rainbow bridge

Bear patiently, my heart, for you have suffered heavier things. ~ Homer, Greek Author


Rescued August 2015

Audi, the courageous intrepid traveler.  Crossed a ocean to spend the last and best part of his life with us in the Hill Country in Texas,  a safe place, off the streets.  Learned English in 20 minutes!  Overcame the effects of an incurable ear infection.  Still, a handsome, happy soul from morning to night, glued to us, close by, with the ever whomping tail.  Long walks in the country with his Golden pals, Dixie and Dallas.  Daily visits with his friends, Indy the horse and Rufus the black llama.  The ever awaited routine of everyday events with such zeal.  A silent house again, forever missed, forever remembered.

Mike and Tim

Crossed the Bridge March 2017

abby hart

Rescued June 2008

Abby (originally Windy) was the light of my life and without a doubt I know I was the light of hers.

When I rescued Abby, OR shall I say, when she rescued me, she was afraid of many things, we learned together how to overcome the obstacles.

Abby enjoyed chasing anything that rustled in a bush in her backyard. She would stick her head into a bush and stamp her right paw to make sure that what was ever hiding in the bush knew she meant business, that they needed to get out and be on their way.

Abby loved her walks and would do her happy dance when she saw her leash come out as it meant she was going to see her friends, didn’t matter to her if they were of the 4 legged or two legged variety. She loved to go for car rides and visit friends and family. She would wait patiently by the back door when she saw her bowls and food getting packed up.

Abby was a gentle and loving dog who wanted nothing more than to please and give love, if you were among her favorite peeps, she might even coax you into giving her a treat.

Abby will be so deeply missed, she will be forever in our hearts.

I love you Abby,
Abby’s Mommy, Vicki

Crossed the Bridge January 2017


Rescued July 2009

Nokio (originally called Pinocchio) and sister Roxy came to AZGRC as a pair. They joined our household on April 13, 2010 moving in with golden retriever Cosmo who had recently lost his sister Nina. Later in January 2011 golden retriever Wobbles joined the family. Wobbles was a retired therapy dog. They were a happy foursome until September 2013 when we lost Cosmo. We lost Nokio’s sister Roxy in July 2014.

Nokio loved ball, walks, and swimming, including diving. He was a gentle soul and a great fan of Frosty Paws. He liked burying his head in laps. He was not a fan of having his nose kissed. We miss him greatly as does Wobbles.

Crossed the Bridge February 2017


Alexi ashley-null

Alexi was the matriarch of the family.  We often called her Dew Girl.  This is one of our favorite photos of Alexi.  She’s looking at the sun and you can just imagine her saying “Ahhhhh, what a great day!”   We are heartbroken that she is gone, but so grateful that Moose and Jake still have each other.

She can never be replaced and will always be loved.

Lisa & Ray

Moose & Jake

Crossed the Bridge December 2016


Napa Stevens
Rescued October 2008

NAPAIn the beginning of 2016 our vet told me that Napa was not well and didn’t think she would be with me come spring.  

Well, that wonderful stinker made it into the Fall.  She was my sweet girl and is missed tremendously.


Crossed the Bridge December 2016


Rescued September 2013

We fell in love with Lily the minute we met her in September of 2013.  She was known as Millie then and was being fostered by Kelly and her sweet Golden, Wiley. Thanks to AZGRC, Lily had been saved from euthanasia at the pound. She was a petite girl with a beautiful Golden face who had serious ear infections, dry eyes and Valley Fever.

Once we brought Lily home she became best buddies with our Golden boy, Cosmo.  They loved to wrestle and chew on each other’s ears and tails.  They were like bookends, napping together around the house. Lily was a very quiet dog who rarely barked and almost never growled except when it came to our 16 year old mix, Tula.  They had a few tiffs and Tula eventually learned to let Lily be in charge. 

Lily loved her daily walks only she didn’t just walk, she pranced.  She’d lift her head, sniff the air and prance along for a while.  Then she’d slow down, lift her head, sniff the air and prance some more.  It was such fun to watch her.  She was also our “weathergirl”.   We always knew when a storm was coming and it was time to get out her Thundershirt.  Usually for a few days after a storm she wouldn’t go outside without first sticking just her head out the door, smelling the air and making sure the coast was clear.   She loved strolling in our yard and we loved to watch her stop and smell the flowers. Our “Silly Lily” also watched TV.   As soon as an animal appeared on the screen Lily would pop up and run to the screen to watch.  And “Lillers” was my alarm clock.  If I wasn’t up by 7:15 she would put both paws on the bed and put her head next to mine.  She loved the mornings and that’s when she was happiest.

Lily was the most affectionate dog we have ever had.  She would often come up to Tom or me and just snuggle up against us.  She was definitely “Daddy’s Girl” putting her head on Tom’s knee or a paw on his arm rest to get his attention. If we came near her while she was lying down she would immediately roll over for a belly rub and she knew we couldn’t resist. We adored Lily and she was devoted to us.

Our poor Lily had so many health issues which she faced so bravely.  Her long term ear problems were finally under control when she developed stomach problems.  We got that figured out and then discovered she had fibro-sarcoma of the jaw that had spread to her bones.  Through it all she was gentle, sweet and loving.   Lily loved her vet, Dr. Remen and all the staff at Desert Tails Animal Clinic who treated her like royalty.  At the end, they made an unbearable situation peaceful for us and for our precious Lily. With broken hearts we said good-bye on December 30, 2016. We will be forever grateful to AZGRC for entrusting us with Lily and to Dr. Remen and Desert Tails Animal Clinic and all the wonderful people who helped us care for her. 

Rita Koppinger and Tom Martinsen  

Crossed the Bridge December 2016

annie marie

annie marie

annie marie

Rescued May 2012


“ANNIE MARIE” you came into our home as a “vacation foster” and once again we became “failed fosters.”  We were so grateful to have been given the opportunity to care for you after your major surgery, giving you a safe “forever home”.   You went on to become “Miss January” for 2016, how proud we were!!.  “ANNIE MARIE”” you were the light of our lives, made us laugh, smile every day and helped us to appreciate what really is important in “our” life, which is to share life with a “Golden.”   “ANNIE MARIE”, sharing life with you was not long enough, you loved unconditionally and your loyalty prevailed until the end.  Our home is empty, our hearts are broken, yet we know you are at peace and running free.  Your paw prints remain on our hearts and our memories will be cherished forever.

“ANNIE MARIE” OUR GOLDEN CUPCAKE WITH RAINBOW SPRINKLES” one day we will all meet at the Rainbow Bridge and as a family cross together.....

We will love you always,

Papa & Mama

Crossed the Bridge December 2016

annie marie annie marie annie marie annie marie
annie marie annie marie annie marie annie marie


Welsie Whitlatch
Rescued May 2014

Welsie was an owner turn in 05/25/2014. She had a funny bark and her right eye bulged. She loved anyone she met and was always happiest destroying toys. AZGRC was able to get her eye repaired and she loved the Whitlatch Senior Home. She tolerated her brother Bobbie but she loved the new foster girl Julee that arrived just a few months later. Julee and Welsie were fast friends and would start the morning with growling and pawing each other. Many times you would find them resting together with their paws crossed. Welsie would rip the toys open and Julee would eat the stuffing.

Welsie loved visiting with all of the fosters that have passed thru our house; she would share her toys, food, and bed. She especially loved Spa Day with Green Dog Grooming.

She really loved the UPS man and always barked at him. She was the perfect door greeter.

In October she had surgery and was diagnosed with hemangiocarcoma. She was a trooper and the best patient. She recovered quickly and was again playing with Julee until the last day. She was surrounded by family and furry friends as she crossed the Rainbow bridge. We are sad but we know she was met by many friends and is now pain free.  Thanks to all our friends at Arizona Golden Retriever Connection and Four Legged Friends who loved and cared for Welsie. 

We miss you, Welsie, but know you are whole and having fun with all the other Goldens we have known.

Love always, 

Momma Joy, Bobbie, and Julee

welsie welsie welsie
welsie welsie welsie

Crossed the Bridge December 2016



Remembrance for Josephine

Josephine - You who were an angel on earth are now an angel in heaven. A bright shining joyous light in our lives has been extinguished.

We loved you yesterday  we love you today and we will love you tomorrow. We will think of you often and miss you every day.

Mom and Dad.

Crossed the Bridge December 2016

Mai Tai

Rescued September 2008

Last night my big girl Mai Tai died very suddenly.  My inner core is filled with gut wrenching sadness.

Let me tell you a story about a gentle soul.  She was the class of 2008, rescued as a turn in from Tucson.  Apparently a family member was allergic to her fur and Mai’s first three years was spent outside.   She learned how to swim in their backyard pool and took dips to cool off in the hot heat.  Mai continued this practice to the end of her life.

Mai was a very laid back and friendly dog.  She was also quiet and only barked twice in the 9 years we owned her.   There was never a person or dog she didn’t like.  She loved to visit and socialize with other dogs especially the boys.  Mai Tai was the biggest flirt.  Because of her demeanor she became a certified therapy dog.  When Mai put on her vest she took her job very seriously and stole many of hearts in nursing homes and schools.  As a side job she was our professional spoon and plate licker.

Mai’s favorite place in the whole world was at our cabin in Overgaard.  She was famous for her walkabouts and liked to sniff every tree and bush in the surrounding forest to see what animals were around.  Mai’s favorite activity was to go fishing with Mama.  She would swim out to an exposed rock at our favorite fishing hole and sun herself until it was time to go home.  All the people in boats would marvel and laugh as they passed by at the sight of my little mermaid.  (See photo)

Mai you are no longer by my side but you will forever be in my heart. 

Love you my sweet girl. 


Crossed the Bridge December 2016


Grace Key
Rescued April 2010

Grace was almost six years old when her owners, expecting a new baby, decided they no longer had the time to give Grace the attention and care she deserved. She came to AZGRC and was placed with me and my  Golden, Monty.  Very quickly, Grace settled in and let me know that she was home forever!  After Monty crossed the Rainbow Bridge, Grace welcomed Jacquie and Gibbs, two other Golden rescues, into our home.  She became a good sister to both Jacquie and Gibbs  sharing her mom's love and attention.  

Sadly Grace was diagnosed with lymphoma in August of this year, and crossed the Bridge in November. I only had Grace for 6 ½ years but she was an amazing dog and I’m very lucky that I failed at fostering and decided to adopt her instead!  Thank you to AZGRC for placing her with me.  She will be greatly missed.


Crossed the Bridge November 2016

king leo

Rescued June 2005

king LoeKing Leo was the best. When I first saw him and saw what a wild man he was I knew I wanted him. He was so big and crazy I saw the challenge I would have training. Leo was so smart. His ability to jump high and swimming was his favorite activities. He turned out to be a great DockDog competitor. Everyone would smile when he would get on the dock and be amazed at the distance he could jump. All in all we were meant for each other.

king leo king leo

Crossed the Bridge November 2016


Rescued October 2009

lucasf you have ever been owned by a cat, you know they have the uncanny ability to “disappear” into a third dimension until they decide to “reappear.” Lucas choose perfect timing to reappear. One of our adopted Goldens, Sketcher, needed to come back to Arizona Golden Retriever Connection because his family had a crisis and they were moving. The crisis involved a new child that had respiratory problems and they could have no animals in the house. When we arrived to get Sketcher, outside the sliding glass door stood a stunning white cat that was trying to come in the house.  The family said, the cat had just appeared about a month before. They were putting out food and he would come in the house with Sketcher. With their upcoming move, they were just going to leave the cat.  We found a moving box, poked some holes in the top of the box, put the now “not happy to be in a box” cat in the car and drove off with Sketcher and the cat in a box. The car ride from Anthem to Mesa was interesting with lots of meowing and poking paws coming from the box. The cat came to my house and I named him Lucas after my uncle that had recently passed away. Now to find Lucas his forever home. I talked to my friend who fostered cats for another rescue and asked if she would foster him and help him get adopted through that rescue. I may have cried and begged a little but the answer was a resounding “ok”. Lucas never left his foster home. He had found his forever home. To his Mom, thank you for giving Lucas a super life filled with lots of love, snuggles and happiness.

Run free sweet boy. I am grateful you chose to “appear” in our lives.

Crossed the Bridge December 5, 2016


Angus Ziemer
Rescued October 2016

If you listen closely a dog will always tell you what they need.  We only knew Angus for a couple of hours but in that time he was given lots of treats, lots of love and most importantly the dignity that he so deserved. A lifetime of sorrow was erased. Run free, sweet boy! You were loved and you mattered.

Crossed the Bridge October 2016 


Brinkley parker
Rescued April 2011

We will miss you forever, buddy. You are such a bright light in our memories. Rest in peace sweet boy.

We love you,

Dad, Mom, and Annie

Crossed the Bridge October 2016 

ben  Ben Smith-Aussprung
Rescued October 1, 2002

benBen Smith-Aussprung crossed the Rainbow Bridge on Oct 12, 2016.   He was a wonderful foster brother to so many rescued AZGRC Goldens, welcoming them into his home and being part of their journey of recovery and hope.  To Kara and Bob, he was their little swashbuckler and a faithful, loving companion.  

While it is so very hard to say goodbye to a beloved pet, Bob and Kara are sure that when Ben crossed the Bridge, Chelsea, the love of his life, along with all his other buddies were there to joyously welcome him home.  

Rest in peace, Ben.  Your mom, dad and all your friends at AZGRC will never forget you.

Crossed the Bridge October 12, 2016



Arizona Golden Retriever Connection is an all volunteer, non-profit, 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

Arizona Golden Retriever Connection

P.O. Box 26678
Scottsdale, AZ  85255
Phone:  602-870-0037     Fax:  480-563-9154