rainbow bridge

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



roscoe and sammy

Roscoe Sertich 
Rescued July 2004




Sammy Sertich 
Rescued July 2004

sammy sammy  sammy 

Roscoe & Sammy came into Rescue June 23rd, 2004 on Roscoe’s 1st Birthday. Why these 2 Beautiful Golden Boys were given up was beyond us!  July 14, 2004 was our Lucky Day! We fell in love with these two Handsome Brothers instantly. Back to Tucson we went knowing they were going to be Our Forever Boys!!

Roscoe & Sammy were inseparable. They wrestled, swam & played together. Although when it came time for throwing the ball or the frisbee, Sammy was the Retriever. If Roscoe was lucky enough to catch either one the game was over, as he did not share well.

Roscoe & Sammy loved their car rides, weekends to Phoenix & extra long weekends to Bullhead City to visit Grandma.  Special 3 week stays were visiting Their human sister Alli in Vegas. We would meet in Wikieup & off they would go for their Vegas adventure in her Santa Fe.

I am very fortunate that I work from home. Roscoe & Sammy have been my constant companions for 13 years, always at my side in my office.  If I became too involved with work & was not giving them my undivided attention, both heads would be pushing my arms off my desk for petting time.

Afternoons were cookie time & if I lost track of time, they were in front of the pantry reminding me! The best & most memorable times with our Boys were the evening snuggles on the couch!!

We were Incredibly Blessed to have had 13 years of Unconditional Love, Joy & Amazing Memories with our Boys!!  “You will forever be in our Hearts, Sam & Roscoe.  We Love & Miss you! Until we meet again!”


Mom, Dad & Alli

Sammy crossed the Rainbow Bridge – July 3, 2017

Roscoe crossed the Rainbow Bridge -  July 22, 2017

roscoe & sammy  roscoe & sammy  roscoe & sammy 
Rollie DuFrene

Rollie DuFrene 
Rescued September 2003

It is with sadness that we have to let you know that we helped Rollie (formerly "Georgie W", AZGRC Rescue October 2003) across the Rainbow Bridge last Wednesday, October 18th.

Rollie was seven weeks shy of his 15th birthday.  He really had no medical issues during his life up until the last couple of months. In fact, last summer we enrolled Rollie (via blood sample) in an "Old Age in Golden Retrievers" study being done at U.C. Davis.  It was a study to determine why some Goldens live longer lives than others.

We adopted Rollie when he was only 9 months old. He was a happy dog and we were lucky to have him with us for almost exactly 14 years.

Mike & Lisa DuFrene

Crossed the Bridge October 2017



Sadie Cinnamon Morken 
Rescued May 2008

sadieWe were so lucky back in June 2008 to have adopted such a joyful, happy, bouncing overweight ball of fur that was our Sadie girl.  I know everyone says it but she really was the best dog anyone could ever ask for.  She loved being around people and other dogs, she was down for whatever you wanted to do, run, swim, camp, happy hour, road trip or just lay around with you on a lazy day.  And she did it all.  The only thing that would hold her back was a "no dogs allowed" sign.  

Sadie loved to travel.  She went swimming in the Pacific Ocean, ran the beaches of Mexico and played fetch in Lake Tahoe.  She was a heck of a fetch player too, both on land and in the water.  Everyday you would get home there she was excited to see you, typically with a ball in her mouth growling a tad as if holding back a "welcome home" bark.  

sadie sadie

sadieSadie was also excellent at burying things, as most dogs, are but Sadie had pro level talent. You would never be able to find even the most recent spot.  She would bury anything from spatulas, large firewood, her Kong ball, a bag rice crispy treats (which she didn't eat), you name it.  We look forward to finding all her buried treasurers in the coming years.  Just one of many things to always remember her by.  She was her bouncing, fun loving self until her last day here.  

Sadie will be greatly missed but her stories and memories will live on forever.  Thank you again for pairing us with such an amazing dog, we loved her and will continue to love her so much.  

Your 4-legged friends,
Scott & Amy Morken

Crossed the Bridge September 2017

shiloh and tuff

shiloh and tuffTuff 
Rescued March 2010
Crossed the Bridge November 2013

Rescued March 2010
Crossed the Bridge August 2017

It was a very special day for us when we rescued Shiloh and Tuff. The first photo was only a couple of months after we adopted them and Shiloh still carried that “red” baby. Tuff and Shiloh were so loved. The photo in the snow was at our mountain house and boy did they like it there. Tuff left us about 4 years ago, way too soon, from cancer of the spleen, but he did not suffer. Shiloh had a growth in her mouth that appeared about 4 months prior and because of her age of 14, we just could not operate. But she was great until the very end.

When we lost Tuff, Shiloh was so very sad, as were we, and so in a very weak moment I found 2 golden puppies in Dewey and the last picture is Shiloh and her two “best friends” Tuff #2 and Sedona. They thought she was their mother.

Golden Retrievers are probably the best friends you could ever have. We have had 10 Goldens over the years and every one is so shiloh and friendsvery special. Shiloh was our first female in many years and ended up being my very best friend ever. She was everywhere I was and I so miss her. She had a big smile and tolerated everyone including her “two new best friends”. She spent the last few weeks of her life in Pinetop where all the little children in the neighborhood would come over in the evening and hug her so she would get better. They called her Fluffy.  “Fluffy" was the best! 



Dexter Dunn
Rescued January 2005

Dexter came to us in 2005 as a 1-year puppy full of energy and an adventurous spirit.  He was Chipolito’s best friend and partner-in-crime, except he was the “good one”.  

Dexter and Chip were inseparable, often sharing the same toy, sock, or bed.  They traveled all over with us from adventures in the mountains of Colorado, vineyards of California, to the beaches in Mexico.  

Dexter was never motivated by food or treats, but rather his leash.  He loved to go for a run, walk or hike more than anything else in the world.  Always wanting to lead the way and explore more, he never seemed to tire.  Dexter loved chasing squirrels or bunnies and frolicking on the golf course.  He loved his family and friends too, and could be counted on to lean onto you for more petting and attention.

Dexter welcomed his doggie-sister, Daisy, into our home last year and helped her learn the ropes.  They could always be found sleeping next to each other and quickly became the best of friends.    Dexter crossed the rainbow bridge on July 24th 2017 and will be missed by his family.  His playful, adventurous spirit will never be forgotten and we will always remember him as the sweetest dog a family could ever have.   We are so thankful and blessed to have had him in our lives.  

We love you, Dexter, and will see you soon.

Mom, Dad, Jensen & Daisy

dexter dexter dexter 
dexter  dexteer   dexter

Crossed The Bridge July 2017


Rocky Ziemer
Rescued March 2010

Rocky's Final Ride

rockyRocky came into rescue in 2008 from the shelter. His foster Mom, Lisa saw him lying in the kennel, skinny and sick and saved him. He had heartworm so he stayed with Lisa and Brenda for months through his treatments. I fell in love with Rocky at our first meeting but knew that my dogs would not accept him. Rocky was adopted to a family who keep him for 2 years then he was returned to rescue. Judy stepped up to foster him until we found Rocky a new family in Cornville. Rocky was only there for a few months, when his Mom had a brain aneurysm and died. By then my own pack had changed and on Labor Day weekend, we drove to Cornville to bring Rocky HOME. I told Rocky, he was always meant to be my dog and he was in his FOREVER home. That was in 2010.

Rocky and his best pal, Edie, became inseparable. Edie was the boss and Rocky was fine with that arrangement.  Their favorite thing to do was go for rides in the car. It started with going to the Post Office every night to get AZGRC’s mail. It continued on a trip to Colorado State University when Edie was sick. Both were afraid of storms and fireworks, so any storm or fireworks celebration, it was a car ride. Then occasional Meals-on-Wheels deliveries for their favorite friend were added into the night trips. Lately it was two car rides a day, one at lunch time to find something that Rocky would eat. (Chick-fil-a nuggets were his favorite) and then again at night to “check” the mail.

Last night, Rocky and Edie took their last car ride together. It was like Edie knew because she let Rocky have the dog bed and she put her paw on top of his paw. (I missed capturing the picture of the both of them drinking out of the water bowl.)

Rocky passed peacefully at home with Edie lying next to him. (Thank you Angel Vet)

Edie is so lost. She is searching the house for her best buddy. Tonight Edie will go for her car ride but it will never be the same.

Rocky, you will always be a Rock Star. You were loved by so many people. I miss you so much. And don’t worry, we will make sure that your pal Edie makes it through her grief.



Crossed The Bridge June 26, 2017


Bonus Amrine
Rescued September 2007

We remember getting to know Candy and being introduced to a Golden named Bonus.   Our first thoughts were who names a dog Bonus?  She had been through three foster homes and everyone thought she was a wild one, a dog with tooooo much energy, she was on the go all the time.  A couple of years earlier we had adopted another Golden named Annie and thought it would be nice if Annie had a bud, a partner to enjoy life with.  Wow, what a match, they became instant sisters, inseparable.

bonus bonus bonus

Bonus had been abused as a breeder dog, caged and no longer useful when Candy found her and took her into AGRC,  people mis-read Bonus’ non stop going as a dog with toooo much energy.  She was just a dog who was super grateful to be cage free and running in the open with joyful abandon.

Now she had found a forever loving, kind, compassionate home, with a forever sister, Annie.  They seemed attached to each other.

Life was great, enjoying road trips, walks, and way too much loving.   Bonus loved loved her walks.

bonus bonus bonus
bonus bonus  bonus 

Are we there yet, we want to run and play.

When visiting our house you met "the greeters" first hand.  Love abounded in these wonderful Goldens.  Bonus was the eager one. . .as you can see.

When Annie went over the Rainbow Bridge, Bonus was devastated and started going downhill.   Five months later she's joined Annie in their forever heavenly home, buds again.  We can just see Bonus carrying around ducky, making it squeak and squeak some more.  

We’ll love you forever, Bonus

Crossed The Bridge July 2017 

jullee and bobbie

Julee Whitlatch
Rescued February 2014

julee gift of rescueJulee came to us when she was eleven years old.  She had always been an outside dog, so she really loved having an inside home with soft beds and toys of her own.  She was known as the toy-and-sock-eating dog, as her favorite past time was destroying them!  Julee co-existed with her canine brother Bob, but when Welsie joined the family, it was an instant bonding.  It was like two lost sisters had finally found each other!  They were truly “Golden sisters”, playing together, sleeping together and even tearing up toys together.  In 2016, they were even featured together in the AZGRC calendar and were instant celebs! 

When Welsie became sick, Julee and Bob joined her in eating healthy frozen blueberries, which they all loved.  Being a senior Golden, Julee had her health issues, but when Welsie crossed the Rainbow Bridge in January, Julee changed.  She stopped destroying toys and socks and, while she still enjoyed her blueberries. you could tell it was not the same without her beloved Welsie.   But Julee stayed with her mom and her brother a little longer, helping to foster one more Golden from Taiwan.   After the newest foster found her forever home, Julee must have heard her sister calling her.  So, on July 1, Julee quietly left this earth and joined Welsie across the Rainbow Bridge.  I am sure she and Welsie are back together, looking for socks and toys to destroy and have a great time.


Mom and Bob

Crossed The Bridge July 2017

Lucky Rogers

Lucky Rogers
Rescued April 2007  

luckyTonight we said goodbye to Lucky. I rescued her from Arizona Golden Retriever Connection ten years ago. She was 5 years old at that time. The last of the original three that I rescued. Her brothers Max and Goose are now laid to rest with her. It's only right that they be reunited on our property, where I will be someday. 

We spent the day together at her happy place laying in the shade of her favorite tree, next to the pond she loved so much. She had cheeseburgers, fries, and a shake. My three Goldens had been through so much with me. Lucky’s soul was so alive here in Colorado, as is mine. The last four years were bonus years for her. I’ve never had a Golden go to 15 years.

She left peacefully, with me lying beside her telling her how much she was loved.

I know that I have met the only man for me because he shed a few tears as wellLucky's last triumph was teaching Seamus how to get good and muddy for Mama

Crossed The Bridge June 2017


Sweet Pea (Sweetie) Dennis

sweetieSweet Pea (Sweetie) Dennis was a comforting leader to her sister, Casi. She was tolerant of her "little" brother, Jackson (even when he would sit on her
head!).  She even  accepted the addition of our mischievous little terrier, Kizzie and Tiki the Kitty Cat.    

Sweetie always seemed to know when a nearby human was in need of a little golden TLC.  Many times we witnessed her sitting quietly next
to someone that was having a bad day-somehow she always knew who needed her most.  If no one was in need of her services at the dog park she would perform her "100% move" (because it worked 100% of the time)-she would go to the center of the field and lie on her back, smiling her big goofy golden grin-and then it would happen.  People would come over and rub her beautiful golden tummy-one of her MANY favorite things in the world-tummy rubs.

Sweetie was a world class peanut butter jar licker and an awesome underwater swimmer.  She would wait until toys would sink to the bottom of the pool then she would swim underwater to retrieve them. Retrieve a tennis ball...not so much. 

Her sister, Casi, hasn't gotten in the pool this summer-it just isn't the same without Sweetie. Nothing is the same without Sweetie for any of us-she is
dearly missed by her whole family.

We had the privilege to share Sweetie's life from the young age of 8 weeks thru the terrible twos (those terrible first 2 years!) to age 12.  While we miss her so
much I find comfort knowing that  Miss Kitty and big brothers Vegas and Chester were on the bridge, waiting to welcome her.

We will see you again Sweet Girl-save us a spot!

Love-Mom, Dad, Randi, Casi, Jackson, Kizzie and Tiki

Crossed The Bridge April 2017

Lady Jane

Lady Jane Palazzolo
Rescued July 2007

Lady JaneLady Jane came to AZGRC from the shelter, she had been abandoned and left to survive on the streets. The shelter walker knew that she needed become part of the AZGRC family.

She was brought to us as a foster, who quickly became part of our forever family. When she joined our family she had two older dog brothers, who she loved with all of her heart. We discovered that LJ had trust issue with women, to help with her fear, we did lots of training and LJ loved it. We completed basic obedience, she got her CGC, we went to agility, and because she had a bit of Aussie in her we tried out herding.

As LJ grew up she became an amazing girl, after the loss of one of her brothers, she got her very own puppy and baby sister Dora. With the addition of Dora, LJ no longer wanted to go to herding class, she got to herd Dora every day. As time passed she lost another of her brothers and gained another old man dog to spend her final years with.

LJ was a snow dog and by I mean, she lived in Arizona during the winter and spent the summers in Oregon. She loved to explore new places and traveled with us where ever we went.

LJ loved toys, Christmas, hiking, the beach, training, and her family. Because her loss was unexpected and sudden we are still processing the shock of it. Her sparkle is missed by her family and the void is going to take a long time to heal, but with time we will once again be able to focus on the joy, love, and laughter that she brought to our family.

With sorrow,

 Tony, Robin, Dora, and Klod

Lady Jane Lady Jane Lady Jane
Lady Jane Lady Jane Lady Jane

Crossed The Bridge June 2017


Riley Chrisitmas

Rrileyescued  December 2016

Each dog enters our life for a purpose. We may not see that purpose at the time but eventually we come to understand our part in their journey. Riley’s lived each day as it was a gift. She was grateful for each loving gesture. She wagged her tail with unbridled joy. She helped prepare us for what each of us is going to experience with our own fur babies in the future. And when she transitioned from this earth, she showed us what joy and peace looks like. Thank you Riley for the many lessons you taught. Thank you for the love you gave us.  Run free Sweet Riley! Your light will shine on.

Crossed the Rainbow Bridge May 2017


Bradley Royer

Rescued August 2004

Re-adopted November 2011

Bradley was originally saved from the shelter when he was just a young dog of 6 months old. I still remember the day, I took him out of the shelter and named him after a childhood friend. He was adopted to a couple who loved him with all of their heart but when life changed and they had twin boys, Bradley did not adjust so they made the heart wrenching decision to surrender Bradley back to AZGRC.

Bradley was quickly adopted into a home where he was the center of their world.

“We are better for having known them”

Bradley was actually my first dog. He became a very central part of the family. Thank you for having been part of the chain of life that brought him to be part of our life and made it better.

Roland, Agnes and Adrie

Crossed the Rainbow Bridge April 2017


Jake Johnson
Rescued July 2, 2004

Jake was the best big brother a golden retriever could ever have. I adopted him from the Sun Valley Animal Shelter because I wanted a playmate for my then 2-year-old golden, Lucy. When the two of them first met in an outdoor shelter run, I knew right away that he was the perfect gentleman—playful and protective yet always willing to let his golden sister be the star. Soon after I lost Lucy to cancer at the young age of 6, we welcomed our second golden rescue, Sarah. Again, Jake was the gentle big brother, who instinctively knew his job was to take care of his two best girls. He and Sarah loved our morning walks, trips to the park to chase birds and cats, swims in the backyard pool, and cuddling on the couch. The most-asked question about Jake was “what kind of dog is he?” Technically, I suspect he was an English Setter mixed with something larger (maybe a lab). One day I was at a vet’s office when someone asked the standard Jake question, and the vet quickly responded, “well, he’s a black-and-white dog, of course.” In my heart, I have always known that Jake was my black-and-white golden retriever. A loyal and faithful friend to his final days, I will always be blessed to have shared his one-of-a-kind, heart-of-a-golden life. 

Forever in our hearts,

Karen and Sarah

jake jake

Crossed the Rainbow Bridge April 21, 2017 


Rescued August 2013


On 6 August, 2013 God sent an angel to our home in the disguise of a quite sick Golden Retriever named Sadie. She was very ill at the time, having undergone surgery for an infected uterus and enduring four blood transfusions.  But as sick and skinny as she was, when she first walked through our door she was smiling.  At the time, we didn’t know if she would survive the first few days she was in our foster care. She slept almost constantly and barely ate anything at all.  Around the fourth day she started coming around.  Day by day, week by week, she got stronger and full of life.    

So, we fell in love with the beautiful little girl and informed the AZGRC that we would be foster failures.  There was no way we were going to let this girl go now.  She was love personified. She loved walks around Chaparral Lake, just steps from our home.  She loved laying in the grass in our courtyard and sniffing all the cool smells that wafted off of the lake.  And she loved people.  People were always coming up to say hello to her and she would always smile.  She was always smiling.  She loved her treats. We think she probably had never had a full belly in her life until she came to grace us with her presence.   She was a very mellow girl whom I only heard one bark out of the whole time she was with us.  And even then, it was just a muffled “woof”. 

Sadie left us on April 3, 2017.  We were there with her, holding her and caressing her as she crossed the Rainbow Bridge.  She left this plane having known love, happiness and the feel of a full belly.  We will miss her greatly but take comfort in the fact that her final years were happy ones.  We will be forever grateful to the very kind people at the AZGRC for bringing this sweet, sweet girl into our lives.

Godspeed, Sadie – we’ll see you again

Mike Watts/Lew Williams 

Crossed the Bridge April 2017


Rescued May 2016

bellaMay 15, 2016 was a day of celebration for us: QQ arrived from LA after a lengthy air transport from Taiwan. We were prepared for her ‘disability’—-severe hip dysplasia, most likely requiring surgical intervention. To our surprise, she bounded out of the vehicle, and entered our lives with energy and a bit of a hip swagger, anxious to be part of our life. We opened our hearts to her completely, and received back pure love and devotion, wet kisses and all.

Over the weeks and months, we were mentored by such an incredible support team we never felt alone in getting QQ (now Bella) all the medical care she required, and even started vet rehab as it seemed this amazing dog was not going to require surgical intervention any time soon. We introduced her to swimming in the pool which she took to naturally. The special moments are too numerous to remember: the home exercise program with treats, play time on the floor, the foster dog Major and Bella playing together, the immediate acceptance of our cats, the many walks with new friends, and food, food, food!  She even won second prize in the AZGRC Gotcha Day for the Dunking for Wieners contest.

Sadly, after six months we were to discover that bellaour time with Bella was to be cut short. Tumor development was not what we had anticipated so soon after Bella’s arrival. Again, the AZGRC team were there to walk us through this difficult time. The philosophy that became so important to us was that AZGRC dogs find the forever home where they were meant to be. We realized that we were to have the important role of giving Bella the very best days, weeks or months that she had left.

Those weeks and months lasted until March 30, 2017 when Bella crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. We miss her daily, many tears have been shed as we recall the many, many moments of joy that she brought into our life, and the loss that we feel. Nevertheless, we would not change a moment of time we shared with our Bella. Her presence will be felt in our lives always.

Bella was the light of our life. We loved her dearly. This Dog's Last Will and Testament would reflect her wishes.

Jean and Jim

bella bella bella  

To a poor and lonely stray I’d give my happy home; my bowl and cozy bed, soft pillow and all my toys; the lap, which I loved so much; the hand that stroked my fur; and the sweet voice that spoke my name.

I’d will to the sad, scared shelter dog the place I had in my human’s loving heart, of which there seemed no bounds.

So, now that I am gone, do not say ‘I will never have a pet again, for the loss and pain is more than I can stand’.

Instead, go find an unloved dog, one whose life has held no joy or hope, and give my place to him.

This is the only thing I can give…

The love I left behind.

Author Unknown

 Crossed the Bridge March 2017 

mandy pease


Rescued January 2016

Sunny days are therapeutic for us. So is the Golden Retriever effect. It is no coincidence they share the same positive golden glow. Many of us have been blessed to have our Goldens for years. Some of us have the blessing for only a short time, but the same sunny golden glow still prevails.  That’s how it was for the short time we had our sweet Mandy (Mandarin), who came to us from Taiwan. Mandy was unusual because she looked Asian, her adorable eyes had Asian characteristics.  The moment she came to us, we knew she was a blessing beyond words. She remains that blessing forever.

Everyone who ever met Mandy instantly described her as “sweet.” That word described her perfectly. Many who met her asked if they could get a dog just like her. I said yes, contact rescue, many wait for love.

The question remains, why was she so sweet? If a human was imprisoned in a cage for breeding purposes for years and then thrown to the streets when she became useless, would that person be sweet, or untrusting and cynical?  Add to that, fending for herself on the streets, facing starvation, dealing with invasive mammary cancer, parasites and then an awful STD, would a human be trusting, loving and forgiving?  Mandy was.  Mandy was the ultimate testament to why humans care for and protect dogs.

Each time we came in the door, she greeted us as if we had been away for days. Her goofy smile, with her protruding tongue always made us adore her even more. Often in the middle of the night she would stand next to the bed and put her head as close as she could to us, asking for reassurance. “Yes, Mandy, we love you” was our response no matter how many times she woke us. 

We miss her desperately. But, having such love for a short time is better than never having it at all. We thank all the fine folks at Arizona Golden Retriever Connection for bringing us that precious golden glow to our home, even if it was for just a short time. Mandy will be with us forever, for that we are eternally grateful.

Crossed the Bridge April 2017


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




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