The Rainbow Bridge


We adopted Bailey in August of 2004. We had a wonderful life with her, she was so awesome. However, 2 weeks ago, we had to put her down... she was diabetic, blind, and then one night she had a stroke, and her back legs were paralyzed at this point...along with other issues. We have been so very sad over this loss.

Yes... we got very lucky when we adopted Bailey. She was smart, loveable, and was a very happy soul coming to live at our home and integrate into our family. She smiled all the time and her tail never stopped. She was such a lovely pet, and we all adored her. Even our extended family and close friends and even some of our neighbors were attached to her. she truly had a ‘golden’ heart.

Thank you.


It has taken me a few days to be able to write this note. On Saturday IGRR foster dog KJ crossed to the rainbow bridge. He would have been 15 years old in May and spent the last two years living with my husband and I. Unfortunately I picked the wrong weekend to travel and owe everyone at Grand Ave Vet clinic a big thank you and especially Renee for being with him in my absence.

I have to thank IGRR for letting KJ stay with me. He was the greatest dog and I will miss him forever. When KJ came into rescue he was almost 13 years old and taking medication for seizures. We gave him a home for the last years of his life and everyone at IGRR should be very proud of what we do and the dogs we help.


Dear Iowa Golden Retriever Rescue,

I know with absolute certainty Oscar was meant to spend the remainder of his days as part of our family.

Last Tuesday it was necessary to put him to sleep due to his deteriorating health.

I first became familiar with Oscar when I saw his photo on the IGRR website. After we lost Faith, our first IGRR Golden in April of 2010 I would often look to the website. That is when I saw Oscar's photo. It was too soon after Faith. He looked too much like Faith. I couldn't bring myself to consider another Golden so soon as my heart still belonged to Faith. Oscar's photo remained on the website all spring and into the summer. We had brought our yellow lab, Shelby, into the house that Spring, as well. While she was adjusting somewhat to being a housedog, she was very challenging.

That summer, Gary's son and fiance were planning their wedding to be in our back yard. Therefore, in July and the week prior to the big day, Gary & I took off the week from work to make final preparations to the yard to insure it was "wedding ready". Mid- week during our vacation, we stopped by our work to check any emails which may have needed our immediate attention. That is when I saw the "Urgent" email from the IGRR about Oscar. At that, moment I knew I must inquire about Oscar, the timing was too uncanny. My certainty became greater the minute I learned Oscar had the same foster Mom as Faith.

After we made it through the wedding we were off to Des Moines to meet Oscar. WE brought Shelby along to make sure the two would get along, which they did.

Gary cautioned me against adopting another senior Golden, after he watched the heartbreak I went through after losing Faith. My response was "That if I could make their last few years really count" I could bear the pain.

Needless to say Oscar came home with us. While we showered him with love and affection, in hopes that would be all he remembered for his remaining days... it was Oscar who blessed our family. He helped to teach Shelby what it was to be good house dog. He was her big brother. He was my constant buddy. He fit into our family as if he was born a "Kramer" While it was our intention to "do" for Oscar, it was Oscar who gave us the best years of his life.

In hindsight, after looking at Oscar's photo so many times that spring and early summer on the IGRR website, I now know Oscar was patiently waiting for us. He was meant to be part of our family. I will never regret adopting a "Senior" dog. They have so much love to share that it makes the pain of losing them just a little bit more bearable.

Thank you IGRR for bringing Oscar to our family.

Alane, Gary, & Shelby


John and I picked up Gage (a Golden Retriever) on September 23, 2009 from the Ingersoll Animal Hospital to determine if he would be compatible with our yellow Lab Hard Tack. We officially adopted Gage through IGRR (The Iowa Golden Retriever Rescue) on September 30, 2009. When we first saw him he dropped at our feet and was so humble! Gage was thin, had very bad teeth and his coat was short here and there from trying to groom a dog that had been running loose - what a sight! Gage had separation anxiety to the very end always wanting to be with us in whatever room we were in. Most importantly - he loved his people and adored children.

Gage took classes at the Des Moines Obedience Training Club, became a therapy dog with Delta Society and a member of the Reading Education Assistance Dogs, Program (R.E.A.D). Gage volunteered at GiGi's Playhouse, Child Serve and Valley View Village - all in the Des Moines, Iowa vicinity.

Thank you to IGRR for all you do and for being with us from the very beginning.
Linda and John


It is with great sadness that I share the passing of IGRR foster, Elwood. Elwood came to IGRR last December after his family had to move and could not take their dog's with them. Transitioning 12 year old Elwood from outdoor living to house pet was not an easy one. Thanks to Sharon for first opening her home to him and then helping him find a wonderful foster home with Sandy Bishop. Sandy did a great job with him, loving him tons and giving him a great home for his last months.

RIP Elwood


When the email from Cheryl C. notified me that a hospice foster home was needed quickly for the then "Amber", I had just lost my Golden girl & Heartdog "Glitz" a few weeks earlier, so I made the call the same day to get the ball rolling and bring her home. When I picked her up from Charlene's she extolled Amber's sweetness, and Jamie proved that when she blended perfectly the first day with my dogs and she had my heart by day two. The BIG girl Jamie (name changed day 1 with me), with her HUGE heart proved to be just what we both needed. Over time our bond and love just grew deeper and Jamie was a true joy. She played with my boys, was best buds with my Win, who went to the Bridge during her stay here, and she learned to retrieve in the backyard, learned not to be afraid of the grooming table & blow dryer, and learned to dearly love being groomed. She had her throne on the love seat and slept on the bed with me n' the boyz, and saw a crate only when I needed to run errands or the few weekend visits to MN to see my Granddaughter. Jamie loved Cheryl too, and vise versa!

This photo of Jamie was taken late in November in the fall leaves, I didn't take a lot of photos of Jamie but this was one my favorites. I deeply regret not having set up my Flip camera to take a photo of Boozer, Talon & Jamie during one of our regular walks with them in tandem at heel, but I never had the opportunity to get someone else to help film it, and never "got around to it" myself with a tripod. I cannot tell you how many people commented over the amazing way the three dogs toured the streets of Ogden over the 11 months we enjoyed together. Jaws would drop when I'd walk all three into the post office to mail a letter, only when I was the only customer of course, but people would drive up and see us exiting the bldg., and when I'd ask a total stranger outside of the grocery store on Sunday morning to please buy me a Sunday paper, while the three sat at heel as we waiting, or the fact that all three were not only welcome in the community Library, but loved on and received many pets while I was returning books.

This was the first time I'd taken a "hospice foster" and some people may think that is a big deal, but I can tell you that whether Jamie would have gone very early on, or 11 months later in my arms on Jan. 13, 2012, when I had to let her go to the Bridge, it would not have changed how much I loved her, nor how she made me laugh daily with her "whole body wag" that had my coffee cup go flying a time or two, or her zest for life and beautiful heart, really a "lesson" for me and all who were privileged to have met her! Fly free Jamie, we will meet again love..!

I hope sharing this personal goodbye to Jamie will help sway someone else to consider taking a "hospice" rescue in the future should that situation present again. If not, don't be afraid to adopt "old gold", they are really quite special and you will have gained so much love that the tears and ache in the end will still be over-shadowed by the journey of love that you took!


Dear Iowa Golden Retriever Rescue.

It is with a very sad heart that I write this letter. One week ago it was necessary for us to put to sleep our beloved Faith. Faith had developed a very aggressive intestinal tumor.In the short time she was with us, Faith enriched our lives greatly.

There was a time my husband had strained relations with his daughter. Because he desperately wanted a relationship with her and his grand children, he would bring Faith to visit. Faith gladly assumed the role as peace maker and within the first visit she created a bond with the children which quickly led to more visits and soon their relationship was re- established.

Everyone would gravitate towards Faith. Whenever we would go for walks, people young and old would stop to pet her. Her gentle manners and eager expression lured you in. Babies loved Faith. They would reach from their strollers, eager to touch her soft coat.

Faith accompanied us every where. We would stay at pet friendly hotels so she could travel with us. Faith loved her car rides. The longer the ride, the better. She was just as excited as I was to visit family and friends back "Home" because it meant a nice long ride back to South Dakota.

Not only was Faith beautiful on the outside she had a beautiful spirit. One of my good friends put it best. "She will be greatly missed by those of us who had the honor of meeting her." The photos capture her personality. As mascot of our annual hay ride she took her responsibilities seriously. Here she is graciously working the wagon and mingling with our guests.

Everything reminds me of Faith as she was a part of every facet within our lives. While we were supposed to be her "Forever" family I cannot help but think of her when the song "Temporary Home" by Carrie Underwood is playing because her time with us was cut so short. I knew she was older and I always said "I would take whatever time with her I was granted." I am selfish, in that I now know, even "forever" wouldn't have been long enough.

Thank you IGRR for bringing us together.

Alane & Gary

Maddie King 4/24/1999-1/20/2010

Gaye brought Maddie to us (to foster??) one fateful night- head hanging low, overweight and feet like a Dr. Seuss character. Maddie saw John and became his instant sweetheart and I became his wife. Maddie truely adopted John ( does Maddie owe IGRR money for his adoption?)

I have had numerous Goldens through the years to compare to and I told John many, many times he had no idea how smart Maddie was, in fact, I called her "scary smart".

Maddie wasn't an ordinary Golden, she didn't need training, no silly retrieving games or slimy wet toy play and certainly no uncouth gulping of one's dinner. More important to her were John, riding in the car especially if it was towing the camper and headed out of the driveway. She loved her "Spa" days and once sat in the tub patiently waiting her turn.

Maddie did great rescue work herself, she helped look for Gretchen in Polk City when she was lost and helped look for Wilson in Ames when he escaped his new owner.

Her last mission was the ride to Eldora to rescue Fred & Ethel, with that said the circle of life continues but the void is our hearts is ever present.

We miss you Maddie...John, Teri, Mia, Bomber and Taz King


We adopted Vincent, 6 years old at the time, from IGRR in May 2005. Vincent was a very loving and gentle spirited dog that only wanted to please. He loved playing with his flying squirrel toy that our son and he played for hours on end. They were like best friends. Those two went everywhere together. We never had to worry about our son going in the backyard alone because Vincent was always there playing with him and protecting him.

Our family is very active and always on the run, but Vincent fit right in. He would go anywhere with us and was just another "person" in the family. We went on walks without having him on a leash. He made several different trips back and forth from Iowa to our home state of Nebraska. He went camping and boating with us. He was always welcomed by everyone.

As the years went on Vincent of course was getting older. He was having problems getting around and his back legs weren't working as well as they used to, but once he got moving he acted just like a young pup. He took 2 medicines a day which really helped for a couple of years, but the winter of 2009 was very hard on him and he had a very hard time getting around. By March he was having such a hard time getting around we decided that he was in too much pain and there wasn't anything more we could do for him. So we made the hardest decision we have ever made to put him to sleep.

Even though we only had Vincent with us for 4 years he had a great impact on our family and will always have a special place in our hearts. We are so blessed and thankful that we got the opportunity to have such a wonderful dog be a part of our family. He left a huge void in our lives when he left, so much so that sometimes when we're on a walk we feel like we've lost one of our children. Our son doesn't even like to dig in the backyard anymore because Vincent isn't there to "help" him. He was a wonderful dog, family member, friend, and playmate. He will never be forgotten and always remembered. We love you Vincent.

Jason, Tracy, Jackson, and Ashtyn


Our family spent over a year trying to decide if we were ready for a dog. We did a lot of research before we knew that we wanted a Golden Retriever. It was our plan to adopt and we were referred to IGRR. On our application we expressed that we wanted a puppy but after a few weeks I saw a Golden named Abbie on the website and called to see if we could meet her. We were told that Abbie was 6 years old and available but they hadn't called us because we had said we wanted a younger dog. After talking to my husband we quickly decided that we didn't care how old she was…we just wanted to meet her!

At our first visit with Abbie she was so full of energy and excitement we couldn't believe she was 6 years young. We made plans for a weekend visit and picked it her up the next day. The minute we walked into her foster Mom's home, Abbie ran around her house so excited to see us. Once she calmed down she walked right over to the door and smiled at us making us feel like she knew she ready to go to her "forever," home. When we arrived our house, she ran around into every room until she felt safe and then laid down next to our kids for a hug and a belly rub. We were all in love. After having her at our home for thirty minutes we took a vote and unanimously agreed that we wanted her stay. We changed the spelling of her name to Abbey after our favorite Beatles Album, "Abbey Road."

Abbey instantly became a part of our family. She went everywhere with us. On walks, fishing, boating, trips to the store, baseball games, and even on our week long vacations to Gull Lake, Minnesota.. Abbey had a very innate sense of how to take care of those around her. She could tell if you were sad, sick, or lonely and needed a friend. She touched the lives of so many and brought so much joy and laughter to those around her. Many of our friends and family have told us she was just a special dog. She was even able to convert non dog lovers into loving and appreciating her.

Abbey's last 6 months of life was filled with illness. She became blind and was fighting cancerous tumors. It took us many weeks to decide that it was her time to go onto a place where she could see again and run around doing the things she loved best. Our time with Abbey was too short but we feel blessed to have known her for 4 great years. Although we miss her terribly we are glad that she had the opportunity to experience the love and affection of a "forever" family.

We are eternally grateful for IGRR and her foster Mom, Linda Wiedenman. Our lives have been enriched because of this organization.

Brian and Gina
Zach, Haley, Sam, and Drew


I just wanted to let you know that Wrigley (originally Jobe) whom I adopted from you in 2005 at the age of 9, passed away this summer at our home in Ames. He was a wonderful dog and passed on after his legs finally gave out. I am so happy I had the distinct honor of spending his final years with him and I will always cherish him in my heart. Thanks again for your wonderful organization!



Thank you IGRR for bringing Stella into our lives. In September of 2006, we were ready to bring another member into our family after losing our fourteen-year-old English Springer Spaniel. We were looking for a dog that would be fairly calm, as calm as a Golden can be, to add to our household that already contained one Golden. We went to visit a dog that was in the rescue program, but he wasn't quite going to be the right fit. To our pleasant surprise, there was another dog at the home that had just been rescued a few days earlier, and this dog came to be our Stella. Her calm but timid demeanor quickly stole our hearts.

Stella had a complicated history as many rescue dogs have, but her desire to please and be a part of the pack overcame much of the baggage that she carried with her. She was used as a bitch in a puppy mill for the first few years of her life. After producing multiple litters in a short period of time, she was discarded. Just a day or two away from euthanasia, she was rescued by IGRR. Thank goodness someone saw the potential and gave her another chance.

We immediately enrolled her into obedience class and she did very well. She loved her morning walks especially when she had the opportunity to run free off leash. At first she looked like a clumsy pup running free. She had very little muscle tone and just didn't know exactly what to do with her freedom. It didn't take long before she became a running and retrieving machine. Squirrels and rabbits beware! She also picked up on swimming and water retrieving very quickly. Would you expect anything else from a Golden?

Around the house, she became our shadow and always wanted to be in sight of us. Once we settled down, she would quickly be at our side giving and asking for unending affection. She was an excellent playmate with our other dog, and was content being the omega dog. Thunderstorm season was another story. Poor Stella was terrified of storms.

After one short year of being a wonderful member of our family, Stella was afflicted with a mysterious neuromuscular disease that essentially paralyzed her tongue and throat. Every test performed and treatment option attempted could not bring any relief and on January 12, 2008, Stella went to the Rainbow Bridge. Thank you again IGRR for giving us the opportunity to have Stella in our lives. It was too short, but our lives were enriched greatly. At least she had some time in her life to experience love and the joys of being a dog.


My husband and I adopted Kinsey from IGRR in the Spring of 2005. At the time she was about 6 years old, but she had the energy of a much younger dog! We immediately fell in love with her when she came to visit us for the first time. She was shy and well behaved. You could tell that she wanted so badly to be petted and loved, but because of her past history of abuse she was somewhat apprehensive. We have an adult male golden also, and they got along wonderfully. We just knew that we had to make Kinsey part of our family.

She warmed up to us very quickly and adapted well to her new home. She was my 60 pound lap dog! She loved to sit on the couch and rest her head on my lap or a pillow.

Kinsey died from melanoma in August 2007. Although we miss her so much, it gives us comfort to know that we gave her a loving home where she could be happy in the last years of her life. She'll always hold a special place in our hearts


We think Sydney had been forced to have three litters of goldendoodles before she was two. She came home with me when she was two and a half, only eight weeks out of the puppy mill, a near miss on being euthanized (thanks small-town, old-time vet!) and having been given a great start on a proper golden life by IGRR's foster mom Linda Weidenman. No hair on her was over 1/2" long - the muskrat look. Everything scared her, especially new people, noises and things that looked to her like sticks (brooms, canoe paddles, canes).Our first walk was 400 yards and took almost an hour - stopping, flinching from, needing reassurance for:a door closing, a car passing, a child shouting, wind, a dog barking 3 blocks away.As a golden retriever, she was junk.

In the two years we had together before the one-in-a-million cancer took her, Sydney taught herself how to: grow long and very curly hair and feathers, hold her head high and ears perked, bark protectively at the mail and UPS trucks, swim for the first time, unsuccessfully chase squirrels and grouse, go up stairs, chase and transport tennis balls, play full-speed "dog chase" around our cabin with Rolly -pursued or pursuer, stay relatively quiet in a canoe for hours, mostly tolerate our foster dog and take double walks on a fan hitch leash, be a well-rounded, much fussed over, sweetheart-with-kids proper golden.

What struck me first about her was something in her eyes as seen in a not-great black and white photo. Clearly there was "someone there", some spark regardless of what had happened, what Linda called "an old soul".And that spark just burned brighter and more fiercely as she repaired herself, learned to trust, learned to frolic, learned to rejoice. It was so wondrously clear how her life had changed, in both shape and texture. Her eyes told us everything. Her life had changed - and, ever so much more, so had mine.


My parents home was never with out a dog, so when my mother passed away my father still had their dog King to keep him company and watch over him. When King passed away a few years later my father was very lonely but decided not to get another dog because he was getting to 'old' and a dog might out live him.. He saw a Golden on a TV show he watched regularly and started talking about it. So I contacted the rescue and explained that I was looking for an older dog as a companion for my father and that if any thing would happen to him the dog would still have a home with me or my daughter.

Lexie was the dog they found for him. They told us that she had multiple health problems including arthritis in her back and would need medication. That was not a problem so she stayed for a few days then stayed forever. Her medical problems disappeared over time and she relaxed and became a very wiggly, bouncy, 8 years young dog. She loved everyone and she kept my Father happy and active. Her favorite thing to do was to jump into the fish pond and soak while he sat on the deck. She would also move her blanket from room to room to sit with him. She did gain weight as dinner was always for 2. She passed away suddenly during the time that poisoned dog food was being sold (my father bought one of the brands). She wasn't alone as both he and my daughter sat with her. Her ashes are now in the living room next to King's.

My father won't think about getting another dog right now, but Lexie added so much to his life and he talks about her often.


We adopted a red colored Golden Retriever from Iowa Golden Retriever Rescue in September 2006. He was 10 months old when we got him. I remember when we brought him home he had obviously never seen stairs before. He was very slow, hunched down and concentrating on every step as we tried to get him to go up our stairs to go to bed. He grew to go up and down the stairs faster than even my children!! Simba was a very loving and energetic dog. He loved playing with and chewing on toys. We did not find a toy that he could not destroy! When we purchased a mini-rubber tire for him to chew on, he would pull a blanket through the tire and then whip the blanket and tire around the room with his mouth. That was one of his favorite pastimes.

My family is very active and loves the outdoors. Simba fit right in with our favorite things to do and very soon became part of our family. He learned to walk so gracefully on long walks with us. He enjoyed going to the park and playing Frisbee or chasing his favorite red rubber ball. He even would run along side of me on my bike while on a leash! He had a free spirit and was willing to do whatever we did to stay by our sides. He was able to go with us a few times camping. He did NOT like to go on car rides which made it a little difficult for us to take him camping. Once we got to the campsite, however, it was all worth it because he loved being outdoors very much! There was always so much to smell!!

When my family went camping for a long weekend over Memorial Day, of course Simba went with us. We all had lots of fun playing together outside. After we got back home, we noticed Simba panting a lot and his eating subsided. When we took him to the vet, we discovered some horrible news. Simba was diagnosed with fungal pneumonia. We were told that this was very hard to cure but of course we were going to try!! We started him on antibiotics but he never seemed to get better, in fact we were seeing discoloration in his skin since he was not able to get enough oxygen. Simba did not make it. He passed on to a new better place in May of 2007.

Even though we did not have Simba with our family for long, he will remain in our hearts and always be remembered. We are happy and fortunate to have had him as part of our family. We hope that we made his life happier for the short time that he was here. We will be happy to meet him again someday in Heaven. We love and miss you Simba!


I am writing to thank you for a wonderful 1 1/2 years with my best friend, Jerico adopted in November 2004. Jerico was a huge blessing to many. My Mom has Alzheimer's and they become best friends. He and I were inseparable. He followed me everywhere I went and when I went in the car he was there with me. You can't imagine what a huge hole he has left in our hearts and lives. He was as close to a "perfect" dog as you can get. So obedient and always ready to please.

We moved to Michigan about a year ago and live on a lake. He really enjoyed his swims and would retrieve a ball for hours, if we let him. He as such a blessing and got me through the difficult times, we have experienced. He was my best friend and companion and I love "My Good Jerico Dog".

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the privilege of knowing such a wonderful dog and having him as part of my life. Judy