RAINBOW BRIDGE

Author Unknown

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 the 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 have 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 begins to quiver. 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 hand again caresses 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 the Rainbow Bridge Together...

This page is dedicated in loving memory to those special and loving companions, our dogs, 
we have loved so
dearly and have now crossed over.

 

 

OUR FOREVER FRIENDS

Genny Mae

Recently, we lost another forever friend and her adoptive family wrote the following words as a tribute to their sweet, loving Genny Mae.

"As soon as we saw Genny Mae hop out of the van for her home visit with us, we knew she was ours.  She came into the house, sniffed around, ignored the three cats, and fell sound asleep in a pet bed right next to our bed.  She never left our home from that day forward. 

The first year was tough as we dealt with heartworm treatment that did not allow her to run or exercise.  She also had tested positive for tick borne disease and had separation anxiety.  But through it all, Genny Mae was a sweet and gentle soul.  We grew to love her more and more as she learned to enjoy long walks at the lake, going to daily doggy daycare, snuggles on the bed, naps on the porch, treat filled Kongs, agility in the backyard, and enjoying the grooming bestowed upon her by our cats. She was our constant companion.

Toward the end of her life, one thing she really loved to do was take a long car ride with the window wide open and her nose sticking out.  I would have to wear my hat, gloves, coat, and scarf and be blasting the heat in order to stay warm while she was enjoying getting every single scent that she could.

When Genny Mae got sick, we knew we weren’t going to have her for as long as we wanted, but we made every single last moment with her count.  For 4 months, I was home with her every day so we could enjoy whatever that day would bring…occasionally including a  drive through at McDonald's (ssshhhh… don't tell her other mother).

They say you will know when it is time.  Genny Mae let us know as her look changed and she told us she was tired.  She left this world as peacefully, gracefully and gently as she lived it.  It was the hardest goodbye ever and our hearts will forever be broken. 

Thank you ISR for the greatest gift of all, letting us adopt Genny Mae and allowing her into our life and hearts.  We gave her a good home and she gave us all the love she had right back.



Elle (formerly Montana)

All A few weeks ago a long-time ISR volunteer and adopter contacted us with the sad news of the passing of her beloved pet and friend, Elle.  Here, in Karen's own words, is a short story about this special GSP and how much she meant to Karen and her family.  We're so sorry, Karen, for the loss of your beloved friend.

"The greatest of the “Great Dogs of History” has taken her final journey.  We had to let Elle go yesterday. She reached the point where the bad days were starting to outnumber the good, and we knew it was the right thing to do for her.  (If only doing the right thing didn't feel so crappy...) 

Elle was named for the character in the movie, “Legally Blonde” (who looked and acted rather dopey, but was in reality, quite smart - a comparison we found to be very apt over the years).  She really was smart - a rock star in obedience training, CGC, and therapy dog certification.  She was sweet, sensitive, goofy, loving, and a great protector and friend.

Thanks to Amy, Elle’s original foster mom, and to Jo Ann and her late husband David for doing the home visit that helped bring Elle into our lives.

And thanks, Elle, a.k.a., ”Thing 1”, my sweet old girl...you will be sorely, sorely missed."


Jessie

Jessie was saved by ISR from a high kill rural shelter in 2011; she was a very sick girl.  She tested positive for heartworms and had several other health problems including whipworms, an ear infection, and a urinary tract infection.  Jessie’s heartworm case was serious, as are most heartworm positive dogs.  Jessie was adopted by Pam soon after arriving to ISR, and it was through the extraordinary care she received from Pam and the Veterinarian that Jessie became one of the happiest, luckiest, sweetest little GSPs we’ve known.  Jessie quickly became one of the “poster” dogs for ISR and helped us get the message out to the public about how Heartworm is a very preventable illness.

Jessie wasn’t the only “fur baby” Pam adopted and loved.  As a volunteer with another regional rescue, she also adopted a beautiful Vizla named Viva.  Viva and Jessie were great friends.  While Jessie was lucky enough to be with Pam for several years, we know there are never enough years with the animals we bring into our hearts and homes…creating a special bond with these orphaned dogs that become family…not just pets.

While we understand how difficult it has been for Pam to have lost her adored Jessie, it’s been even more heartbreaking for her because she also lost her dear, sweet Viva just a few days before Jessie passed.  The loss of two of her beloved companions so close together has been very difficult for Pam and her family, and ISR sends our sincere condolences to all of you.

UPDATE:  We’re very happy to announce that Pam adopted another GSP (Tara) from the Illinois Shorthair Rescue in early February.  We know Jessie and Viva cannot be replaced; however, we sincerely hope Tara will help bring the sunshine and love back into Pam’s heart and home.


Chance Ten Eick

In late August this year, our beloved twelve and a half years old GSP, Chance, suddenly became very sick, being completely unable to eat or drink anything without immediately throwing it up. After a day of trying to make him well with no success, we took him to the vet. After a full panel of tests it still was not clear what his problem was despite Xray and even ultrasonic imaging. They said the only way he could be diagnosed and hopefully returned to normal was to submit him for exploratory abdominal surgery. The surgeon came out to us shortly after he began the procedure and told us the devastating news.  Chance had an aggressive tumor blocking his bowel and that he (the surgeon) could do nothing for him. It was a terrible moment for us but we knew we could not have him wake up only to starve to death over the next several days. It simply was not an option so we had no choice but to let him go.  He had been the most wonderful dog, never did anything that could called bad and loved us as we loved him. 


We obtained him from the IL GSP Rescue group in year 2003 at the age of four.  Initially unknown to us, he came to us virtually fully trained, knowing all the common and many of the uncommon commands to perfection.  Why anyone would give up such a well behaved, people-loving animal was more than we could understand and we felt truly blessed to be able to have him be with us right from the very beginning.  Chance was a true athlete and could outrun every dog on the beach except for the greyhounds. His big game was to entice another dog to chase him by taunting the chaser with his favorite toy and then running the chaser virtually to exhaustion trying to get the toy.  He also was a champion swimmer who would take a swim just for the fun of it if he wasn’t already enthusiastically engaged in retrieving his big oldJolly Ball that I had thrown far out into the lake.  If we were not feeling well, he could sense it and would lie with us as if to comfort us. His love for us knew no bounds and we miss him so much.  It has been four months since he died and I cannot hold back the tears when I think of how sick he was yet he would still come onto the couch or bed with us and lay his head in our lap in the most loving exchange despite how badly and how hungry he must have been.   We have had four GSPs during the past 40 years; all were truly great friends but Chance was the absolute BEST.  We will one day soon rescue another GSP because we love the breed but there will never be another Chance. He was our own special angel. 


Huebert

All of our GSP foster families develop deep, special bonds with their foster dogs; however, when they have them for extended periods of time, this can be especially true.  Such was the case for the foster family that cared for a very special GSP named Huebert.  Sadly, Huebert recently crossed the Rainbow Bridge and his foster family wished to share some special memories on our website about him.  Following, is their story.

When Huebert came to us he was heartworm positive.  You could see his ribs and he had a boney butt…which turned out to be his first nick-name…”Boney-Butt”!  In spite of that, he was a very happy dog, just needing some TLC.  He ate like a piggy and we soon put some meat on his bones!

It didn’t take long before he came out of his shell and took on the additional nick-names of "Wing-Nut" and “Goofy”.  He thought he was a lap dog, but he was much more like a big moose.  He loved having his ears scratched and would sit and put his nose up in the air letting you know he was ready to have some attention.  He got along great with our 2 GSPs, Louie & Ellie.  Sadly, Huebert had to spend most of his time in his crate because he had to be treated for heartworm; however, he such a good boy through his treatment and we loved taking care of him.  

One of my favorite memories was when we were on the back patio one summer morning and he was on his tether.  I left to go into the kitchen for a minute…thinking he couldn’t reach the patio table.  Boy!  Was I wrong!  In no time, he was up on the chair with his paws on the table, drinking coffee out of my mug!  He really seemed to enjoy my coffee!  I laughed so hard as I cleaned up the mess and added “Slobber Puss” to his list of nick-names.


 
Hart
 

It is with a heavy heart that we wish Hart a safe journey as he travels across the Rainbow Bridge.  We recently heard the sad news from Hart's owner, Lisa.
 
She said Hart passed away in November 2014.  They adopted Hart in 2010 and loved him very much.  Here is some of what Lisa had to say about her beloved Hart.  "He was a skinny, tall boy but after a year of running in the yard he was up to 70# of muscle. He loved being outside, on nice days he would stay out all day and we would have to bring his food outside. So many birds, rabbits and squirrels to keep him busy. All the neighbors loved being entertained by his antics in the yard."  Goodbye Hart, until we meet again at the Bridge. 
 

 

Kadie

Sweet Kadie left her forever home recently and traveled to the Bridge. She was fourteen and when she came to ISR, her foster mom, Monica, quickly became her forever mom. Kadie developed Cushing's disease, diabetes, and then cancer. Her body started to fail her more and more and it became very evident to us that it was time to say goodbye.

Monica said,"Kadie was well loved and is deeply missed. Each day I think this grief thing is getting a little easier and then I just miss her terribly. Four and a half years was just not long enough. She was my shadow and a constant through several transitions in my life. She changed my world. I will never be the same without her."  Goodbye Kadie, until we meet again at the Bridge. 
 

Elly (formerly Oreo)

Sadly, we say goodbye to Elly, one of our sweet ISR senior ladies, as she is gone to the Rainbow Bridge.  Unfortunately. Elly's new forever family was only able to share her company and love for a few weeks, as her congestive heart failure proved to be too advanced, and was too much for her. We are so thankful that Elly knew a loving family for those few weeks.  We send our condolences and our gratitude to the Greer's, Elly's forever family, for giving this senior girl the love she deserved before she crossed to the Rainbow Bridge.  You were truly her angels on earth during her last days.  

     

Coco-nut a.k.a. Winni

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of our brave 'tripaw' ISR Alum, Coco-nut, (a.k.a. Winni)  Coco came to us in February as a stray and we learned she had a cancerous tumor that required amputation of her front leg. In typical GSP fashion, she coped very well. Coco was adopted by her wonderful foster parents, Christa and Kevin, who gave her all the love and special care any dog could wish for. This special girl loved hunting bunnies, tennis balls, and cooling off in her wading pool. She even joined us at our ISR Annual Reunion. Coco knew love every day of the five short months she was with Christa and Kevin. As they said, "on earth, her body was broken, but now her spirit is free."     


Katie
 

It is with great sadness we say goodbye to sweet ISR friend Katie as she headed to the Rainbow Bridge. Her owner Bill has been a loyal supporter of ISR and has adopted 2 dogs as well as volunteered fostering and doing home visits. Thank you to Katie for being such a great ambassadog to the breed and ISR and our thoughts are with Bill and her sister GSP Kobe. 
 
Chief
Chief was a beautiful GSP with really distinctive markings...some of which even had names! Although Chief was not an ISR dog, he was a GSP rescue, pulled by Jo Ann (ISR VP) and David from the shelter in Champaign/Urbana in 2004 when he was about two. He was a sick, scared, skinny guy who was also heartworm positive. Chief was nursed back to health, but remained afraid of many things including flashlights, fire in the fireplace, and loud noises. Once, after getting some x-rays, it was discovered that he had a couple of pellets in him, so he must have been hit by a low shot somewhere along the line. Most likely he was discarded because he didn’t want to hunt. Chief led a long, happy life with his forever family, and his GSP brother Cruise (an ISR dog) were best buddies always. His journey to The Bridge was unexpected but he is most likely happily being fed toast from his “dad” at The Bridge.

Chief
Nala
Sweet Nala was described as "one of a kind" and an "equal-opportunity cuddler"!!  She was a happy girl that was always "grinning". Her days included resting her head and paws on her humans, always looking completely relaxed and peaceful. Her family loved spending time with her each day and are so thankful for the days that they had with her.

 Nala
  Laramie
Laramie was such a sweet dog who would watch us leave through the front window and greet us at the door each day. Visitors were always amazed at how quiet he was and mellow. He loved to sit in the sun and go for walks. He was an awesome companion. He is surely missed. We loved him a lot!!! 

  

 
  Summer
Summer is so missed as she was such a big part of our family. Our house seems so empty without her. I know when the time is right, there will be another Shorthair waiting for us to love.  Peace to Summer who crossed the Rainbow Bridge. 

 
 
  Kathy Williams
Kathy Williams was a true friend to Illinois Shorthair Rescue and to rescue dogs everywhere.  Her dedication, insight, and candor made ISR better.  Kathy liked to remind us of her rescue philosopy--and the one that we should always remember--"it's all about the dogs!"  We miss her every day but feel she's still with us offering guidance.  Whenever we're facing a particularly tricky issue, we apply the WWKD (What Would Kathy Do) test and usually can tell if we're headed in the right direction.  Thank you, Kathy!  We feel the best place to honor and remember you is here at the Rainbow Bridge among all the dogs you loved so much.  Until we meet again...at the bridge.


   
  Pal (Boscoe)
Boscoe died in his sleep recently after getting a fairly clean bill of health. He was lucky enough to get to run the lakefront beach in Chicago in the summer and run along Miami Beach in the winter. Boscoe's dad says, "My previous two GSP's were 14 at the end, so when Boscoe died so suddenly at about 8; it's been the hardest to handle. He was also the only pointer I've known who only pointed other dogs."

  Sara
ISR rescued Sara, who was around 12,  from a horrendous shelter in July of 2010.  We believe she had lived outside her whole life and never really knew love.  She was fostered for several months by a kind volunteer in Springfield, and then she came up to WI and joined another loving foster family.  There, Sara was treated as part of a family and frolicked with a younger GSP who became her buddy.  Sara came down with bloat one day in February of 2011 and went to the Bridge.  Sara never got the forever home she hoped for, but the homes she lived in treated her with the utmost care and love.  Goodbye sweet Sara...until we meet again...at the Bridge.

 
  Sake
Sake  was adopted in May of 2007 when she was about 7-8 years old.  Sake was a wonderful, lively gal who had the best years of her life as a Sr. Citizen.    Sake was happy GSP who loved walks on a leash, visiting  other canine friends, mushy kisses,  and napping in her crate. Sake loved  to  run laps around the yard too.  Sake was such a good girl that she'd just lay  her head in your lap while you clean her ears and trim her nails.   Everyone will miss her and appreciate the best three years of her life and we know Sake feels the same. Sake has a photo in her owners  home to remember the good times together.  Goodbye Sake until we meet again.....at the Bridge.
 
. 
  Mocha
Our sweet girl Mocha is now in heaven with her brothers and sisters. All I can say is her last few years were probably the most attention she had ever received. She was spoiled rotten, got to go for a ride everyday, had her own couch and just loved to eat. Goodbye Mocha, until we meet again.....at the bridge. 
 
  
 
  Bearishnikov
Our Bearishnakov's ballet dancing days are over. No longer could he run or leap into the air due to advanced arthritis in both of his elbows. Bear was an impounded stray who went unclaimed by his owner. He was a smaller male GSP at only 40 pounds. The vet estimated his age at 5 years and his hips, knees and eyes checked out favorably upon exam. Little Bear liked other dogs and got very excited when they sniffed hello. His favorite past-time was lounging on the dog sofa. Goodbye Bearishnikov, until we meet again.....at the bridge. 

    
 
  Heidi
She was a rescue dog from Utah and we were uncertain of her exact age, but placed her about 12-13. She had been on thyroid replacement for a number of years which we believed weakened her heart over time. She died doing what she loved best, chasing animals. My husband last saw her in a perfect “point” on a rabbit in the neighbor’s yard, went in to put some groceries in the frig and came out minutes later when he heard a yelp. We believe when the rabbit ran so did she and then had a massive heart attack. We are grateful that she died quickly, close to home, on a warm evening, and doing what she loved best. Goodbye Heidi, until we meet again.....at the bridge. 


   
  Franklin
We remember you, Franklin, and our hearts go out to all the other dogs that are dumped in shelters everyday! Franklin was a 12 year old boy, sent to the horrific confines of a shelter because his owners new wife was allergic to him. Despite our attempts to let Franklin live out his life, stress free and loved, Franklin lost his fight to testicular cancer. His poor deformed body was sent to the bridge so he may be whole, run and play forever. We are sorry for all you had to endure because your owner felt you were no longer worthy of being a member of the family. You will also be a member of our family and may you never suffer again! Goodbye Franklin, until we meet again.....at the bridge. 


 
  Tessa (Lily)
Tessa was found in a field in Indiana where she and her three siblings were dumped. She was a very outgoing little girl whom her family loved. Her crate was moved into bedroom at night so everyone could get some sleep and Tessa was very well behaved since the family did that. She puts her beautiful little head down and goes right to sleep. She was doing great on potty training, and was learning to work on her obedience, etc. She absolutely loves running around outside and she has even climbed the deck and come into our pool a few times when we are swimming! Tragically this 12 week old baby girl was struck and killed by a car. Tessa slipped her collar and fled across the street. Goodbye Tessa, until we meet again.....at the bridge. 

   
 
  Trudy
Trudy's owner died and his family took the poor dog to a city shelter. Stressed, sad and depressed, Trudy needed desperate help. At 12 years old her chances of getting adopted from the shelter were not good so ISR took her into foster care. It had been a tough time for Trudy. She was on a hunger strike but we were doing everything possible to encourage her to eat, even force-feeding. Trudy's severe depression and medical problems led to her giving up on life even though we tried not to let her. Trudy passed away and crossed the Rainbow Bridge in the early morning hours and is now at peace, happily reunited with her human in heaven. Goodbye Trudy, until we meet again.....at the bridge. 

    
 
  Buford
Buford was an 11 year old beautiful boy that was rescued from the concrete confines of a shelter. He was with us for less than a day, but touched all of our hearts! You see, Buford came in late one night and was taken to the vet the next morning. Buford was riddled with cancer and it was in his spine. He had decreased neurological functions, severe lung congestion, and enlarged lymph nodes. The massive scarring around his neck gave the vet indication that he had been chained up most of his life. Buford was extremely uncomfortable and could not lie still. It was suspected that he was also diabetic. Buford was euthanized, and possibly for the first time in his life he was comfortable and peaceful. Goodbye Buford, until we meet again.....at the Bridge. 

    
 

 

 

Huebert
 
All of our GSP foster families develop deep, special bonds with their foster dogs; however, when they have them for extended periods of time, this can be especially true.  Such was the case for the foster family that cared for a very special GSP named Huebert.  Sadly, Huebert recently crossed the Rainbow Bridge and his foster family wished to share some special memories on our website about him.  Following, is their story.

When Huebert came to us he was heartworm positive.  You could see his ribs and he had a boney butt…which turned out to be his first nick-name…”Boney-Butt”!  In spite of that, he was a very happy dog, just needing some TLC.  He ate like a piggy and we soon put some meat on his bones!

It didn’t take long before he came out of his shell and took on the additional nick-names of "Wing-Nut" and “Goofy”.  He thought he was a lap dog, but he was much more like a big moose.  He loved having his ears scratched and would sit and put his nose up in the air letting you know he was ready to have some attention.  He got along great with our 2 GSPs, Louie & Ellie.  Sadly, Huebert had to spend most of his time in his crate because he had to be treated for heartworm; however, he such a good boy through his treatment and we loved taking care of him.  

One of my favorite memories was when we were on the back patio one summer morning and he was on his tether.  I left to go into the kitchen for a minute…thinking he couldn’t reach the patio table.  Boy!  Was I wrong!  In no time, he was up on the chair with his paws on the table, drinking coffee out of my mug!  He really seemed to enjoy my coffee!  I laughed so hard as I cleaned up the mess and added “Slobber Puss” to his list of nick-names.

Our home was crowded, but full of love.  He was one of our favorite foster dogs and our hearts were broken when we found out he passed away.  We think of him often and I’m sure he’s looking for a big mug of coffee up in doggy heaven.

 

It is with great sadness we say goodbye to sweet ISR friend Katie as she headed to the Rainbow Bridge. Her owner Bill has been a loyal supporter of ISR and has adopted 2 dogs as well as volunteered fostering and doing home visits. Thank you to Katie for being such a great ambassadog to the breed and ISR and our thoughts are with Bill and her sister GSP Kobe. 

Elle (formerly Montana)