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Site Last Updated

11/29/2023 11:50 AM




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Smokey Donut

14 years we had with Smokey, the best family dog we could've asked for. We got Smokey when he was only 6 months old, he had a broken leg and had been abused by his previous owners. He was anxious, timid, and scared of our dad. We spent countless hours loving Smokey and showing him that he had nothing to worry about, he was in his furever home. Although he wasn't a big fan of fetch, Smokey loved to run around in the yard and bark at the all the chickens and deer. The couch was his favorite place to lounge on when we weren't home. The toilet bowl was the only thing he would drink from. He loved getting his head scratched, always came up to you and rubbed his head on your lap waiting for a good ole head rub. Marshmallows were his absolute favorite, every time he heard the rustle of the bag his ears popped up and he was right there waiting for his treat. Storms scared him, our mom was his favorite person, and the way he greeted you at the door when you got home was the best. You could always count on Smokey to cheer you up when you were sad. Smokey lived such a wonderful life, outliving his life span by 2 years and being loved endlessly by our whole family. There is a paw sized whole in our hearts now that Smokey is gone, we will miss him forever and cherish all the memories we have with him. 14 years was still not enough. Many will say that we saved Smokey, but really Smokey saved us. Smokey Donut, you were the bestest buddy, we love you more than you'll ever know!


Our Lily we miss you every day. Our family is not the same without you. I hope you are chasing the bunnies and are pain free. Until we meet again my seeet girl.


Ruby (formerly Lucy) was our third dog added to our family, adopted from GSRA in early 2010. She was born in late 2009 to a GSD female, and had two brothers, Diego and Dodger, also GSRA rescues. (I'm hopeful I might get an update on her brothers by posting this memorial.)

As our third adoption, Ruby was the youngest of our dogs. She quickly learned from her older sisters and showed her loyal and eager-to-please nature from the start by falling right into the pack and picking up the routine. She never even had an accident inside!

Ruby was an energetic, agile puppy. She ran with graceful speed; we used to joke that she was part gazelle by the way she could leap and jump. She stayed puppy-like for years, so much so that we called her the "Giant Puppy." She enjoyed many trips to the Outer Banks where she could run and splash on the beach with her canine sisters. She loved the water and enjoyed many dips on the trails at Jordan Lake as well. She was excellent in the car. She followed along with whatever we were doing with a happy spirit.

It is difficult to sum up Ruby's life and the gift she was to us. She enjoyed many comforts and a low-stress life; she was rarely alone, was never boarded, and was deeply bonded to us. She was gentle, loyal, respectful, and loving. She stepped up and helped us with our grief when her oldest canine sister died in 2020. She loved her walks. She loved to lean into people for hugs and paw at them for more pets and attention. Aside from a few injuries here and there over the course of her life, she was healthy until the final month or so. Ruby was 13 years, 7 months old when she died, and although that is a good long life for a shepherd mix, it felt far too short to us. She is and will forever be missed.


Lexi survived being chained to a tree and left to die. (Her rescuers arrived with bolt cutters.) After she joined our family, she survived 3 bouts with cancer. Finally, age and arthritis took their toll and she crossed the rainbow bridge. She loved people, cheese, and riding in vehicles. She was absolutely certain (after delivering a stern barking) that all visitors to our home had come just to pet her. We fell in love with Lexi at a GSRA meet and greet in December 2016. She brightened our lives until she left us this month (May 2023) and we always will treasure her in our hearts.


It is with heavy heart that I write these words. No other friend and companion of mine has ever deserved greater recognition for loyalty, companionship, or love. Gus joined our family shortly after my wife and I married. Gus was about 6 months old and eager to be a good boy. Coco, our dog who Karen (wife) had before we married was eager to show him the ropes, taking the alpha dog position. She taught such skills as barking when someone knocked or the doorbell rang, walking your human (to maintain their health) and puppy push-ups. After an exhaustive 2 weeks, Coco (not made for leadership) relinquished her duties as alpha to Gus who led dogs in our house until November 15, 2022 when he crossed the rainbow bridge to be, once again, united with Coco.
Gus served our family and everyone in it, every day of his life. Ever the walk companion and protector of our home, no delivery guy left wondering if anyone was home. Gus never lost the joy of patrolling our backyard garden for bunnies and squirrels. Most nights I sat downstairs on the couch with Gus at my feet. We ended our day with a walk through our home turning off lights, locking doors and placing Gus’s bed at the bottom of the stairs. The last few months I would take an extra moment to kneel down with Gus. As he leaned hard against my body I would pat him and tell him about how he was such a good dog.
Gus’s last night on earth was spent by my side. The next day he rested easily at my feet after a gentle walk through the woods. He passed comfortable in my lap, getting the best ear rub I could give him.
I am so happy for my time with Gus that I feel wrong being so sad.

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