Our pets lead us from patience, to love, and then to loss

But it is always a journey worth taking.

Overwhelming grief over the loss of our beloved Graham has been deep.  He was with us almost everywhere so his absence is a constant heartache.  Every day we are reminded of how much we miss our precious boy because he is always in our thoughts.

Graham was our faithful buddy and best friend for eleven years.  One of his many nicknames was Sunshine Boy because his smile and cheerful personality cleared away the dark clouds of the day.   He was always ready to play and remained a lifelong puppy who personified joy.

Graham came to us through Golden Bond Rescue of Oregon March 15th 2008.  His foster home arranged a meeting and it was love at first sight.  He greeted us with such enthusiasm that we knew HE had adopted us.  His zest for life was evident in his contagious smile and happy disposition.  He literally started each day bright eyed and bushy tailed as he looked forward to the adventures each new day would bring.

Graham would approach you with friendship and acceptance offering himself for petting.  He would then sit on your feet to show that you were accepted into his pack.

Graham was a gregarious lad and would playfully parade his plushy toys around the house showing them to family and friends with the hope of a game of keep away.  If the particular toy he selected from his basket did not illicit the response he wanted he would bring you another and another.

From teaching puppies how to play, to keeping his playmates on property by taking charge of their leash, Graham never failed to surprise and entertain.   He was our joy and our heart.  We loved him dearly and miss him more than any words can express.

On August 16, 2019 Graham woke us with labored breathing.  He became weaker by the minute and unable to stand.  We rushed him to the nearest emergency animal hospital and 20 minutes later he was gone.  We were told that a scan revealed stomach cancer which precipitated heart failure.  He showed no signs of illness prior to this and greeted each new day as he always did.

Graham taught us patience, tenderness, forgiveness, and love.  Perhaps his greatest gift to us, other than his love for us, was his love for life.  He taught us that love makes our lives complete, full, and as happy as we wish them to be.  He lived this by example and was playful and happy to the end.  Graham was a blessing to his family and to everyone who knew him.

Like a true gentleman Graham left us on his own terms and did not require us to make the hard choice.  Perhaps one last lesson about his love for us.

Throughout his time with us Graham would see us off to work from the living room window and patiently wait for us to come home to him.  He joined us in almost everything and was subsequently known and loved by many.  We’ve not been alone in our grief.

Once again, we must see a beloved companion go on ahead, but we know that he is patiently waiting for us at the rainbow bridge. We look forward to our reunion.



Graham was adopted on March 15, 2008

Graham’s Adoption Story:

Thank you for taking a moment to read about me at Golden Bond
Rescue. I hope that you are having a “dog gone great day”, because
I sure am. Oh, in case you didn’t know, my name is Graham (#1672).
Although, my foster Dad has given me the nickname “Graham The
Ham”, and this is because I really am a ham. In fact he also says that
I “have too much personality for my body”, since I seem to keep him
laughing at my antics and gregarious personality.

I came to Golden Bond from an animal shelter in Eastern Oregon, so
there isn’t a lot of background to share with you. I have been
neutered, and think that I am about 2 years old. It is believed that I
am part Golden Retriever (must be because of my extremely lovable
temperament) and maybe part collie…but I like to think I am all
Golden because of the color of my fur, and also since I am too sexy
for my body…ha ha. I may not be big in size (I’m about 45 pounds),
but I am big on brains and smarts. I get along very well with other
dogs, and love to “ruff” house with my Golden foster brother and
sister. I am also good with those meow creatures, in case you have
one of “them” in your home. I would truly be a wonderful companion
with a single person to go on walks, take car rides, and together
watch TV / movies (like Air Bud) that have Golden Retrievers.

My foster Dad doesn’t have any little kids at his home so can’t really say
how I do with toddlers, but I am sure I would be fine with older kids. I
am trying to think about some of my undesirable characteristics to
share with you, but honestly, I really don’t think I have any. In fact,
my foster Dad thinks I am “the best” foster he has ever had and am
way too lovable. I think he is right.

In closing, just because I may not look 100% Golden Retriever, do let
that fool you. I can guarantee you that I have more than enough
personality and love, to be the best happy tail wagging friend you
have ever had. If you meet me, I am sure that I will make your heart
wag and maybe your tail too…hee hee.
Graham (the ham)