Remembering Sugar the Golden Retriever with “Golden” Love

I was heartbroken when I saw on Instagram this  morning at about 1:30am, that one of the most beloved and long time blogging dogs, Sugar the Golden Retriever had left for the Bridge.

My heart shattered. Sugar and her Mom are two of the bloggers who I have known since I first began blogging in 2009. Sugar was a blogging icon.

Her smiling face graced her blog, Instagram, Twitter, everywhere and you could never look at her without smiling yourself.

I remember when I FINALLY met Sugar and her Mom, (and her Dad too!), it was a few years ago now, and I believe it was at Bark World. Sugar was just as sweet (maybe even more so) than those who haven’t met her would imagine her to be. Her Mom, Rosalyn, as well as her Dad, Ron are as well.

Look at her sweet face…it was the highlight of the conference for me, FINALLY meeting Sugar in person

Sugar was deeply loved by her family and all who visited her blog. She was given a most beautiful, loving caring, active and interesting life. A life that ANY dog would be lucky to live. Sugar was blessed to live such a life, and her Mom and Dad were blessed to have such an incredible dog. I am certain the loving care, (and probably a great gene pool!),  enabled her to live longer than most dogs could ever hope to live.

Sugar’s Mom took this photo of my shoes and Sugar’s shoes because we both had purple shoes on!!!

Some of my most favorite memories  of Sugar on her blog, were way before she became as well-known as she was when she passed. It was when Sugar’s family moved to Hawaii for a period of time. There were photos of Sugar on the beach romping and playing, jumping into frothy waves that crashed by the shore, sunsets, walks, it was a beautiful “golden” time. Those are my favorite memories of Sugar. It was just Sugar, no embellishing, just Sugar living a most “golden” life. Sugar loving nature. Loving her family. Loving the tasty treats her Mom would make for her with such great care. It was just Sugar and her Mom, nothing else, all surrounded by the beauty of Hawaii. Sugar was the epitome of the “Aloha Spirit.” Those posts exuded so much love and you could see just how happy Sugar was being in Hawaii, (who wouldn’t be??)

To Sugar’s Mom and Dad,  thank you so much for sharing your special girl with all of us. There is a huge hole in our hearts that will remain empty without sweet Sugar.

Her smile lit up the hearts of all who encountered her, either in person or on the blog.

Sugar was not only a Golden Retriever by breed, but she was GOLDEN in her heart, soul and presence.
We pray for strength for Sugar’s family during this most difficult time. We send you gentle (((hugs))), “golden” love and we are here if you need us. Love from all of us and our most heartfelt sympathy.

May Sugar romp eternally in the sunshine and waves, flashing her “golden” smile to all at the Bridge. May she be surrounded  by loving energy for all eternity. I have no doubt she will.

Mahalo to Sugar’s Mom for sharing her life with us, and to Sugar we say “Aloha”, until we meet again.

Caren, Dakota and Cody



“Gone too soon”…run free sweet Dallas

This isn’t the post we were going to do for today, but Dakota, Cody, Daddy  and I wanted to send our love to one of my “bonus” daughters (Marla) and my son-in-law Jon, on the sudden loss of their beloved Mi-Ki, “Dallas.”



Dallas was the first Mi-Ki that I had met and the instant I first laid eyes on her I fell in love.

Marla and Jon just found out approx two weeks ago that she had cancer, she was only nine years old.

We are sad that she had to go, but are finding comfort in the fact that she is no longer in pain.

Run free sweet, pretty girl….we all love you!


Book:Last Stop Before Rainbow Bridge (True Animal Rescue Stories) by Mark Feldstein

Don’t let the title of this book deter you from reading it. I must confess that when I first saw the title, my gut reaction was, “Oh no, a book that is going to make me sad, do I REALLY want to read this?” Then, when I read the first chapter, (which I will admit DID upset me) entitled Hoarder I still had my doubts.

I am glad I continued on. 


turned out to refer to a situation that is close to my heart. I live in a suburb of Detroit, and Rambo and the City discusses the sad (and SADLY TRUE), fact that there are an estimated 50,000 dogs left behind in the city of Detroit due to financial woes that had befallen many in the city for at least the past ten plus years.

Photo Courtesy of

Photo Courtesy of

One of the dogs that had been left by his owners due to financial hell was Rambo, a Pit Bull Terrier Mix. The chapter tells of how The Detroit Dog Rescue (DDR), a non-profit, no-kill center works tirelessly to help save dogs like Rambo. Thankfully, Rambo had been given a family for his final three months of life.


From Mark Feldstein:I had planned to help you justify your purchase of this book and inspire you to join the fight by sharing the vast number of animals that are euthanized every day, the irresponsibility of those who abuse or mistreat animals, and the lack of strong laws and regulations.

Instead, I will let these inspiring rescue stories speak for themselves.

Click to visit the website

Click to visit the website

Last Stop Before Rainbow Bridge Brings Together

Heartbreaking and Heartwarming True Animal Rescue Stories,

Helps Support Ongoing Efforts to Give Animals A Second Chance

FROM THE PUBLISHER: In preparation for the book, Feldstein contacted shelters and sanctuaries from across the country and found animal rescuers hungry to have their stories told. Most of the people he spoke to expressed that animal rescue is not a vocation or choice: rather, it’s their passion. As one rescuer explained, “I do it for the times when an abused horse nuzzles my shoulder, for the times a cat has been burned climbs right into my lap, for the times a dog from a hoarding case licks my chin. I do it for the times when I see people connect with chickens and tell me I’ll never eat meat again. I do it for the times when all the animals are laying happily in the sunshine, feeling safe and loved.”

During his research, Feldstein also learned that many of these non-profits struggle to get by on very little funding from the public. He decided to help by raising funds in the only way he could conceive: through writing and sharing their stories, with over a third of the profit to be donated to animal rescues.

Now you see just part of why I continued reading and why YOU will too.

All of the animals mentioned above (and MORE) are written about in this book. Some of the stories ARE tear-jerkers, some are funny, some will disgust you, but MOST will WARM YOUR HEART.

“Sharing the individual tales of animal rescue from varied points of view, including the good and the bad, the sad and the more humorous sides of the stories featured in this book takes the reader beyond the nameless and faceless statistics and gives a voice to creatures, big and small, who can’t tell their own stories of hardship, tragedy and survival.”

Because I have a Sheltie,

a couple of MY favorite stories were:


Bella, a dirty and neglected Shetland Sheepdog is matched with an older gentleman who was grieving the passing of his beloved Sheltie, (ready for this?) who ALSO had been named Bella.



I won’t reveal all of the details of this chapter but it touched me enormously.


Sheltie dogs are brought to shelters for all different reasons. Some are abandoned, some lost and some for no known reason except maybe an owner simply no longer wants the responsibility. By far, though, the worst reason is when it is due to a severe injury. 

More often than not, these types of injuries are caused by being hit by a car. Seldom does the driver involved in the accident deliver the animal. Usually, they pretend to be ignorant of hitting the innocent animal and continue driving. More often, it’s a witness to the accident, or the person discovering the aftermath.

This is exactly what happened to Charlie. The gorgeous little Sheltie was hit by a car and two girls found him by the side of the road in a great deal of pain. He was breathing very slowly. They gently picked him up and took him to the nearest animal shelter.






FROM THE PUBLISHER: Feldstein is already working on Volume Two. He hopes that his book will increase public awareness of animal abuse and motivate volunteerism, donations, fostering and pet adoptions by subtly educating and entertaining through real-life stories that illustrate the extent of the problem of animal abuse and neglect across the nation-sharing what underfunded non-profit, no-kill shelters see every day-and also revealing the quiet joy and the hope at the heart of every rescue.


Don’t let the title deter you from reading this much-needed book. You will find Last Stop Before Rainbow Bridge to be as enlightening and heartwarming and NECESSARY, as  I did.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:Mark Feldstein, the stepson of the late Al Feldstein (co-creator and former leading editor of Mad Magazine, 1956-1985) carries on his dad’s legacy as a rescuer who saved hundreds of animals in the span of 20 years. In “Last Stop Before Rainbow Bridge,” the younger Feldstein collects narratives from no-kill, non-profit shelters and sanctuaries that have changed not only the lives of rescued animals but also the lives of their beloved rescuers and adoptive “forever” families. You can read more about Mark on his website





In full disclosure:I was not compensated for this review. I was sent a copy of Last Stop Before Rainbow Bridge, in exchange for my honest review.

It never gets easier.

benny cody and dakota

I love blogging, I truly do, but there are times like this one where it becomes an activity that I hate. There are too many dogs and cats crossing the Rainbow Bridge lately and the void we feel without them is simply devastating.

Bloggers spend much of their time flitting from blog to blog, laughing, learning, ooohing and ahhhing over photos and enjoying reading about adventures shared.  When asked, most of us couldn’t tell you the names of the bloggers behind the blogs, but ask us the names of their pets? Now THOSE NAMES we know!

The pets that we read about touch us in ways that we aren’t even cognizant of at the time, it is only when they are no longer with us that we begin to truly understand how much they meant to us.

Benny and Lily from Two French Bulldogs

Benny and Lily from Two French Bulldogs

Benny’s Mom, human, whatever you want to call her, had a way with oh-so-few words and through some fabulous photos, of sharing the feisty personalities of her beloved “Frenchies.” Through her dry wit and keen insight and understanding of her babies (Benny and Lily), she made us feel as if they were ours.

When they hurt, we hurt. Oh are we hurting.

Benny fought a brave fight with cancer, but he could only fight so much.

Benny from Two French Bulldogs

Benny from Two French Bulldogs

We guess God really needed an Angel.

Benny, Lily and “Mom” we love you, we hurt with you, and we DEEPLY THANK YOU for the joy you brought (and hopefully will still bring through sweet Lily) each and every time we visited your blog.

Benny, you were one insanely special little guy,

We will NEVER forget you and will ALWAYS miss you,

With much love and our deepest sympathy,

Dakota, Cody and Caren


Tears for Jasmine-Wordless Wednesday

We are deeply saddened

to learn that our dear friend Marg’s

beloved Jasmine

has crossed the bridge

Photo by We love you Jasmine and will miss you. Your Momma loved you so much too. Please visit Jasmine’s Mom to share your sympathy by clicking on Jasmine’s photo


Barks and licks and tears and love,

Dakota and “Mom”