It is with grief and a heavy heart that I write to inform you Wilson (#2618) passed over the rainbow bridge on 2/4/2021 at 7pm. I adopted him October 14th, 2015.

Wilson was recently seen by many Salem area vets and the Oregon State Internal Medicine / Oncology Teams for a right renal mass and lung metastases. We did not get a definitive biopsy, but the one cytology sample we did get from the right kidney was of a spindle cell, indicative of a hemangiosarcoma. It was quite a large kidney mass, and was possibly occluding the kidney itself. He was first seen for this 12/20/2020, shortly after he started having bloody urine.

His course was short and severe, yet he soldiered on, ever the happy dog. Only 2 weeks ago on 1/23 we walked 8 miles in Minto Brown Park — he loved that park and those walks, mostly for the bird watching. He started having trouble breathing last Friday night and each night thereafter, we doubted he’d survive to see the morning, but he always rallied during the days. When his “mom” Laura and I were feeling ill after our Covid vaccines, he would stand next to the bed watching over us, nursing us back to health with his stoic nuzzling. When his appetite started to fail, we could not cook anything twice — he always wanted something new and different. Ultimately, he decided his favorite food was Hawaiian pizza, which he consumed 1 whole pie of in about 3 days time. Or was it bacon? I can’t remember, but he did consume a lot of bacon. Neither was enough — he lost somewhere around 11 pounds in 3-4 weeks.

I will always be grateful for our time together. GBR gave me Wilson about 2 months after I lost Mel. All the while I had no idea whether I was ready — an 18month old red head, named Wilson, am I insane? But yes, it was love at first site, and we were perfect for one another; he was my baby boy. Mel helped me survive through the Great Recession and an emotional break up, and then passed. Wilson came along shortly after Mel passed to carry me to here and now.

Again, I don’t write or say it often enough, but you all at GBR do a wonderful job. You make our lives and the dogs’ lives better for all your match making. Wilson — and Mel before him — taught me unconditional love, and they really raised me (not the other way around). Without them in my life I would not be the person I am today.I don’t know what’s next. I recently met a lovely woman who has an English Cream Golden Retriever. Wilson fast became best friends with Sunny and has taught her what it is to be a well behaved dog and a good walker — it’s a work in progress! My girlfriend Laura and I are devastated about Wilson’s passing, Wilson was her “co-worker” at home during the pandemic.

Not unexpectedly, Laura has asked when I will get another dog. It is true, GBR Mel and Wilson have converted me into a dog lover and I cannot imagine myself without a loving companion, a best furry friend. But not just yet, it is too soon, too fresh, and my job is too demanding — plus there’s Sunny to train up! One day down the road though, when you see my name on a Golden Bond Adoption Application, please take a long look back at Wilson and Mel; I could use another gem in my life (sorry Laura and Sunny).

Okay I digress! You all are owed a great deal of thanks for introducing me to Mel and Wilson, and setting us up for the great adventures we had. Those two dogs are the loves of my life; I will never forget them! Now, however, they are meeting nose to nose and playing tug of war, eating all the food, and chasing tails together.

Thanks again for all your work,
Bob Dolan PA-C



Three years of Wilson’s life were spent with his grandparents in SC while Wilson’s owner Bob was at Seton Hall Medical school NJ earning his PA degree.  “Willie” was the most wonderful dog we ever had, and beloved by our island community.  It is hard to believe that his first year of life was spent chained in someone’s garage.  He was incredibly aware of both human and canine “needs”.  We walked three miles first thing every morning……then three more one milers later in the day…….he had his rounds to make, just like an old time physician!!  Below is the obituary I posted on our community website, to which we received over 150 responses (emails), cards, flowers, a plant, and homemade hot fudge (this from a woman who really knew me!).  Celebrate the day!

Wilson’s Grandma, Holly Dolan

“With great sorrow we announce the passing of our grand dog, Wilson.  He was recently stricken with renal cancer which metastasized to his lungs. He lived on Dataw for three years while his dad got his PA degree at Seton Hall.  Wilson served as Mayor of Dataw, and was an accomplished physical therapist, night nurse, and mole exterminator.  He was preceded in death by his dear friends: Angus, Libby, Maya, Gia, Missy, and Jill.  He leaves behind his pack, Bob, Laura, and Sunny of Salem, Oregon; and beloved friends: Morgan, Pumpkin, Willa, Jack, Dixie, Lola, Lulu, Cammie, Kodi, Beau, Weinerdog 1&2, and Kevin.  He will be sorely missed.”