In Memory of
our beloved GSPs
Sweet Shanti (aka Libby/Bella in SC) crossed the rainbow bridge over Christmas weekend. She came into rescue in mid-November battered, starved, broken and riddled with cancer but that didn’t stop her sweet spirit from shining. From the day our NC/SC State Coordinator Erin picked her up until her final moments with our longtime volunteer Marcy, she wagged that tail and wanted nothing more than to be beside you. She loved her sweaters, blankets and to curl up on her soft bed. Her foster mom Marcy knows she’s still with her when she hears the song Independence Day - Libby got her Independence Day and knew she was so loved.
From Marcy, “She left this world with a full belly, wrapped in a warm blanket with her head resting on my heart. She was a very sweet little fighter of a girl and I’m sorry our time together was so short, but we did the best to enjoy the days we were given. My Lady Liberty, it is now time to let freedom ring.”
A special thank you to Erin, our NC/SC State Coordinator and Lisa for fostering Libby during her rescue journey, and to Marcy for giving her love until her last moment on this earth. Although we wish she had entered rescue sooner, there is no doubt she left this world knowing the beauty of being loved and cherished.
“If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever.” Unknown
It’s been a rough month in rescue. We’ve just received word that we’ve lost another alumnus, sweet Blue. We don’t know anything about Blue’s life prior to rescue, however he was fostered by our late founder, Beth Cochran and was heartworm positive. Beth helped him through his treatment then found an amazing home for Blue with the Parks family.
From Blue’s family, “It is with deepest sadness that we wish to let you know, we lost our beloved Blue three weeks ago. We adopted him from the SEGSP Rescue in September of 2011 and he truly became our faithful and best buddy ever. Blue was such an amazing dog, loving, trustworthy, well mannered, and (for a GSP!) calm and we regularly marveled to one another at how blessed we were with him in our lives. Needless to say, we are still quite devastated by the loss. To honor him, we will be planting a Blue Atlas Cedar tree on our property and will mix in some of his ashes. Blue loved trying to catch fish at the lake, he would wade in the shallows and point, then suddenly, swiftly dive his head under water (no he never did catch one!). He was so into this "sport" that we liked to say he was our fish dog (and a bird dog too). So, some of his ashes will also go around his favorite "fishing hole". He lived a full life, to 14 years old, but the past two years saw him suffering from a number of overall declining health issues including kidney disease, and finally, painful and debilitating arthritis issues. When we adopted Blue he was being fostered by Beth Cochran so we had the pleasure and privilege of meeting and working with her during the process. We will always remain grateful to the Rescue for all of your hard work and devotion to this amazing breed. Thank you all.”
Blue’s memorial tribute will remain on our website's memorial page forever. Like all of our alumni that have passed to the Rainbow Bridge, we honor Blue’s memory and thank his family for giving him a loving home.
Another SEGSP alum has left this world for the Rainbow Bridge. Pete (formerly Longstreet Pistol) came to rescue originally in 2015 with his sister Annie and moved around a bit before he finally found his forever home with the Black family in 2018.
From Pete’s dad Wesley, “On the 19th of December, we had to take Longstreet (Pete - our nickname and Pistol - his name at the rescue) to be put to rest. He suffered from epilepsy and since September of this year, lymphoma. His epilepsy was under control but the lymphoma proved to be too much for him, even with the cancer treatment he was receiving. We adopted him from the rescue in SEPTEMBER 2018 when he was about seven or eight. He was a beloved member of our family and his loss was hard for all of us at Christmas but it was especially hard for our daughter. They were best friends and Longstreet was the best with her. She would not even let us take his stocking down. Thank you for all of your hard work with GSP’s and for helping us find Pete. The work you do is incredible. We miss him but he will be remembered by the Christmas tree star our daughter picked out for him the day I returned from the vet.”
Pete will be forever loved in our hearts. Run pain-free sweet boy...
Another sad announcement... Our beautiful 2020 alumna Bella has completed her journey on earth. From her parents Tiffany and Daryl, “It’s with a heavy heart I let you know that sweet Bella crossed the rainbow bridge. She had a very fast-growing tumor which made it difficult to walk, get up and to go to the bathroom. She was such a sweet dog and she enjoyed playing with her brother and sister, her time at the lake and going on boat rides.”
Bella came to rescue in 2020 at age 10 after the only family she knew surrendered her. What Bella didn’t realize at the time was that her foster family would fall in love with her, adopt her and give her the love, attention and adventure that she craved and deserved. It was a blessing in disguise and her last two years were heaven on earth.
“Grieve not, nor speak of me with tears, but laugh and talk of me as if I were beside you. I loved you so… Twas heaven here with you.” Isla Paschal Richardson
We are heartbroken to announce the passing of our 2019 alumnus Jager. Jager had been battling a serious heart condition called right-sided Congestive Heart Failure. Despite treatment his symptoms progressed, and his family was forced to say farewell. We recently posted an update on Jager where his family said, through it all Jager had been solid as a rock for them, maintaining his caring and loving nature.
From his dad Peter, “My wife Chelsea and I are saddened to relay news of Jager’s passing. We were so hopeful that we could keep him strong and healthy and enjoy more time with him, but sadly his decreasing appetite completely left him as his heart failure progressed, and despite every effort we couldn’t get him to eat. We realized that asking him to continue at that point wouldn’t be fair to him, and said goodbye to our sweet, beloved boy on Nov 23. He crossed the Rainbow Bridge peacefully and surrounded by loved ones. While we’re relieved he’s no longer struggling and know he’s in a better place, we’re also devastated to lose him. We wanted to say thank you to everyone one more time for all you do, and for helping bring Jager to us.”
Jager came to rescue in 2019 after a rough start to life. His owner left him at someone’s home and never came back for him. He spent most of his time in a wire crate outside. He stayed there for 5 years without love or attention until they finally surrendered him to a shelter. That started Jager’s journey to rescue life and his “real” forever home. We wish it would have happened sooner for Jager, but he had an amazing few years with Chelsea and Peter and we know he was happy.
“I can’t think of anything more rewarding than making the last year of a dog’s life the best it can be.” Unknown
Our 2017 alum Minnow (formerly Pam, aka Pippa) traveled to the Rainbow Bridge. She came to rescue as an emaciated stray at 36 lbs., was extremely dehydrated and in need of tender love and care. When she gained her weight and strength back she was adopted by the Eslinger family and her world changed forever where she only knew love.
“Grieve not, nor speak of me with tears, but laugh and talk of me as if I were beside you. I loved you so - “twas heaven here with you.” Isla Paschal Richardson
Our 2012 Alumna Katie, formerly Sahara, has left our world for the Rainbow Bridge after a couple long years with failing hearing, eyes, hips and more. Katie came to rescue as a stray and was heartworm positive. Her body was healed and then her heart was healed when she was adopted by her loving parents Deb and Bill.
Katie was fostered by our longtime volunteers Cindy and Jim in Florida. They recalled that when they first saw Katie, she was weak and had seen so much sun exposure and elements that the brown portion of her coloring was very light. They gradually brought her back to health and were surprised to see her new coloring of a rich dark brown. They said Katie was probably the sweetest dog they ever worked with and they smiled when recalling their warning to her new family to beware of her wagging tail (which was her natural long tail). She would walk around the room wagging it in her usual happy fashion and things would fall off tables. They considered foster failing but are thankful they found Deb and Bill who gave her extraordinary kindness and love.
From her parents Deb and Bill, “Today we said goodbye to our sweet Katie. In her 10 years with us, she never again knew hunger, only love and ice cream every day. Today was hard, but not nearly as hard as what she must have experienced in the five years before she found us. We hope we made her forget. She was the best girl, and no words can convey all she means to us or the gap she leaves behind. She was a remarkable and loving companion. Our friends who got to know her agreed that she really did ‘win the doggy lottery’. Run free, Sahara Kate. Thanks to @Southeast GSP Rescue for bringing her into our life. We will always be supporters of SE GSP rescue and forever grateful for the work that brought her to us. 8-8-Kate-Always ”
2010 Alumnus Hank said farewell to his family over the weekend. He was adopted in early 2010 and was 13 years old. Tragically, he was recently diagnosed with lymphoma, and diagnosis to goodbye happened painfully fast.
Hank was found with his litter mate, Jasper, at an abandoned house in NC. Hank was an amazing dog and through his mom, SEGSP was able to apply to the Wake Forest Law School community clinic to guide us through obtaining our 501c3 and we are lucky to have an attorney from her law firm that helps us when needed.
Hank’s family is understandably heartbroken, but were able to have a vet come to them and have a peaceful farewell in Hank’s home with his family by his side.
Callie, our precious hospice foster girl, crossed the Rainbow Bridge over the weekend.
Callie came to rescue in January of 2018 after being hit by a car and left in the rain. Her Guardian Angel was watching over her and two Good Samaritans, Laura and Eric, found her in a ditch and brought her to Critter Fixer Animal Hospital in Byron, GA. She had an open tibial fracture, dislocated elbow, dislocated hips, infections and over time endured four surgeries. Her road to recovery was long and hard, but she was a tough gal with incredible GSP spirit and with the love of all her forever foster family and fans, she lived another 4 ½ years.
Upon entering rescue, she was scheduled to have her leg amputated but her Surgeon changed course last minute. With the help of a brace, sling and the support of her forever foster family, she was able to move around as needed. Callie continued to have challenges like an abscessed tooth, skin not growing back over her wound, pancreatic challenges and other health issues and a year after coming to rescue it was determined she would not be adoptable. However, she continued to smile and love everyone she met despite her obstacles. She loved her life at her “forever foster home” with the DeRocher family and they returned that love ten-fold.
A few months ago, Callie was diagnosed with an ulcerated oral melanoma. The tumor was clearly growing; however, she was too old and fragile for surgery so her family enjoyed every minute they had with her. From her forever foster mom, Megan, “Callie’s life was filled with trauma but we were so thankful she chose us to be her people in her last years (and to SEGSP Rescue for even giving her the chance). I’ve never met a dog who wanted to be alive as much as she did. She absolutely loved us and being with us. How we earned that love I have no idea. Her life was so bad before, I don’t know how she trusted again. We found out at some point she had been shot as she had bullet fragments in her chest on an X-ray. I can’t imagine what she must have gone through before coming to us. I’m not sure what I did to earn her loyalty but it was clear she was mine from the first day home. Callie passed away on her porch in the sun listening to the birds on a stunning fall day. It was absolutely beautiful and peaceful. I take so much comfort in knowing her last day was as beautiful as her spirit. Thanks for the adventure sweet girl!”
We are so thankful to the Good Samaritans who found Callie and didn’t keep driving. And thank you to Critter Fixer Veterinary Hospital in Byron, GA - the doctors and staff for Callie’s initial care and who set up a GoFundMe account to pay for her surgery expenses. And thank you also to Dr. Wayne Waguespack and his staff at Southeastern Veterinary Surgery Center in Columbus, GA and Dr. Crouch and all who handled her continued care at the Western Carolina Vet Surgery Clinic. Finally, a very special thank you to all that were involved in getting Callie the help she needed, including her supporters who donated to save Callie’s life. But most of all, we are forever grateful to Callie’s foster family, the DeRochers, who loved and cared for Callie through all her challenges.
Callie will be missed by so many, but her spirit and love will forever be an inspiration to all of us.
Milo, our 2021 Alumnus has passed away. Milo came to rescue as a stray and had obviously never been inside a house. He was very shy and was a “leaner” and although we sensed he had been abused, he enjoyed his new human companions very much. When his foster mom Jessica brought him to his forever family, she said, “He’s made friends with his new canine siblings (even cuddly). Brings tears to my eyes knowing how comfortable and sweet he’s being with them.”
Milo’s last moments were protecting his family from two stray dogs. There are so many emotions involved with his death and we can’t imagine what his family is going through right now.
Please keep the Hopkins family in your thoughts and prayers. Milo is now their guardian angel.