Greetings RROC family,
With the recent postings of our loss video, my goal and message to our family of volunteers and adopters was simple. We never know how much time we will have with our dogs and therefore we are so lucky to find them...or have them find us.
In the midst of putting the videos together and forming storylines that can apply to us all as animal lovers, I wondered if these postings seemed morbid or almost "too sad" for the RROC site.
Upon posting I decided that there was much to good to be found in each of these stories. It was about loss but mostly about celebration of what we are given in return for the chances we take when we add a new member to the family.
2008 themes included "Taking Chances" and "Tributes to Senior Pets." 2008 brought record numbers of adoptions, great events, new volunteers and so much more. I expect nothing less this year and this is why 2009 will be a year of "Celebration".
Despite our economy and the seemingly endless bad news reports, I believe we can all still find ways to appreciate what we have.
If you truly feel that you have never been party to fate, I encourage you to view Bozley's video. It is true that our films on Bozley worked to reveal such a true spirit in the face of adversity and physical ailment. However, I believe Bozley's message is much stronger than just a tale about a dog that made it through surgery.
A pet's ability to look a human in the eye and forgive even in the most tragic of circumstances is truly one of their most admirable and amazing attributes. Dogs are never upset that we are late....they are just glad that we are home. I have yet to meet one person in my life who as excited as my dogs are each and everyday I walk through the door. We are truly blessed with the company of our canine companions and I do not need to speak for Bozley's family on this subject. The love and care they offered this goofy and loveable chocolate lab the day he set foot in their house, speaks loudly for itself.
For each pet we must say goodbye to there is a great story to go along with their life. This my friends, is a celebration. As a result, I would like to share the first of our 2009 stories with you in hopes that after our tears together, we can smile a little and "Celebrate".
October 19, 2008
Hello all my fellow dog lovers,
It is with deep sadness that Christie and I report that Jayden has now enter another doggie play yard. We were very blessed with him for a year and eight months. He loved us, played with us, ate with us, and slept with us all of those days. We feel very blessed for all he gave to us and all he allowed us to give to him.
His cancer was pretty prominent in his pancreas spreading to his liver. If we were to do extensive treatment maybe we could gotten a few more weeks with him, but the quality of his life might have been questionable. We could not be that selfish. With tears in our eyes we found some food he would eat and played ball with him one last time and then put him to sleep.
In time we share our lives with another but for now we are simply going to grieve a bit. Thank you our RROC family for bringing this precious son of ours into our lives! I know he was loved every day he was with us and without RROC that might not have been the case for Jayden!
July 13, 2008
The first time I met Elliott was in 2007 at the Annual Adopters picnic. The reddish-orange coat, the long slender legs and the obsession with the baby pools that RROC had set out was all you really needed to see to point out this true Golden Retriever. Elliott rushed past me stopping only for a moment to say hello and then was off to the races again to play with the 75 other dogs in attendance.
The Adopter's Parade that year catered to many of our four-legged friends, but something about Leslie and Elliott struck me with a certain sense of sincerity. As they walked alongside one another in the parade, the images of Elliott holding his head high with great pride, and Leslie's obvious and genuine happiness to have him walk with her, are truly something I will be able to keep forever.
Tuesday July 15, 2008, at 3 pm, I checked my email inbox. The usual updates of dog photos and bios accompanied emails from friends and family. The top of my inbox read a subject line from my vice president reading ELLIOTT.
I was absolutely certain that my recent plea for new photos of our successful adoptions was being answered and that a photo album of Elliott's latest adventures would be locked inside this email. Instead... the sad news of Elliott's passing were the words I read.
As I read the email, I thought of Elliott marching in the parade and pictured him in the pool at the RROC picnic doing nothing but having the time of his life. My thoughts immediately went to Elliott's family and what they must have gone through and will continue to go through with his passing. And then, just as we all do when we read about the loss of a pet, my thoughts drifted briefly to my own two senior goldens and the fact that tomorrow was no guarantee no matter how you love them.
I was not with RROC in 2006 when Elliott "adopted" Leslie and her family. RROC has moved from 30 volunteers to over 100 and adopted out almost 700 miracles. Elliott was one of those miracles. I was not with RROC when Elliott's family signed his adoption contract. I was not present for the comfort and happiness he provided to his family each day before he crossed over the rainbow bridge.
However, the day I watched Leslie and Elliott march in the 2007 Adopter's Picnic, I was blessed with one little piece of Elliott to remember him always.
This small piece of Elliott does not tell us how many times he greeted his family at the door, how many walks he went on, how much joy he brought to his forever home, how many pets he received, but those are the memories his family can treasure always. What it does tell us is that Elliott was meant for Leslie and RROC is grateful to be apart of the miracle.
(intro by RROC's webmaster) Some of our most amazing dogs which have come and gone are posted on this page. Some to age, or even disease. But what about one whose life was tragically cut short?
One of the hardest things in rescue that is often forgotten about but serves as the backbone to organizations with no shelter base, is the ever-important element of the "foster home". Dogs are loved and cared for and many times learn to trust again while with these temporary caretakers. Without foster home RROC's navigation within the rescue world would ultimately be non-existent.
Please read about one foster families experience with both joy and sadness in being apart of the wheel that keeps RROC turning. Submitted by RROC's own Debbie Davis who was also Taz's foster mom
Taz came to us in August of 2007 from a local shelter where he was very unhappy being caged most of the time. He was a typical, sweet lab that loved to play and cuddle, loved people and dogs and ignored cats. He had some separation anxiety and revealed that he could climb fences and gates and jump through screens when left alone.
While he was in our foster care, we worked with him on these quirks, and he was a mostly happy, goofy boy with the cutest freckles on his nose. He was introduced to potential adopters a number of times, adopted twice and returned for silly reasons like being "too mellow" or not being perfectly trained, then he met what we thought would be his forever family.
He was good with the resident dog, disinterested in the cat, and we were thrilled that he had found a home after 4 months in foster care, Unfortunately, despite the assurances of the adopter to us that he would never be allowed outside unattended, he was given access to an open dog door for a few hours after being at his new home only about a week.
He escaped from the yard, was hit by a car and killed. The adopters did not find him until the following morning. They felt horrible, we felt worse. He was such a sweet and trusting boy and he deserved better than that tragic and lonely end. In many ways we feel like we failed him, it was our job to protect him and find him a safe, loving, forever home and we failed in that regard.
I guess there are no guarantees in rescue, and at some point we just have to cross our fingers and trust the people that we have tried so hard to screen. We think of him often, he was with us a long time, we loved him and he was part of our family. Our lives are better for having known him.
Rest in peace, sweet Taz.
January 4, 2008
When I am gone, Release me, Let me go- I have so many things to see and do. You mustn't tie yourself to me with tears. Be thankful for our beautiful years.
Hi, my name is Owen. I was a 5 year old black lab boy who came to RROC with a little cough. I fought through my illness and got back on track to find myself a new home. After a while it was discovered that my cough was much more serious.
I attempted to battle back and fight for my life. RROC did everything they could to save me and even put out a plea to the public to help with donations for my emergency vet visit. A special thanks to Alameda East Vet for making me comfortable in my final hours.
On January 4, 2008, I crossed over the rainbow bridge after a well-fought battle against pneumonia. I crossed over in peace and can breathe easy now. Do not worry for I am in a better place and thank RROC for giving me that extra chance to be loved again.
What does it mean to adopt a senior pet? How will it change your life...your pet's life? When you take in a senior pet, you are doing more than just adopting. You are giving a second chance to a pet that has the best years of their life ahead of them...their senior years. How can there be a reward greater than the honor of being apart of something so special?
Gray coats and muzzles on the outside only mean more love has accumulated on the inside. As you read our story, please gaze at your pets tonight, young and old, and imagine where they would be without you...or where you would be without them.
The light that seems to shine brighter in a dog when they are a senior has always been there since their puppyhood, but it is up to all of us to realize that it only grows brighter with age. Please take a moment and read the story of RROC's 11 year-old yellow lab, Aspen.
This is Aspen. Aspen is a handsome 11 years young, yellow lab who came to RROC with his "sister," Kora. While his foster parents were in no hurry to adopt out this blonde beauty, RROC answered the everypresent call for the perfect dog to one of our amazing applicants, Thomas.
From the moment they met, it was clear that Aspen was meant to be with Thomas. As an older dog, Aspen was somewhat compromised in the area of exercise. He was often short of breath in short periods of time. However, Aspen's ailments never managed to discourage his owner from showering him with love and care.
Aspen and Thomas were blessed with each other's companionship for four and half months and while it was not enough for either of them, Thomas is grateful for the wonderful time they shared. Aspen and Thomas became fast, inseparable friends who were together inside and out, in Thomas's truck and in the National Forest.
On October 29, 2007, suffering from a variety of age-related ailments, after much consideration, time and love, Thomas said goodbye to Aspen and helped him cross over the rainbow bridge.
"I always knew where he was and he knew my whereabouts or he came and found me and laid down a few feet away. The only time a leash was used was when we were out on the street. Otherwise, he was at my side. Aspen is missed and will always be remembered."
Please give a smile at the thought of Aspen and realize that rescue is more than just placing dogs and that it is our hope that every dog RROC helps gets to end his or her life in the arms of someone like Thomas.
Thomas is grateful for having known Aspen. RROC considers this a message for all of our readers who may want to know about Aspen so they can hug your own dogs a little harder today. Each time you walk the national forests, remember the love that Aspen felt and the bond between Thomas and his dog that can never be broken. You are free to breathe easier now Aspen...sleep well. Love, RROC
At this time, RROC would like to acknowledge the passing our beloved Shadow. Shadow came into RROC as an 8 year old golden boy with a sad past. Shadow came into RROC as a foster dog and left us as a foster dog.
Shadow's foster family reluctantly, assisted Shadow in crossing over the rainbow bridge August 22, 2007.
Battling a variety of physical ailments, Shadow was a bright-eyed dog who learned to love and be loved again while in the care of his foster family.
Please join RROC for a moment in Shadow's memory.
You are missed, sweet dreams. Love, RROC
Rex July 20, 2007
RROC is sad to announce the crossing of the rainbow bridge of our black lab puppy Rex on July 20, 2007. Please join us in mourning the loss of Rex. Our Rex had quite the tough life right from the beginning. This black lab puppy was stricken with a condition known as toxoplasmosis which did a number on his system.
Where there is loss, there is also a learning element. By simply deworming Rex's mother this situation could have been prevented. It was determined early on that Rex was blind and was therefore rendered defective. RROC views all dogs as deserving a second chance and took this little guy in without a second glance.
In his brief time with RROC, Rex was cared for and shown an immense amount of care and attention. Learning to live with a family, trying to master the stairs were among the many challenges this puppy faced with his foster family.
Despite his limitations, Rex tried very hard to enjoy his life. He had very limited vision but still managed to learn how to navigate the doggie door at his family's house. He played with toys and loved his food!
Perhaps due to his constellation of physical problems, he was never a cuddler but he did like to be around people. Rex loved other dogs, and had a special interest in their tails as he seemed fascinated with pouncing on wagging Golden tails!
Let's remember this little boy this way, happy and engaged, and trust that RROC did the very best for this little puppy. Cross the bridge in peace Rex. Love, RROC
This corner of RROC's site and its contents are dedicated to one of RROC's very special dogs, Bozley Mulligan. (You must sign up to be a member to comment and add photos!)
As you may or may not know, RROC's very own Bozley was the celebrity chocolate lab who suffered from patella luxation, a number of kidney issues and severe phobias of hardwood floors and tile. Even so, he still managed to steal the hearts of everyone who met him.
Despite his issues, the Mulligan family welcomed him with open arms. In 2007, Bozley was filmed over the course of 3 months for a pre and post surgery story. If you have seen Bozley's feature, you already know that this was less about a surgery and more about the resilient and forgiving nature of man's best friend.
The Mulligan family showered Bozley with love, helped him through his fear of certain floor surfaces and nursed him back to health after surgery. Our film crew spoke with Bozley's family, foster family and even the doctors at Arvada Flats Hospital who performed his surgery.
Everyone who met Bozley was touched and amazed by his shear will to love and to forgive despite his life before he came to RROC and to his family. Filming Bozley was a privilege that I will never forget and I hope that his story inspires people long after you have forgotten this article.
On February 2, 2009, Bozley lost a tough battle with kidney failure. Despite all efforts by his vets and top notch care from his family, his strong spirit was not enough to keep him on this earth for a little while longer.
Bozley will never be forgotten and in his memory RROC has posted his corner for all of our dogs who have crossed over the rainbow bridge. Sleep well, Bozley.