Golden Angels


Tribute to “Shebs”

“We lost a great dog last week… our baby-girl dog Sheba. “Shebs” was 12.5 years old and succumbed to cancer. Sheba was a great dog. She was therapy dog, a reading dog and a famous traveler. She visited over 30 states; she swam in the Gulf, the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean and all the Great Lakes. Sheba was a great hiker; she had to go with us every time we put the hiking boots on. Her face would light up and she would dance around and get that big “golden smile” on her face. I’ll never forget the time we were hiking in the Black Hills near Mt. Rushmore and I wanted to turn around because I thought the trail was too steep for her. Before I knew it she was already at the top.

We adopted Sheba when she was 3 years old. We found her in a newspaper ad that said “Golden Retriever, free to good home”. Her first Vet visit showed that she had heart worms…. so much for the “free” part. The first week she was with us, she stole a bag of bagels off the counter and ate them all. She hated to be left behind, one time she destroyed the garage door trying to follow us, she jumped out of the car more than once. Not only did Sheba have a great smile (she once won a contest at a dog festival for best smile), she would always put a smile on people’s faces. The kids who read to her and the people at hospice always hated it when she had to go home. Our lives have been truly blessed and Sheba will be missed.

 Until we meet again, sweet baby. Always loved, Always in our Hearts, Always.

Sheba’s Mom and Dad and GCGRR Golden brother, Einstein.


Beautiful Brianna (Bree) has now passed from this life onto the next.  Bree lost her brave battle with cancer. Brianna came to us from an area kill shelter. She was a beautiful senior girl who was abandoned by her owners and left to die.

Brianna came to us with melanoma.  This sweet, gentle little girl was estimated to be 11 years old and deserved to live her remaining life no matter how short or long with endless love, dignity and with people who understood the wisdom and unconditional love Bree offered. Bree shared with us her joy of leisurely walks, car ride adventures, and enjoyed so much the company of her Fosters Parents Jeff and Robin Palmer who provided 24/7 care and saw her through her surgery and recovery to remove the cancerous tumor on her palate and the infected lump on her hip. She recovered beautifully and loved playing with the Palmer’s Golden boy Elliot and their  sweet Black Lab Pandora and even helped out with the nurturing of newly born  kittens rescued by Jeff and Robin  and finally, the all too brief but precious time spent with her Adoptive Mom, Sue. Bree is at now peace and one of God’s Angels in Heaven.


With great sadness please know that sweet, gentle, always happy and smiling, Rusty was helped to the Bridge by his heartbroken and grief stricken owners, Robin and Jeff Palmer and his Golden brother, Elliot pictured here resting his head on big brother Rusty. It has been almost a year since Rusty came to us at 11 years old as the Patriarch of the family of 5 Goldens that we welcomed into Rescue. Jeff and Robin surrounded Rusty with love, laughter, comfort and care beyond compare. Tragically, in addition to losing their “Rusty Man” to cancer, they also lost their equally beloved senior girl Pandora, a lovely black Lab. just last week.  Our deepest condolences, thoughts and prayers go out to Jeff and Robin.


Tribute To SamSam–The Broken Dog Who Could

Sammy came to us after having endured years of neglect. Found abandoned in a garage in a full blown seizure. Then the angel of GCGRR took this broken boy and nursed him back to health with the help of health professionals and his Foster Payne.

When we met Sammy it was love at first sight. He looked into my eyes with the sweetest, most gentle Golden so…ft eyes. I knew he was meant to be with us.

Sammy endured so much neglect he did not know the most basic commands. He was a smart little boy. He learned how to sit for a treat. Although he did not know what a treat was, he learned quickly when he sat, he would get one. Sammy had to be taught to come in doors. When we opened the door to come in he didn’t know to go through the opening. He never mastered this feat: however, more often than not, he would figure it out.

I would give Sammy alot of hugs and he would look into my eyes, relax against me and “doggie purr.” He loved to lay on the couch next to Tom and take a snooze together.

Sammy had freedom in our yard to roam around and often we would spot in laying in the grass taking in the sunshine with a look of pure ecstasy. He became part of our family and received the love he never knew existed.

Although Dr. Cliff worked diligently trying to keep Sammy’s seizures under control with combinations of medications, Sammy’s seizures became more violent and occurred more often has time went by. There were short periods when SamSam was stable and exhibited no confusion. Sammy was a survivor. Sadly, the day came when Tom and I had to make the dreadful decision to let him go to Rainbow Bridge.

Sammy gave us unconditional love, endured years of complete neglect and fought to live to give us his love. Because of Yvette and her endless commitment to these precious living, loving animals are we fortunate to have the opportunity the give them love they truly deserve.

Until we meet again………………………………………………………………

Sammy’s Mom, Lynda Tatro-Moralee

Maggie Lee

Tribute to Maggie Lee

Another Golden Angel is now with God. Payne Brezeale., our dedicated Foster and Adopter, helped his beautiful Maggie Lee, 13 years old, to the Bridge. Maggie Lee came into our Rescue in 2010 at 11 1/2 years old surrendered by her owners who decided that they could only care for one Golden, their 4 year old Golden, purchased for their son, and that Maggie Lee was the one that needed a new home. Payne volunteered to foster Maggie and shortly thereafter told us that there would be no better home for her than his and that he wanted her to spend the rest of her life being loved and cared for by him. From the moment Payne brought her home, they became inseparable. Maggie Lee quickly learned that Payne would always be there for her and that she would never experience betrayal again. They were devoted companions and Payne shared his love of travel, hiking, hunting and family with his beloved Golden. Maggie Lee also helped Payne continue to foster for us, always welcoming another needy Golden and helping with her own mended heart to heal theirs. Maggie Lee, a very special girl. Payne B., a very special Dad. Rest in Peace Maggie Lee. Until we all meet again sweetheart.

Jack Daniels

Our Jack Daniels has passed from this earth to heaven. Our 12 year old boy came to us after being abandoned by his owners and picked up as a stray after he crawled into a local Publix for food, shelter from the summer heat and companionship. We have been so blessed to have him with us these few months where he taught us about survival and reminded us about forgiveness. While his spirit was strong his body fell to cancer.  This sweet, precious boy never cried, never whimpered, never complained…ever. He just wagged his tail and gave you that big smile of his when you approached him and kissed him and whispered in his ear that he was simply the best. He loved his baths, the ambient music channel during thunderstorms, and had a fancy for pasta, steak and ice cream. We miss him so much…so very much. Until we meet again, gentle, beautiful boy.

Mom and Dad, Yvette and Dave


September 20, 2011

It is with incredible sadness that we write to tell you that our Golden Retriever rescue, Leo, died last Tuesday at the emergency vet’s.  If you care to know, he had a renal hemangiosarcoma– sudden, inoperable, and tragically, always fatal.

We only had Leo for six months plus a day, but he had integrated himself into the fabric of our lives in such a way that it felt though he had been with us much longer.  He joined us from Gulf Coast Golden Retriever Rescue, where Yvette Puskarich had carefully matched him to us and our recently adopted Newfoundland, Grizzly.

Leo and Grizzly became fast friends literally from the moment Leo crossed our threshold and they were never very far apart from one another, whether in the house, yard, or anywhere else.  They could frequently be spotted lying together, often touching, paws crossed.  Too, Leo served as a calming influence on Grizzly, who came to us as a youngster and not very disciplined.  Leo was kind enough to allow Grizzly to be the “alpha” and quickly developed the habit of grooming Grizzly several times daily, licking his face and ears.  They both seemed to enjoy it.

Leo developed several nicknames in his short time with us, from the self-explanatory “Leo Long Legs” to “Leo Love Bug,” because he loved everybody and everything.  He was very fond of kissing you wherever and for however long you would allow it, and loved to stare soulfully into your eyes for minutes at a time, for so long that you were usually the one to break the eye-lock!  You could just feel his gratitude to us for giving him a good home.

We were told Leo didn’t like swimming pools, but that couldn’t have been more wrong.  Once we gave him permission to enter our in-ground pool, all bets were off.  Leo loved the water.  The other things Leo loved most were his TOYS, especially BALL.  We were told that Leo was deprived of toys (and other things as well) in his previous home, but he sure made up for it while he was with us.  In his first few hours at our house, Leo raided Grace’s toy basket, which we had left out in her memory. Leo quickly eviscerated six stuffed toys.  I had to sneak a few of them out of the basket to keep as mementos, or else they would all have been decimated!

To borrow the title of a book recently published about Dean Koontz’s Golden Retriever, Trixie, Leo also lived “A Big Little Life.”  Rest in Peace, Leo, you are greatly missed.

Wendy, Paul and Grizzly


With great sadness, please know that our Soldier Boy, Miles was recently helped to the Bridge by his heartbroken and grief stricken owners, Marla and Jim Armstong and his Golden sister, Zoe.

Two years ago, Miles abandoned and left to die was brought into a high kill shelter and was scheduled to be put down. It was only a matter of hours before it was his “turn”, but when Marla and Jim Armstrong learned of this they immediately stepped in and saved his life by bringing him into their home and into their hearts. They knew after looking into those big, brown loving eyes of his that this Golden boy was very special and deserved a fate far better than the one he was about to be handed.

During the time they had, Miles returned their love and devotion with every beat of his heart and wag of his tail and clearly proved to all that he was a most gifted Golden.

He graduated first in all his obedience classes serving as a model for the other dogs in class, excelled in Rally and Agility and told his Mom and Dad that he needed an important job and really wanted to help others. After earning his AKC Canine Good Citizen Award he became a Registered Therapy Dog. There was no greater joy for Miles than waiting to have his Therapy Dog Vest put on and “making the rounds” at the Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities every week. Even as his body began to fail, his joyful, playful, loving spirit never wavered, and his tail never stopped wagging. He became the favorite Therapy Dog at the Nursing Homes he visited with the patients truly looking forward to his visits. This beautiful boy gave comfort to dozens and dozens of wonderful people every week who were sick, or in pain, or just plain lonely.

Our Miles fought a very brave battle against the cancer that riddled his body but the Angels above decided it was time for him to continue to help others, but now from the Stars and with Wings.

Miles will be forever adored, forever loved, and forever missed.

Until we meet again, our precious Soldier Boy.

Zoe Beleza…
Our Golden Angel

Zoe Beleza, the first girl to come into Gulf Coast Golden Retriever Rescue … and our hearts.  She was the absolute definition of love.

 Zoe Beleza came to us all the way from Argentina with every intention of being a competitive show dog.  From the time her tiny paws stepped onto US soil and into our lives, she carried herself with grace, pride, patience, and an enormous smile that lit up the world.

 Zoe Beleza became part our family when we had our handsome Golden boy, Miles, the face of the rescue.  Zoe quickly followed her big brother’s footsteps, proudly earning her Canine Good Citizen and Therapy Dog Certifications. Miles taught Zoe to be gentle with children, play nicely, greet everyone with a wagging tail, and speak quietly with loving eyes.  She caught on immediately and made him/us so proud.  When we adopted our other girls, Miley and Lily, Zoe assumed the role of teacher and big sister, modeling how a perfect Golden should behave.

 Zoe was simply stunning, always turning heads when she walked by. She was a model, posing for a major manufacturer of dog food, and an ambassador for the GCGRR when she conducted home visits for potential adopters in South Florida, but, most importantly, the girl we loved beyond words.

 Zoe was the rescue’s and our first girl.  We are forever grateful that she was part of our family and our lives. We are broken hearted that she is not beside us to nudge us with that wet nose and play with her siblings but the incredible love she shared will stay with us forever.  Run free beautiful angel … until we meet again.


Today, our beloved Mandy (with compassionate aid from Dr. Andrea Bivens, DVM) after several years of life extending cold laser therapy by Katie McLain  (KLM) completed her earthly duties caring for her mom and dad. She joined Jocko, Rusty, Woofie, Lance, Chad, and Beau to be Guardian Angel looking over us.

Mandy’s first owner clearly had absolutely no clue as to the incredible gift she had been given.  Mandy spent the next wonderful, well deserved Chapters of her life (Thanks to Gulf Coast Golden Retriever Rescue) spending 8 years with her new Mom and Dad. She went everywhere we traveled spreading joy, happiness, love and smiles to all she came in contact with. Mom and Dad pray you are finding happiness and pain free joy with our other Angels until, God willing, we will all be as one again.