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Special Stories

I rescued a human today.
Her eyes met mine as she walked down the corridor peering apprehensively into the kennels. I felt her need instantly and knew I had to help her. I wagged my tail, not too exuberantly, so she wouldn't be afraid.
As she stopped at my kennel I blocked her view from a little accident I had in the back of my cage. I didn't want her to know that I hadn't been walked today. Sometimes the shelter keepers get too busy and I didn't want her to think poorly of them.
As she read my kennel card I hoped that she wouldn't feel sad about my past. I only have the future to look forward to and want to make a difference in someones life. She got down on her knees and made little kissy sounds at me. I shoved my shoulder and side of my head up against the bars to comfort her. Gentle fingertips caressed my neck; she was desperate for companionship. A tear fell down her cheek and I raised my paw to assure her that all would be well.
Soon my kennel door opened and her smile was so bright that I instantly jumped into her arms.
I would promise to keep her safe.
I would promise to always be by her side.
I would promise to do everything
I could to see that radiant smile and sparkle in her eyes. I was so fortunate that she came down my corridor. So many more are out there who haven't walked the corridors. So many more to be saved. At least I could save one.
I rescued a human today.


Miracle dogs we have saved!

We at Golden Rescue South Florida know that over the years we have been very lucky to find hundreds of wonderful healthy Goldens to adopt out to wonderful, loving homes. Once in a while we are not so lucky and rescue dogs that are not so healthy...generally we do everything we need to, to save their lives. We NEVER turn our backs on any dog and we will spend WHATEVER we need, to get them the best medical care available. We have had some wonderful miracles. Below are some stories of these "miracle dogs".....


Stevie/Precious - a May Day Golden

Precious when first rescued and Precious with his "mom"

Precious was one of the four goldens rescued on May Day 2009.    All were in horrible shape, heartwarm positive, internal parasites, thoughtlessly abandoned.  Like humans, dogs are individuals and as such they respond to hardship and stress in a variety of ways.    The beauty of the golden breed is an unfailing love for humans.   They sensed they were safe and wagged tails for their rescuers.    The physical scars were medically treated.  It takes a special person to wash away the emotional scars of the mind. 

 Precious / Stevie is blind.   He was not born blind, the back yard breeder simply neglected to have his glaucoma treated.   GRSF found a foster for Stevie / Precious that did not quite work out – and that’s a story in itself.  

 I saw that he was posted again on Facebook.   I had fostered a blind golden when I lived in Arizona.   I called Lisa “Golden” Hodges and asked to foster him.   Lisa brought Stevie/Precious to my home on a Friday night, my Mom, Jan DeVinney was visiting.    Mom cried when she met him.    He met the other dogs, found a secure spot in the kitchen and stayed put all night long.

 Lisa and Bob were totally in love with this boy, and it was difficult for her to send him to another foster home.  After she left him she called to check in every 6 hours J I sent her pictures of Precious stretched out on the couch, and she replied “I guess all is good”.

My mom adopted him, it wasn’t easy at first and took a little more time adjusting then other rescues.    She named him Precious because that’s what he was to her.  

Blind dogs see with their hearts.   He was pampered, checked on every 30 minutes, hugged, petted, belly rubbed and brushed.  His favorite activity .. meal time.   He mapped out his area fairly quickly and became a very social boy.  

Everyone in the neighborhood loved Precious, during a 30 minute walk he knew exactly which house would come out with treats.   He slowed down and sometimes put the brakes on sat and barked.  My mom’s neighbor would take him for a run every morning.   Always the same route, when they got to A1A he knew there were no physical obstacles and would take the lead with his little precious strides.

 I have no doubt that he saw my Mom just a clearly, maybe more so, then any sighted dog.   He never could see our faces but did read our hearts.    They were meant to be together.

Precious went to the  Rainbow Bridge on May 14th 2016.

 I asked her the other day if she misses him the most in the morning.  Neither one of them want to get up  before 10 am.   She said to me, “I’m happy he can see again and he’s with your Dad”



Lucky Penny- Summer 2013

WOW....do I have a "tale of woe". My foster Mom named me Lucky Penny because in spite of EVERYTHING... I just turn up...heads up...tail wagging....full of energy and PURE JOY!...got it? LUCKY PENNY. I don't even mind that I am a Guy...cause the name is perfect. I am  big guy. I am around 4. I LOVE to run...a Jogger/runner and I would have a ball together. Someone once really loved me and took time to train me. I know my commands. I am completely house broken. I am fine with other dogs...little or big. Bet I would even like a cat!

OK now my tale of woe. I am heart worm positive. NO worries there, the Rescue will get that treated.  BUT, it looks like I was either born with what is called an entropean eyelid...or it was damaged by some trauma. You can tell it hurts (not that I would ever complain)...it just looks like it "smarts". Again, no worries, the Rescue will take me do an eye specialist. and I will be fine. I will be neutered. Lastly, I have some funky teeth stuff going on. NOTHING you can see from the outside. I look perfectly normal (and incredibly handsome I might add). But inside my lower jaw is smaller than normal...so a vet took out and ground down some of my teeth, intentionally to make room, it didn't hurt! HONEST you would NEVER know until you "take a peek" inside my mouth. I chew fine and as a matter of fact..I.pretty much always carry something around with me. Even on my walks (kind of cute)!

 I have  places on my body that need some healing. Good food will go a loooong way to help that. I hope I don't sound too weird. I KNOW someone will meet me and fall in love. EVERYONE who meets me cannot stop smiling at my personality and my FOREVER wagging tail. By the way, the Rescue got to me ONE DAY BEFORE I was scheduled to die. Whew...thanks Guys!.

Lucky Penny was adopted by a wonderful family  who lives on the intracoastal, and is happy and healthy!


Faith- November 2012

Tracey adopted Faith in November, 2012... here is her story...

My love of Goldens began 15 years ago when I met a beautiful blonde named Chloe.  She was a gorgeous little fuzz ball that stole my heart immediately.  She quickly became my best friend and truly the gentlest soul I've ever met.  One month after her 11th birthday, she died suddenly and traumatically.  She collapsed as she left the groomer and after being rushed to the emergency vet and having major surgery, we learned she had hemangiosarcoma.  I was 5 months pregnant with my 3rd child.  I was miserable.  My husband and I grieved the loss of our girl as much as most people we've lost in our lives.  She was special.

We moved to Florida in late 2011.  As we began to settle in, we started to contemplate getting another Golden.  Our Zeke, who we rescued when he was 1 1/2 really missed his "wife", Chloe.  We began to watch the GRSF website and admired all the beautiful Goldens that came up for adoption.  I just didn't feel quite ready.  This past November, I pulled up the website and saw a story about a beautiful little redhead named Faith.  She was 11.  She had been surrendered by her owner to the Miami-Dade animal shelter.  She was covered in live ticks and was a mess. 

There was something about Faith that I just can't explain.  For some unknown reason, I just knew that she needed to be with us.  I showed her picture to my husband and told him what I was thinking.  His words to me were "I think it's a terrible idea, but a GREAT idea."  I called the rescue and was contacted by Faith's foster Mom, Bonnie.  She explained Faith's condition and we arranged to come meet her the following day. 

Faith came home with us that day.  She walked right into our house and climbed onto Zeke's dog bed and hasn't given it back to him since!  We have 3 boys who are 2, 4 and 6.  They have had Goldens all their lives and have wallowed on them, pulled hair and tails and have been slathered in wet kisses.  They treat Faith differently.  They are incredibly gentle with her.  They talk with her, sit with her and even made her a "necklace" for Valentine's Day.  They know she is special. They adore her!  She has totally become a huge part of our family.  Her skin is completely cleared up, her coat is lush and with the help of her medications her arthritis is manageable.  She snuggles into one of her 2 beds throughout the day for naps and loves to lay out in our yard watching the boys play.  She "stalks" turtles and I know she was quite the retriever in her day!  She loves to lay at the fence and watch the neighbor dog and boy, does she let our other dog, Zeke have it when he heads for the table to snatch some extras from the kids!  When Faith speaks, Zeke listens!!  She is a gem!!  At night, she often goes into my 2 older boys room to sleep.  They tuck her in with a Handy Manny blanket and a stuffed animal.  She deserves every ounce of the pampering.

I'm not sure who has benefitted more from Faith joining our family.  Many would argue that she did, but honestly we have gained so, so much.  For my husband and I, Faith has brought us peace.  I know that I feel like I wasn't able to see my girl, Chloe through her golden years.  Those were snatched from us.  The day I pulled out of Rudy and Bonnie's neighborhood with Faith laying on the floor of the car, I looked over at a church sign....it said "need a sign from God...here it is".  I knew then and there that we had made the absolute right decision to bring Faith into our family.  No matter how long she's with us, whether it's 6 months or several years, Faith's "golden years" will be filled with more love than she knows what to do with. 

These little Golden puppies are hard to resist with their little fur ball bodies and puppy breath, but these older dogs were those little puppies once too.  They have so much to offer, so much love to give.  Rescuing has been such a blessing for us.  First with our Zeke, who is such a gentle soul and now with Faith who truly is an angel.  Our ONLY regret, is that we were not able to give Faith this life she deserves so, so much from the beginning.


Cooper- June 2010

In August 2009 Carol was on her way into the pound when she saw a woman dragging a skeleton with a Golden coat. The dog was beyond thin. He had all but wasted away! Carol approached the woman who said she was surrendering him  to Miami Dade pound. She said he ran away. Carol explained that if she brought this dog into the shelter...he would be dead in a matter of hours. So, fortunately, she surrendered the dog to Carol.
When we got him to our vet, he weighed 35 pounds. Believe me, he was not a small dog!
In any case he was fostered for about 1 month and got on his feet and starting gaining weight. This poor boy was no "spring chicken". We doubted any one would adopt him...and THEN miracle of miracles, a young couple called and said they wanted to make Cooper their forever dog. Talk about kindness and generosity!
Below are the before and after photos! Cooper is around 12 years old and still has so much to give. These photos will make you weep at what he looked like and smile at who he is now.
And the moral of the story...Golden Oldies are the best!!!
Don't pass them by when looking for a wonderful Golden friend!

Cooper before.....

and after finding his forever family


Allie- Feb 2010

Yesterday an Orlando rescue group found an old black dog standing folornly by the side of the road. She was a mess and had either been abandoned or had gotten off a chain somewhere. No tags, only a broken choke chain. They put her in a crate in the car and took her to Petsmart and arranged for one of MaryBeth's Animal Services officers to pick her up and take her to the shelter.
She was emaciated, probably 20lbs underweight and her haircoat was horribly flea infested and sparse. She looks like a small retriever. Today she got a welcome bath and a warm bed and blanket. Of course she's heartworm positive and once her stray time is up, she'll have to be put to sleep if no one steps forward to give her a final home. She's like so many sad old dogs - a life of neglect to be ended before she ever had a chance to know that someone cared. So all we can do is to just see if there's anyone who'd like to give this old girl a final home - nothing fancy, just a life of some comfort, food and warmth. She seemed gentle and kind and probably doesn't have all that much time. They asked if anayone could help and Golden Rescue South Florida stepped up to take care of her.

Allie has gained 8 pounds in the month she has been with Jamie, her very special foster Mom. We thought, at first, that she was around 12, but now believe 7 or 8 is more accurate. BUT it has obviously been 7 or 8 years of hard living. But now, at Jamie's, she is a happy and sweet little girl. We are hopeful that in a month or so, she will be ready for a Heart Worm treatment. And who knows, some one may fall in love and take her home!

Allie before..... and after with Jamie...she has blossomed!



Jack was a 5 year old Golden when he came to the Golden Rescue South Florida's attention thru a listing on Craigslist. Jack needed help as he had been severely neglected, cooped up in a dirty, small cage for 5 long years, and always kept outside with a small tent as his only shelter. His diet consisted of table scraps and rice and beans. His owner had used him as a stud and when the female he bred with died, they did not want him anymore so they put him up for sale on Craigslist.
We rescued Jack and what a mess he was. He had several types of worms: round, tape, hook worms and two parasites and ear infections in both ears. He was infested with fleas. He tested positive for heart worm. Additionally he had an eye infection due to a chronic painful inverted eyelid condition called entropion. He also needed to be neutered.
On April 3,2009, Jack's life made a complete turnaround, and over the course of the next 4 and 1/2 months everything changed for the better. There were many trips to the vet... too many to count. There were expensive treatments and surgeries to address all of his health issues. Many supporters donated to a fund created for Jack's care.
Then on August 16, 2009, another stroke of luck came about, a wonderful man came to meet Jack. They immediately took to each other and Mike decided to adopt Jack on the spot. As Mike completed the paper work, Jack sat patiently next to him and when Mike signed off on the adoption contract, Jack's big dirty paw came up and landed on the contract leaving a big paw print. I remember saying to Mike "I think you've just been adopted!"
Since then Mike tells us that Jack is doing great, he's put on weight, he loves his new home and canine companion Lucy, a black lab. He quickly learned the use of the doggy door, he goes to work with Mike one day a week, and goes for walks twice a day. He goes to the beach frequently and goes swimming, and has regular visits with the groomer. Most important, he is healthy and happy.

Life couldn't be better for Jack since his rescue and finding his forever home. Jack story is a testimony of so many people pulling together and giving a dog a second chance at the best life a dog can have. Jack is a special dog indeed!

Jack when rescued, then halfway thru the treatment, then living the good life!



We took Angel out of the Miami Dade pound early (before the mandatory 5 day wait for strays) on a "medical leave". As you can see by the photographs she has horrible tumors. They are mammary tumors. The first one is the size of a large grapefruit. There are many others that you cannot see. Angel is also Heartworm positive (which means there are parasites in her heart). Most of you know how easy it is to prevent this (once a month medication). Obviously, Angel did not get this protection. Lastly, she had an X-ray and there is something suspicious in her lungs. All that said, she is still a happy, loving and energetic "girl" So, onward we go to see what we can do to help her live her life in the most comfortable way possible. She has fit right in to her foster home. She goes to a special vet soon to see whether we can take off those horrible tumors, without compromising her "quality of life".
Angel update:
Because of the lesions on her lungs, we cannot operate on Angel to remove the tumors, but she is having a wonderful time in her "special hospice home".
*** Sadly, Angel has now gotten her "wings", and is playing with her buddy Morgan by the Rainbow Bridge.(March 09)

Morgan is an 11 year old Golden who was abandoned at a vet with seizures. somehow recently, he became blind, as well. He is being seen by opthamologist and a neurologist and any other vet we can think of. In the meantime, he is happy, eats well and is trying to adjust to being "in the dark". Sometimes, the job of the Rescue is to ensure a dog can live out the end of his life happily and painlessly..
Morgan.............and Morgan with his buddy Angel
Sadly, Morgan has now crossed the Rainbow Bridge.( February 2009). He spent his last days happy and comfortable.


January 2008, Bob & Carol went to the Miami Dade pound to rescue a Golden. While they were walking through they noticed a small yellow ball. When they got closer the "ball" picked up her head for just a second, looked at them and then put her head down. Clearly this little girl had given up on life. Carol knew this tiny, old and sad little Golden had to get out of there. So, arrangements were made and she came home with Bob.

But first, let me tell you what they found when they lifted her out of her cage. They had to lift her because...she couldn't walk. After looking at her feet they realized her toe nails had grown so long they curled around and impaled her paws. She couldn't step down on her feet. When her nails were clipped...all she could do was walk in circles. It became obvious she had been kept in a small crate, with only enough room for her to go in circles. She weighed about 30 lbs. None of us had ever seen a Golden so depressed.

We got her home and gave her a bath (she smelled terrible). She had infections in both ears. After a day or two of resting, we knew she needed to go to the vet. Her breathing was not good. She was diagnosed with pneumonia. We didn't have the heart to leave her at the vet's once she was out of danger and brought her home to recuperate. We had fluid bags and IV's hanging from the ceiling fan and had to use a nebulizer on her. Finally, she rallied and began to improve. She was still terribly thin and weak and did not want to eat. We had to force feed her by putting liquid nutrients down her throat. And yes, she rallied some more! She started to eat on her own. But recovery was not yet meant to be! She started to bleed and back to the vet we went.

This time she had Pyometriosis. Her uterus was toxically infected. She was in no shape for surgery. But if we didn't operate, she would certainly die. So, surgery it was. She lived! On the road to recovery AGAIN, when she had a set back and needed MORE surgery. SHE LIVED! Well, now it is a year later and the rescue spent $6200 on her recovery. She is a happy and loving "Old Golden". We had thought she might last a few weeks and we were determined to make those the best few weeks of her life . I think she figured this new life was too good to pass up and she happily hobbles around with her Golden brothers and sisters carrying a ball in her mouth! .WHAT A MIRACLE!!

Muffin before.......................................................Muffin after

Kelsey using Muffin as her pillow- Aug 2009
Sadly, Muffin has gone to the Rainbow Bridge...Jan 2010


Hi my name is Grace, and I guess by the Grace of God I am still alive. I was rescued from the Pompano animal control shelter, as you can tell I'm not in very good shape. I weigh 35 lbs. and am very anemic. I have a terrible case of hook worms and had at least a million fleas. The good news is that I am heartworm negative (Yeah!!!). I have had a nice bath, a good meal and lots of medicine. The vet says if I keep eating and they can get rid of these nasty worms I should be fine.

Grace found a wonderful home with Jo. Her fur has come back, she has gained weight, and she smiles again.

grace    grace
Gracie before....................................Gracie after

Gracie in 2010

For more about Gracie, click here


Lorraine of Miami Dade Rescue Railroad saw this beautiful boy when she was pulling dogs for Rescue from Miami’s Death Row on May 15. She thought he had already crossed over, he was so lifeless, and rattled the cage. The poor boy did not move. She then noticed that he was, indeed, breathing. But he had been shot, and bullet was lodged on his leg! She told the shelter manager that she had to get this boy to rescue, and he said, No, it’s too late.” She called rescue, and within minutes a hold was placed on him and Rescue was on their way. Dr. Fernandes was waiting to care for him. What a shame if this poor boy would have been left to die. Please, if you visit any shelter that has a Death Row, visit it, even if you are just picking up a dog. You never know what lives can be saved!
Red is now in a forever home and loving life.
red dog in graden
Red with gunshot wound and after........


missy  missy
This is Missy. Missy had several seizures and was returned to the Rescue. She underwent extensive medical testing and after being fostered for a long while to make sure she was healthy enough (with medication) to be adopted, off she went to be loved and cared for by Lisa, Desiree and Marissa. Missy, as you can see is doing GREAT! She came to the Reunion and it was wonderful seeing her so alive and happy!



Hobo before

Hobo after
Hobo was within minutes of being euthanized when Carol rescued him from the Miami pound in 2003. He was in such bad shape she wasn’t sure what he was, but he sort of looked like a golden. He was named Hobo because that was what he looked like – an old hobo. She took him directly to Dr. Fernandes’ where he was diagnosed as having Cushing’s Disease, an adrenal gland abnormality, shaved because of the horrible condition of his skin and fur, and estimated to be 10 to 12 years of age. Hobo was also subsequently treated for heartworm and a severe bladder infection along with various other ailments.
However, Hobo wasn’t ready to throw in the towel. Lee Ann and Dave fostered him and with good medical attention, lots of medicine, lots of love, lots of good food, and lots of encouragement from his Golden Retriever brothers Sonny and Casper, he flourished. Once he was on the road to recovery Lee Ann and Dave realized Hobo had found his forever home right where he was. So now, four and a half years later, Hobo is still living large. He is mostly deaf now and still stubborn, but is enjoying every day and reigns as the canine patriarch of the Runkle household.