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The Rainbow Bridge
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable. All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind. They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster. You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart. Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together.... Author Unknown.
Walter came to us, along with another basset named Sebastian, on January 15, 2010 at age two. A few weeks later another basset named Nikko came and the three were inseparable. He was rambunctious, full of life, and a mischievous little one. He was also quite the charmer, always making sure he gets the attention along with an armpit scratch when anyone acknowledges him. He loved to play and always initiated play time with the other boys, when they were not taking naps. When he was not playing, he was getting in trouble by capturing a mouse, figuring out what to do with it, and in a blink of an eye the mouse would take a leap of faith from the inside his paws and lived another day. After all his friends crossed the Rainbow Bridge, we became his pack for four and a half years. We were it. We ate together, played, relaxed, and enjoyed the warm summer days together. He loved cheese, teddy grahams, cheerios, dental sticks, almonds, and most of all he loved pizza. He always knew when it was pizza night, he can smell that dough rising throughout the day and looked forward to his piece of the pie. As he aged, his back legs and hips gave him trouble and going up and down the stairs became a challenge. Papa picked him up and brought him down every day, once we saw he was no longer able to hop willingly. On February 12, 2021 we made a heart wrenching call to finally let him rest and cross the bridge to join his friends. It was time, we were ready and I think he was too. It was not easy. No matter how much trouble they give us, no matter how much they love us one minute and want to bite our faces off the next, at the end of the ordeal they are still family. Walter made us laugh and gave us great memories to carry us through our days and we will forever keep him in our hearts. ‘till we meet again my baby Walda. Love, Mama, Papa, and Christian.
Back in August 2010, Billy was only supposed to be a quick pickup and drop off. He was probably about 7 years old then, and was surrendered by his owner to the Stockton shelter. I was supposed to pick him up from the shelter, keep him over the weekend, and then deliver him to his foster home on Sunday. Well, Billy charmed us from the get-go. He immediately got along perfectly with our older bassets, Jackie and Kirby, and our cats. By the end of the weekend, we knew that Billy was ours. Yes, Billy was noisy. He also loved to get up on the highest perch he could find. It could be the kitchen table, (if we neglected to push our chairs in), or the top of a crate, or even the top of a stucco wall, requiring ascent of a couple of smaller objects to reach his goal. He also loved to run off, laughing at us, who were trying to catch him. It wasn’t that he especially wanted to escape; he just wanted the adventure. We always knew we had to be vigilant about keeping Billy secure. Aside from all that, Billy had the most pleasant and happy personality of any dog, anywhere. He was always good-natured and never grumpy. Billy liked everybody, human, canine, or feline. When Kirby passed away just a few weeks after Billy’s arrival, Billy filled Kirby’s shoes, almost seamlessly. It was as though it had all been planned. When we adopted 10-year-old basset Riley in October 2010, he and Billy instantly became best of buddies. They spent almost four years together as brothers and best friends. Billy was very saddened, when Riley died in 2014, but he welcomed new brother, Bob. Billy was never as close to Bob as he had been to Riley, but he and Bob were good company for each other, as the two of them went through their old age issues together, during the next few years. In his 7 years with us, Billy shared his home with adopted “siblings” Kirby, Jackie, Riley, Bob and Jerry (fka Frank), as well as foster siblings Dora, Daisy, Jerry (2011), Darlene, Isabella, Sam, Roy, Beau, Abby, Cokie, Roxie, Neil, George, Emma Jean, Barney, Mabel, and Kathy. Billy left us at the end of May 2017. Mark’s impression of Billy, on that weekend, back in August 2010, was that Billy was “a keeper”. Billy was that, and so much more. His unique voice could be annoying, but he was never out-of-sorts. He was just a happy guy, loving life--a very lovable and memorable dog. Fran and Mark Madden, Bob and Jerry, May 30, 2017
Very sorry to report that Earl, our beloved Basset hound and GGBR alumnus, passed away peacefully at home after a long battle with cancer. Earl was born and raised on an airforce base in Georgia, and later transferred to California. After serving his country, he lived the high life in a Los Altos Hills mansion before arriving at GGBR. He was then fostered for a year in Roseville, before we adopted him three years ago. With us, he lived the surf life in Santa Cruz, and was a regular at the Dog and Seabright beaches. Then, a year ago, he joined us on our move to Europe, spending a few months living on a farm in rural England, before making his final move up to arctic Norway, where he spent his retirement enjoying the midnight sun, snow, and northern lights. We want to extend our gratitude to the GGBR for bringing Earl into our lives - he was a fantastic dog-friend who brought joy to a great many people and is very sorely missed. RIP buddy, Feb 10, 2004 - Dec 14, 2017. Lots of love, Pete and Chloe.
Short and sweet was Mabel; short and sweet was our time together. Two weeks short of a year was all we had together; 351 days for a splash course in Basset Hounds. And, Mabel had a lot to teach me. Mabel taught me that Basset Hounds are irresistible. Living alone I would often talk to Mabel. She would stand close by and wag her tail as I chatted away. One day I thought I saw her nod her head as I was asking if she agreed with me. I nodded my head and said, “Isn’t that right, Mabel?” and she nodded her head ever so slightly. I wasn’t sure that I had actually seen her do it, so I kept up my dialogue with her and noticed that she did it again! OMG! Mabel actually nodded her head! It was a subtle movement, but during her short time with me, Mabel would always provide her positive encouragement during these one-sided conversations. Mabel taught me just how cute she could be. Mabel taught me not to underestimate her intelligence. She might be slow in body, but not in mind. I believe that Mabel would tell you that I was easy to train. I no longer needed an alarm. Mabel had the uncanny ability to wake me up every day, including weekends, before 5 a.m. She would stand by my bed and talk in a low, husky-voiced huffy-grunt. (I always thought that, if Mabel were a human, she would have a smoky-whiskey sounding voice like Marlena Dietrich). Breakfast was expected by 6 a.m. or she made formal complaints. The complaints came in the form of more huffy-grunts and head butting. On Saturdays and Sundays I complained to Mabel that, someday when she was no longer around, I wouldn’t miss her 5 a.m. wake-up calls. Mabel taught me how wrong I can be. Mabel enjoyed a walk, but the number of steps taken was not integral to the quality of a walk. The importance of a walk was the number of scents found and scents savored. Exploration of a 2 foot square area could take 10 minutes and could not be rushed. Mabel taught me that there are many ways to enjoy a walk. Mabel had bunny soft fur, especially on her chest and a little spot behind her ears. Mabel would shed in clumps. I’d never seen a dog shed like Mabel; it was like she molted. Mabel had the most beautiful markings and pretty, dainty feet. Her coloring was like a beautiful piece of oak and she had markings around her eyes that looked like running mascara. Mabel taught me that being irresistible helped mitigate some of the less appealing aspects of hounds. Howling? Mabel never howled. Smell? Controllable with good grooming. And, Mabel felt that a full spa treatment was her God given right. She never fussed when I bathed, brushed, cleaned ears and anal glands. She wasn’t too happy with nail clipping and dental hygiene, but took it in stride. Mabel liked to be a well-groomed Basset Hound. Drooling? Not so bad. So many traits are easy to overlook when you are so adorable. She had a lot to teach me. Mabel managed to dig herself deeply into my heart in the 50 weeks that she shared her life with me. Her cancer came back in another form, without revealing itself to me or my vet. On November 5th, I knew something was wrong with Mabel, but I thought it was something to do with the pain of her arthritis or weak hips. I had an appointment scheduled with my vet for Monday and thought I could wait. Mabel taught me that some things just won’t wait. Mabel came to me with not much of a back story. She was a stray and only 7 months of her back story was known to GGBR, and even that was limited. Someone gave her guidance and good care sometime during her life because she had beautiful house manners and had a loving, trusting disposition. Mabel was so much of a character - a grand dame and a special treasure, that I gave her a second name “Grace”. I’ve had the good fortune to have had several wonderful dogs in my lifetime, but Mabel Grace was very special and she holds a special place in my heart. Mabel grá mo chroí, (love of my heart), may you rest in peace. I’ll never forget you, my darling girl. (Diana Riley)
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