get up, be happy and love anything and everything this life offered, everyday. I would look to Carl on those “blue days” to help me understand “if he can do it, so can I”-in reference to me dealing with my disease. We’d have each other – walk together – 2 diseased partners – we’d love each other in spite of what life handed us. Through Carl, my then 4 year old son told me he knew why ‘God’ spelled backwards is ‘Dog’-and that’s because of how capable Carl was at showing love, forgiveness, compassion and dedication. Thank you, WAAGR for giving these angels a second chance…my family will forever be grateful. I realize that you depend solely on donations to continue rescuing displaced animals, so I will be sending you & HOPE Safehouse a donation in Carl’s memory to support your mission. With love, Stephanie, Sean & Sammie Hardy
Gabe – February 2014
It it with great saddness that we had to say goodbye to our sweet old boy Gabe today. We adopted this senior just over a year ago. The Lyme’s just finally destroyed his muscles to the point that he could no longer get up. We took him to the vet today and were informed that it was not only his back legs but his spine also. The vet said it was time. Gabe gave us so much joy in the short time we had him. All he ever wanted was to be loved. He loved us and he knew he too was loved, not only by us but also his 4 year old golden sister Grace. I made sure he had lots of extra special treats today. He will be greatly missed. I am glad that we were able to make his final golden years happy and safe for him. I have no regrets adopting a senior and will again in the future adopt another senior. Thank you WAAGR for saving Gabe so we had the chance to show him how much he was loved in his final years. Patti, Mike & Grace
Maaji Allen – November 2013
This is Maaji Allen from this past fall, 9/30/2013 only 6 weeks before she passed. She is my precious shining soul sister. Thank you for helping to bring her into my life. She was a wonderful companion whose purpose was to bring joy to my home and life! I adopted her from WAAGR December 11, 2011. She passed 11/27/2013. Her buddy in my home, Telluride my 12 year old German Shepherd, had passed on 8/27/2013. Maaji and Tell were good pals. Once Tell was gone, Maaji lost a lot of spunk. I think they wanted to be together again. Their spirits will be forever entwined with mine.
Darcy – September 2013
This is Darcy. I adopted her in December, 2010 after she was found Iowa and I could not have asked for a better companion! Darcy was friendly, intelligent, gentle in nature and elegant in stature. Playful attacks on her squeaky toys, observing birds and squirrels, and her desire to imitate driving Miss Daisy riding in the car were some of her favorite activities. Her soft silk coat and cool damp nose that were felt during hugs will not be forgotten.
Waager – July 2013
Dear WAAGR, It is with great sadness that I am writing to you. On July 26th we lost our beloved Waager. We found each other when he was ten years old. Yes, he was ten when he came to us from WAAGR but we lived a lifetime together in the 3 1/2 years we had him. We never even thought about adopting a senior before we met our Waager (aka Salty). He is every reason a person should adopt a senior golden (or any senior dog for that matter). Although there were some health issues along the way, Waager was our perfect dog. He had every reason to to bitter with the human race. He came from Oklahoma as a stray. Major dental issues, a slug in his rib cage, a fractured front leg that was never properly cared for, and on top of that positive for heartworm. All that and he still was the MOST loving creature we had ever met. We had to adopt! Training was a breeze! He learned so quickly and wanted so much to make us happy. Every morning we walked down the drive to get the paper, several times a day we would walk to the river, in the winter we snowshoed together, we even gardened together. In other words he did almost everything with us. Ten years old and walking with a limp but never wavered about joining us for any activity. He didn’t jump, beg, bark much (except to let us know someone had arrived at the house), was the perfect host to all our guests, and was happy to play ball with any small child or adult that would visit. Even in the end he would make it to the door to greet us when we would arrive home. The vet was reluctant to treat the heart worm because of his age and health issues, so we knew we would wouldn’t have him for but maybe a few years. Knowing that, we wouldn’t change a thing!! He had a great retirement and we had the perfect dog and a fantastic ride along the way! Adopting a senior was not to in our plans but we are so blessed to have had Waager in our lives for the 3 1/2 years. By the way, we named Waager for your organization but added the “e” for elderly. Thank you so much for bringing us all together! In loving memory of our perfect dog Waager, Cliff and Becky Giese
Honey – May 2013
Seven years There aren’t enough words in the world to describe the joy and laughter Honey brought to our lives in seven years. We adopted Honey in 2006 at the age of 7. A puppy mill rescue, she had been with WAAGR a few months before we fostered her. Those big eyes, her gentle soul: Our family went from foster home to foster failure when we adopted her. She had made big strides before coming to our family, learning how to be a Golden. Over the years she was part of our family, we helped her continue to learn: Such as how great trips to the cottage were, how awesome homemade pancakes and waffles were (no syrup of course!), plenty of walks to explore her world, and how great it felt to snuggle with us, our other Golden Sulley, and the two kids that joined our family after we adopted her. And no winter was complete without Honey rolling in the snow. Our sweet Golden girl crossed the bridge May 9, 2013, at the age of 14.5. We miss her every single day, and our pancake and waffle breakfasts just aren’t the same without her waiting for a piece. Run free Honey, run free.
Marla – March 2013
Marla who was 13 this year will be accompanying Dudley over the rainbow. Marla was my old girl who was such a hoot! She diagnosed with cancer last year and the week I got Dudley she was fine and then spiraled straight down, sparkle gone. Maybe she did not want to go alone. Marla went with me to the garden every day and would lay under a tree and wait for cherry tomatoes. When we got Marla she was truly not a golden and had not learned the golden way. She was brought from an Ohio shelter, we were told she was 7…ahem… 12, and was in horrible shape, fat, shaved, hematomas, rotten teeth and not sparkle and shine. She got all gussied up thanks to the WAAGR group and I adopted her. I just love the oldies! Marla knew she was the queen and was never asked to move, we moved around her. She would literally laugh at you with her smile and tail if you got all googly with her, which was her nick name (Marla Mae Googly Bear). Marla and her Mafia bark will be missed dearly, but I am glad she has a friend to go with.
Dudley – February 2013
Mr. Dudley will have a heck of a week before he sees the rainbow to join all of our beloved GR! He will dine at McDonalds, have an ice cream, chase geese, and walk in the woods and have a picnic. He really deserves it. Life should have brought him more, but sometimes we get cheated, as in Dudley’s case. Though I have only known him 3 days, his life made an impact on me, so sweet and just a good boy. I am a softy for the oldies, they just seem to get looked over sometimes, when their best years are yet to come. Dudley was not so lucky as his prior owner failed to administer heartworm or tick preventatives, his health failed due to heartworm and lyme disease with thyroid cancer to bat. Yet Dudley’s heart is as huge as any Golden Retrievers should be. He will travel the rainbow knowing he was loved and will be missed.
Ice – March 12, 2010
Ice won over our hearts in the short time he was with us. Shortly after he came to WAAGR with nose bleeds, he was diagnosed with cancer, a form more commonly found in Bernese Mountain Dogs. At only 2 years old, he wasn’t ready to throw in the towel and we were ready to help him fight! He started his first round of chemo and we got him on a great diet to help him out. Unfortunately, Ice became very ill and his vet found a tumor blocking his stomach and intestine. After discussing many options to help this sweet boy, we decided the best decision to was to help him cross the bridge. He was with his foster mom, who loved Ice very much. Here’s what she had to say: I’m so grateful I had the opportunity to foster such a magnificent boy. Another bright star in the sky.
From his family: What a wonderful companion Magnum was! We met Magnum at the “Meet & Greet” in Racine in March 2009. Our beloved Golden Charlie had just died after 13 years and we were devastated. We thought it might help our grief to meet other Golden people and maybe just be around a couple of dogs. Upon entering the building, Magnum spotted us and ran to meet us. It was like he had been waiting for us to arrive. It was love at first sight and Magnum never left my wife’s side the entire time we were there. We asked for an immediate home visit so we could foster this incredible boy that had won our hearts. Diana completed our home visit and on Tuesday while my wife was at work, Scott brought Magnum to our home. When Mary came home, Magnum was sitting in front of her chair waiting. I didn’t think Mary would ever stop crying with joy. It seemed that her grieving for Charlie was suddenly better and from that day forward they were inseparable. What a joy Magnum was! He loved to please and was always smiling. Magnum loved car rides, especially when he knew we were going to the campground for the weekend. He loved to swim in the lake and play with all the other dogs. Everyone knew Magnum and loved him too. Magnum starting having trouble with stairs in the fall and at Christmas he was having difficulty getting up. We knew he had Arthritis in both hips and our vet increased his meds. Magnum was getting worse every day. The tests at our vet were inconclusive. After a weekend where Magnum could not get up or walk, we rushed him to another vet for a second opinion. Their tests were also inconclusive, so we took him to the emergency hospital in Waukesha. They kept him for 2 days before giving us the terrible news. Magnum had Cancer and it was very aggressive attacking his muscles and Pancreas. On Jan. 28, 2010, we said our goodbyes to our beloved Magnum and he went to the Rainbow Bridge to be with Charlie and wait for us. We miss him so much! We only had Magnum for nine months but he changed our lives for the better and he will never be forgotten.