Ode to Sophie

07-28 Sophie at School AssemblyA life well lived.

Check out Sophie’s original & beautiful tribute at:


How it all began……….

Seven and 1/2 years ago, Sophie was relinquished to the Humane Society in Fremont, by a family who said that she was mean to their kids. She ended up at Golden Retriever Rescue, and then in our family. She was not a girly girl, but was silly and rambunctious. I didn’t think I’d ever have a more crazy dog.

Sophie became a certified therapy dog about a year after she joined our family. She took over as my “assistant counselor” in my job as Elementary School Counselor at Randolph Elementary in Lincoln….after we lost our first golden Zeke to cancer in 2009. Before our eyes, she grew up, and became the most gentle, sweet, reliable dog on Earth.

During her time at Randolph, she listened to over a hundred readers, could always find kids to rub her belly, manipulated and charmed staff members into feeding her daily, was fired from recess duty for eating rocks, escaped from classes to look for that
“slobber ball lady”, calmed and soothed many a student, cured many a child with dog fears, and loved us all while she did so.

We learned in late August that Soph was in kidney failure. In true Sophie fashion, no one at school could even tell because her body somehow acclimated to the kidney decline. Our struggle was at home because she lost her appetite. Our kitchen counter looked like a cross between a pharmacy and pet food shop because her tastes constantly changed. We did everything but stand on our head to get her to eat.

Over Christmas break, things went downhill and soon there were many days with no food and very little water. She was sad, lethargic, weak, and had no interest in coming to school with me.

Saturday January 10th, she went to heaven to be with Zeke. Doug and I were there with her and sent her on her journey with a beloved tennis ball. I’m quite sure that by now she is driving Zeke crazy, has found the folks up there who keep biscuits in their pocket, and knows where the tennis balls are kept. And she can eat as many rocks and as much bunny poop as she wants.


Our humble thanks to all who make it possible for wonderful dogs to find homes in need of a furry friend. Your efforts not only change the lives of so many dogs….but so many humans. We were blessed to have her grace our world for eight and a half years.

Mr. Rex

Mr. Rex - SpotlightMr. Rex was a dog whose owner had died and he was surrendered to the CB shelter. I went to assess him and he had the worst case of manage Harvey Oaks had ever seen. The Animal control officer told me to take him, as she was just going to euthanize him. I took him outside and he just laid his head on my lap. I took him to the most wonderful foster home where they cared for him so well. They ended up adopting and he is still alive at approximately 18 years old.

Mr. Rex is a true success story of what GRRIN has accomplished.

Cheryl W.

Miss Gracie

Gracie 12-07I wanted to share this story about Miss Gracie (Sunny 12-007). We can’t express how lucky we are to have had her join our family, and how proud we are that she is a Golden Retriever Rescue in Nebraska (GRRIN) dog.

Last night, Gracie (who typically doesn’t wake up at night to use the bathroom), woke me with a high pitched squealing — it was more of a panic squeal than a “Hey, get your butt out of bed and take me outside” kind of squeal. I smelled burning plastic and reached for my phone to use its light so I didn’t disturb my wife with the room light. The cord was red-hot, and I instantly burned my fingers. I reached for the light, and saw that the cord had begun to melt; where it was plugged into my phone was scorched and beginning to melt as well!

All is good, as the Manager recognized the issue as one that was known but rare with the Samsung S4. Thank goodness for our puppy–Extra hugs and treats for her tonight!

Dan B.



CarolI wanted to share with you the story of how Carol, a Golden Retriever, came to be the family dog of Sumner Place Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation and how Carol needs some tender loving nursing and rehabilitation care.

The story of Carol, a Golden Retriever, joining the Sumner Place family begins with prior resident Kay Arlene Puckett. The progression of Alzheimer’s disease created the necessity for Kay to need skilled nursing placement with an emphasis on memory support. Kay’s family was humbled by the experience-loving care witnessed during her stay. Kay’s family has stated, “Sumner Place taught us patience, compassion, cooperation, and showed us how to live in the moment, listen to each other and make the most of any situation”. The Kay Arlene Puckett family and Sumner Place staff identified having a pet would enhance the living setting for all. In honor of Kay, her family provided a Golden Retriever named Carol to our family.

Carol loves her Sumner Place family more than she loves herself. When you talk with residents and team members about Carol, you feel warmth, friendship, laughter and beauty that speak of home. Carol has a spirit of life, love and respect that reminds us our actions and words should uplift each person as a valued individual, a member of our family.

Recently Carol appeared to have injured her leg. Carol was diagnosed with a torn anterior cruciate ligament which required surgical repair. Carol had her anterior cruciate ligament surgically repaired by Dr. Martin Ramm of Rockbrook Animal Clinic in Omaha. Nebraska Animal Medical Center has generously donated post-surgical nursing care with rehabilitation. Carol’s companionship is missed but everyone knows she is getting the best of the best in animal health care! The Sumner Place family is more than thankful, we appreciate the “Yes I can” attitude and commitment these animal health care centers are providing to Carol.

Tammy B.

You can read more about Carol in the Lincoln Journal Star.

Morgan & Diane

I lost my beloved GRRIN golden, Morgan, in December 2011. She was 14 and 12 of those years was my faithful companion. Together we overcame heartworm, my two times with cancer and divorce. We were survivors for sure. I buried Morgan on my land that December and my kids and I planted Narcissus bulbs on her grave. The next spring after a morning walk I checked her grave for any flowers. There was one and I snapped a photo on my phone and texted it to my daughter. She called and asked if I had looked at the photo and I said, “I know, my shadow was in the picture”. She replied, “Look again”. What a wonderful message and gift I received from Morgan that morning!

I know we all cherish our beloved goldens but stories like this one are rare and demonstrate how we truly enrich each other’s lives. Morgan & I are delighted to share our story with our GRRIN friends.

Diane F.