Welcome to A Forever Home Rescue Foundation’s Memory Page. On this page we honor all of the wonderful dogs who have shared their lives with us. Although they are gone from our lives, they are never far from our hearts. Please email your tribute and photo to email@example.com.
It profoundly pains me to write this, but my sweet Kikoman (formerly Tootsie) crossed that rainbow bridge on August 28th, four days before her 13th birthday. Those of you who met Kiko knew how special she was. If you were not familiar with her, I wish you could have known Kiko, as she was an angel.
According to her DNA test, Kiko was 25% staffie, 12.5% cocker spaniel, 12.5% shiba inu, and 50% food hound – the breed best known for sitting two inches away while you eat, staring at you the whole while, and periodically swiping your leg with her paw to let you know she wanted a bite too. While we aren’t certain what made up the other 50% of her mix, we are certain Kiko was 100% loved.
While we all know you’re not supposed to play favorites, with Kiko I couldn’t help it. There was just something uniquely different about her. Kiko had a rough start to life though. The poor girl came to us as an emaciated, mangy mutt who was less than three months old and terrified of everything. Kiko blossomed into a beautiful dog who was, among other qualities, intelligent, responsible, obedient, trustworthy, and loving. There wasn’t a mean or aggressive bone in her body.
We spent an inordinate amount of time with each other, especially the last six years of her life when I was with her just about 24/7. She was my loyal fishing partner and my trusty sidekick who went pretty much everywhere with me. We went through so much together. I got Kiko in my 20s and am now 41 years old. Kiko saw me through the trauma and turmoil of my 30s, and without her I’m not sure I would have made it. I suffer from major depressive disorder, and at times Kiko gave me not only a reason to get out of bed but also and moreover one to exist.
She was more than just my best friend though. In the sense that I have never cared for anyone or anything as much as that dog, Kiko was the love of my life. I am not ashamed to admit that; rather, I say it with the utmost pride. Kiko was a once-in-a-lifetime dog who can never be replaced. As far as I’m concerned, I hit the dog lottery with her.
Watching my best friend go downhill so rapidly the past couple weeks due to end-stage renal disease was difficult to say the least. If I could have given Kiko one of my kidneys, I would have. If I could have traded places with her, I would have. But I couldn’t save her, try as I might. When it became clear that it was her time to go, the prospect of saying goodbye to the love of my life by ending hers made me feel sick. I just wasn’t confident I had it in me, but in one final act of love Kiko took on my burden and made the decision (to pass away on her own) so I didn’t have to.
Since Kiko passed, life just doesn’t feel the same. Fishing without her isn’t the same. Going to the dog park without her isn’t the same. There’s one less butt and tail waggling when I come home, excited to see me. I miss her velvety ears and fanned tail. I miss her signature whitish-grey eyebrows. I miss her stealing my seat pretty much every time I (temporarily) vacated mine. I am now filled with an immense sadness and a desperate longing. It feels like a piece of my heart was ripped out, never to return.
However, if this pain I feel is the price I pay for nearly 13 years of genuine joy and love with Kiko, then I happily pay it because it was worth the heartache I now feel. My gratitude for Kiko in my life outweighs all this pain. In fact, I feel like the luckiest guy in the world for the opportunity to have spent close to 13 years with the gentle, beautiful soul that was Kiko, whom I will always miss and love.
In honor of Kiko and in celebration of her life, I ask the following of you: every day cherish your loved ones and never take them for granted. Hug them, kiss them, and say you love them. Be mindful and live in the moment. For every one of us there is only a limited number of tomorrows, and tomorrow is never promised. RIP, Kikoman.
We adopted Cody February of 2006. He came from a litter of 9 pups from West Virginia (see attached story from AFH). At the time we met him, his name was Giovanni, but he quickly took to Cody. When we first met, I sat in the pen with his brothers and sisters and he immediately jumped into my arms and started linking my face. That was all it took. He was a wonderful addition to our family for over 16 years and was a great pet to my two children. He loved to go on vacations with us and explore all the places we would go. He was the protector of our home with his deep loud bark but at the same time wouldn’t hurt a soul and loved everyone he met. While Covid was not welcomed by many, working from home daily was a blessing that allowed us to be with him as he began to succumb to getting older. I will miss our walks together the most! He had a full life filled with love and affection and sadly, he crossed that rainbow bridge in May of this year. Not a day goes by that don’t think of him and the time we shared together. Attached is our last family selfie! He is truly missed every day.
Special thank you to Laytonsville Veterinary who took wonderful care of him throughout his entire life and helped us through those difficult end of life decisions, it was greatly appreciated!
Sean, Ginger, Katie and Patrick
I adopted Blitz in May of 2011. He gave me the most perfect LOVE I have ever known; he was a REAL ANGEL, a magical dog… so magical that on the evening of his passing he sent me a rainbow (see picture) to let me know he made it to Rainbow Bridge. Thank you AFH for giving me an amazing little boy -Amalia
We are incredibly grateful for A Forever Home matching us with Poe. We adopted him in January of 2012 when he was a puppy. When his foster handed him to us on the day we were taking him home, she said “this puppy does not like not being left alone.” From that day on, none of us were ever “alone” again because of the unconditional love we shared.
Poe was a very independent dog but was near us always. When our children were babies, Poe was the first one to run to their side when they cried. He even kept us company at all hours of the night when our babies were awake. Poe was so loyal and loving. He was also incredibly smart and excelled in all aspects of training. He especially liked to do cool tricks. Our two year old even enjoyed doing tricks with him. Poe loved going on walks, going to the beach, and napping on his favorite window seat.
He passed away at the age of 10 on July 11, 2022 after a tough battle with prostate cancer that spread to his lungs and spine. We miss him terribly but will always carry him with us in our hearts.
I adopted Hambone from A Forever Home about 7 years ago when he was 10-years old. He would have been 17 next month. Hambone was the silliest, sweetest long-haired dachshund and basset hound mix. In those 7 years, he has been with me through 3 apartments, the purchase of my first home, my dad’s death, my grandma’s death, many successes, many failures, and everything in between. He taught me so much about patience, guilt, forgiving yourself, thinking about the future, and, most importantly, unconditional love. He has seen me grow so much, and he had a lot to do with it. No matter how much I felt I messed up in a day, how much I hated myself, how much I fussed at him for misbehaving, whether I was gone for 5 minutes or 5 hours—he was there, tail furiously wagging, a gift in his mouth (usually a shoe—sometimes socks, gloves, blankets, and even a 3-lb barbell once), greeting me with love, always. Always happy to see me. I know I am fortunate to have gotten so much time with him, and it has been one of the greatest honors of my life to have loved and been loved by him. He was diagnosed with kidney failure in January 2021, and then we enjoyed a wonderful remission period. However, he told me it was time to go last night, and I knew I had to be merciful with my last act of love for him. He passed very peacefully this morning. We had beautiful weather as we helped him cross the rainbow bridge, surrounded by the people who loved him most.
We are here before our dogs are born, and we continue after they are gone; they must think of us as timeless, immovable, like mountains or gods. I can only try to live up to the person Hambone imagined me to be. Hambone, if love alone could have kept you alive, you would have lived forever. Rest In Peace, my beautiful, silly boy. The best nap partner, the worst guard dog, and the most loving companion I could have asked for. We both came into each other’s lives right when we needed it.
He is survived by his adoptive golden retriever and chow chow mix sister, Casserole, who is also a senior rescue. Adopting Hambone inspired me to continue adopting seniors.
Dear Forever-Home Rescue Foundation,
I lost my sweet Roxy July 16, after 16+ years of loyal love and companionship. Part of my heart went with her. When I lived in Middleburg years ago, I adopted Roxy from a Pet-Smart in Chantilly during an adoption event sponsored by A Forever-Home Rescue Foundation (5.10.2006). Though my time in Middleburg was short, Roxy came with me when I moved back to my home town of Chesapeake, VA. Anyone who is a pet owner knows that this type of love has no boundaries. I gave her the best life I could, and she gave me many, many times more to me. In May Roxy was diagnosed with Lymphoma, and she did well until July. The Lap of Love foundation came to my house and helped transition Roxy to the other side. Roxy went very peacefully. It will take a long time for me to get used to not having her presence in my life, but she is and will always be in my heart. I have so many great memories of Roxy and I will always support and be ever grateful to FHP rescue for giving me the gift of adopting her.
So from the bottom of my heart, I thank you.
My name is Katie…and my family rescued a puppy from A Forever Home in 2007. Her name was listed as Molly, but we knew she was our Harley Girl. Harley was a lab/hound mix and her nose could track just about anything. Harley loved to go on walks, run, go on boat rides, and just spend time with her family and friends. To all of us, she was our once in a lifetime soul dog that you hear people talk about. She was there for all of our highs and lows and we were there for hers. We found out recently that she had cancer and it had spread everywhere and we didn’t have much time left with her, which is so unfair. We kept her comfortable giving her all the foods and
treats she had wanted and just showered her with love. Sadly, we lost her last night. My reasoning writing to you all is just to thank you for giving us the best dog we all could have ever asked for. She was the missing part of our family puzzle that we did not even know at the time was missing. I am attaching some photos of her below. She made such a difference in our lives and again we as a family would just like to say thank you rescuing this pup from West Virginia and bringing her here. We owe you all a lot for finding our soul dog.
Thank you again, Katie
Perhaps the first thing you would notice about Rosie was her obvious sharp intelligence, quickly followed by her deeply sweet, good nature and zest for life. That smartness, which led us to assume she was part Border Collie (until a DNA test showed that she was very much a mutt—no Border Collie but Australian Shephard, American Eskimo, and Yorkie to name a few—was on display from her very first puppy training class. With Rosie, it was never a question of could she learn to obey a command, instead she seemed to delight in obeying when she wanted and showing when she didn’t that she clearly understood what was wanted and had considered it before politely declining. Her intelligence led her to express agitation if she was not in the front row of the training class or not the object of the teacher’s attention. Never has a dog invited more anthropomorphizing! For 16 years, she had a great energy for walk and play, and when sated, a great capacity for love and snuggling. At 25 pounds, she was smaller as an adult than we had anticipated, but this fact ended up changing our concept of the perfect size for a dog. For three years, Rosie lived with us in Vienna, Austria – a city known for its love of dogs. She frequented many restaurants and businesses, and in one case, delightedly joined a restaurant hostess in seating customers—with seemingly a full understanding of her role. More than once vets commented on her strong heart (“the heart of an athlete”); near the end, her eyesight and hearing dimmed and with pain in her limbs, that strong heart beat on.
I am a huge fan of Forever Home and all organizations that help rescue animals in distress. We adopted Cinderella 15 years ago, about 6 months after our previous rescue dog died at age 14, Princess was such a love. To be honest I wasn’t sure I was ready for another dog but when I met Cinderella it was love at first sight, and my children already had her playing with them in the backyard before our in-home interview was over. Through the years Cinderella was a joy, even when she was naughty I couldn’t stay mad for long. Cinder is now also in doggie heaven checking out those pup angels for her Prince Charming.
Good Day, It is with much sadness that I let you know that our sweet little Tia went to the Rainbow Bridge (a few days ago) on Friday, May 22, 2022 to wait for us. She was an amazing dog. I want you to know she had an amazing life. She was 18 years old. She was like a child to us and we heaped so much love on her every single day and night. She returned just as much love to us. Our hearts are breaking and we don’t know how to deal with the pain. We cried for 8 days prior to her passing when we realized we needed to let her pass away. She passed with my spouse and I with her as well as the sweet doctor and nurse that had tended to her since she became ours 17 years ago. Thank you for saving her and her pups…. I hope their lives have been as wonderful and they were loved like we loved Tia.
With so much admiration and thanks to AFH! Thomas and Eric
We adopted our sweet dog Maddie from A Forever Home in March 2013. She was born on Christmas eve 2012. She was the first dog we saw at the adoption event. We picked her up right away and decided she was ours. She was our first fur child. We have had two children since she came into our lives and they loved her more than anything in the world. Maddie loved to sit at the dinner table with us in her younger years, she loved long walks and playing fetch with her frisbee. Maddie tolerated so much from both of her human siblings and had so much patience with them. She loved giving an infinite number of kisses to them, especially when traces of food covered their faces after dinner. Maddie was an anxious pup, from the second we brought her home. Car rides were the first anxiety we had to help her get over. It only took about two years. She hated her nails touched, taking baths, and refused to go on walks if only one of her owners was with her. She needed at least two humans on every walk with her. She had the softest and shiniest fur and the sweetest eyes. Every human that met her, loved her. We only had her for a short 9 years and she was suffering from what the vets suspected was a brain tumor. After two months filled with testing and medications, we had to make one of the most difficult decisions of our lives and didn’t expect to make it so soon. She loved so much in her 9 years. Her absence is breaking our hearts, but her presence in our lives gave us some of our best memories filled with unconditional love.
We are writing to thank you for making possible our adoption of Petio (nee Elvis) back on April 6, 2007. Petio passed away on Saturday, February 12, 2022, at the estimated age of 17½ years old, surrounded by his loving family and attended by his lifelong veterinarian, but not before sharing nearly fifteen (15) joy-filled years of unconditional love and faithful companionship with us. While we are still disconsolate and miss him so deeply we also recognize that we were most privileged to be with him for as long as we were, although when you truly love someone anything short of forever is destined to end in sorrow & sadness. Every day with Petio was a gift, and we’ll never forget when we first met at an adoption event, when he walked up to me and just sat down between my feet. It is said that the people pick the dog but we really believe that it was Petio who chose us that day. We still recall his foster mom saying, “Wow, he likes you already!”
When we adopted Petio it was not merely as a pet, but our first child, which he will always be. At that point we were childless and decided that we wanted to share our life & love with a living being in need of a good, well, forever home, and within two months we became pregnant with our son, Hugh. After all the doctors, all the pain & suffering, all the tears, and the multiple miscarriages over a decade, who would have thought that it would be this sweet little dog who would make the impossible possible, which makes Petio even more special to us, because of everything he brought us. Petio was bi-lingual, understanding both English and Japanese, and watchful over Hugh like a mini-big brother, even though we never taught or expected that of him. As a member of a Japanese household Petio loved his sticky sushi rice and sashimi, especially his favorite, maguro tuna, something which he knew was special and truly relished, sans the wasabi, of course.
We still have his original A Forever Home profile in which he was portrayed as an “absolute sweetheart” and “a wellloved little dog” who would “make a special pet for a loving home.” We used to enjoy taking him out on walks when he would just focus straight ahead, all the while strutting & prancing in his poodle high-step, which was always a delight to watch and would always bring others to a smile. From dirty dust mop to high-stepping Prince Charming among poodles, he was graceful, handsome, and athletic, with long legs and a shiny white coat, and whenever we took him out others would ask if he was a show dog, especially after a fresh grooming. They were always shocked to learn that he was a rescue. He absolutely lived up to the billing in his profile and we believe that Petio was an angel,
Heaven-sent, to help us, heal us, take away our pain, and maintain vigil over us. If he was here on a mission, which we believe, he certainly accomplished it in style as our little miracle maker. We are not ashamed to admit that we are still mourning his departure for the hills & meadows before the Rainbow Bridge.
…We also would like to thank and compliment Petio’s former family on how Petio was raised and treated in his early life, as noted by the description that it “is obvious that Elvis was a well-loved little dog. He is gentle, playful, [and] non-aggressive,” all of which was absolutely true. Petio never growled, snapped at, or bit anyone. Additionally, he was the single most intelligent dog that either of us lived with, and we are talking six or seven dogs going back to our own childhood. We never had any trouble with his behavior or health, and his vet observed that his health was exceptional, not even a cold, cavity, or a lost tooth, until his final months.
He was not an incessant barker and only raised his voice for good reason, such as when Hugh escaped his playpen as a toddler and made a run for the stairs. While we never trained him to guard or protect anyone he was discerning enough to alert us when something was awry with the loudest barks that we still can recall. Even our neighbors agreed – they all knew that if/when Petio spoke it was for good cause and took notice. That’s how discreet and intelligent he was. We will look to condense all of the above material for a future issue of Forever Tails but the volume we have written may just reflect the deep love, affection, and sense of loss that we still feel for him, and the fact that we did not want his passing to go unnoticed and his life uncelebrated.
In memory of our most beloved Petio, whose spirit, we believe, lives on, forever in our hearts and in our most priceless & precious thoughts & memories, we thank you for your time, consideration, and all you do on behalf of animals in need who are helpless and often suffer at the hands of humans, and always, by no fault of their own. With deepest sorrow, but also much gratitude,
Sincerely, Phil, Genna, and Hugh
A donation …in loving memory of Zeus, adopted by Jess and Michael…Thank you for taking a chance on a couple still in college and allowing them to adopt that sweet puppy. He knew love everyday of his life. His life ended way too soon (cancer of the spleen) but everyday was a happy one for him (and for them!) He accompanied them to brunch, on hikes, on camping trips, and to the beach. He was loved by all who met him (family, friends, neighbors, and strangers on the street) and tears were shed by many when he went to the rainbow bridge. I’ve included a few pictures. Hopefully they capture the joy and love in his life. Kendra, Mike, and Shannon.
Our family adopted our sweet dog, Maeko, from A Forever Home 8 years ago. He was 8 years old at the time, and had had a difficult life. He was very shy at first, not even lifting his tail to wag for the first two weeks. His gait was stooped, and he would walk as if he didn’t want anyone to see him. I knew he knew how to play, because he came with a soft, stuffed toy. Around the third week, I tried throwing the toy to see if he would get it. He suddenly jumped up, ran to get it, tossed it in the air with his teeth, whirled around, ran back to his bed, and gave a happy bark! He looked as startled as I did after he did that, and didn’t seem to know where the bark came from! I was curious to find out “who else was in there.” He continued to progress, beginning to lift up his tail and wag it as he walked. Over the following years, Maeko grew more and more social, would approach strangers to sniff them when they came in the door, would let my music students who came to my house pet him, and he loved to be carried around and pampered. He kept some of his independent streak, but overall, became a “lap-pooch.” He had such a sweet disposition. At the beginning of March 2022, he became very sick. This was not the first time as he was beginning to age. He passed away at the age of 16. Our family was blessed by his presence and saw him as a gift from God to be enjoyed for a season. We are thankful that we were given the opportunity to have this sweet pup as part of our family.
In March 2007 my Daughter and I adopted our 10 week old puppy, named Hailey from AFH. We chose her first name, “Olive” Hailey. The cute pup was alone. Held back and separated from her four WV litter-sibs due to a mild illness. AFH described her as a Blue Merle Aussie Shepherd. This baby was meant for our home. The tiny dog with oversized ears, grew to be a Pembrooke Cardigan Corgi! Olive, incredibly smart, was often described by others as a “person, not a dog!” Olive loved to run with her herding instincts. From the start, Olive hid her treats to savor them at a later time. Olive loved training sessions with toy rewards. She trained in her younger years to run “Agility” for fun. Her favorite game that delighted everyone was “hide-and-go-seek” with her toys. We would hide a toy, she waited, on command, would go find her toy! Olive loved hiking and her most favorite activity was swimming to retrieve her favorite bright green floating ring. She would bark and swim with excitement, not stopping, till Mom made her rest. Olive was a water dog and even loved her baths especially the towel dry, followed by towel bundling in her dog bed. Olive was trained in Good Citizenship with AKC. She listened patiently to children reading. Olive traveled many places with Mom by car and flying, in-cabin, to share love with relatives with disabilities and health issues. Olive shared love and joy with so many people. She will always be loved by myself and her family. Olive is my “girl”, my “baby”. I miss her many communicative nudges, such as, to remind me to fill an empty water bowl, her bark of excitement or alert, her eye contact to signal her needs, her kisses, her snuggles, her play, my hiking partner, my bed buddy, my steadfast love. I miss Olive. Olive passed at 14 ½ years. I thank AFH for saving my Olive Hailey and allowing me to have her in my life. Olive will forever be in my heart.
In March 2007 my Daughter and I adopted our 10 week old puppy, named Hailey from AFH. We chose her first name, “Olive” Hailey. The cute pup was alone. Held back and separated from her four WV litter-sibs due to a mild illness. AFH described her as a Blue Merle Aussie Shepherd. This baby was meant for our home. The tiny dog with oversized ears, grew to be a Pembrooke Cardigan Corgi! Olive, incredibly smart, was often described by others as a “person, not a dog!” Olive loved to run with her herding instincts. From the start, Olive hid her treats to savor them at a later time. Olive loved training sessions with toy rewards. She trained in her younger years to run “Agility” for fun. Her favorite game that delighted everyone was “hide-and-go-seek” with her toys. We would hide a toy, she waited, on command, would go find her toy! Olive loved hiking and her most favorite activity was swimming to retrieve her favorite bright green floating ring. She would bark and swim with excitement, not stopping, till Mom made her rest. Olive was a water dog and even loved her baths especially the towel dry, followed by towel bundling in her dog bed. Olive was trained in Good Citizenship with AKC. She
listened patiently to children reading. Olive traveled many places with Mom by car and flying, in-cabin, to share love with relatives with disabilities and health issues. Olive shared love and joy with so many people. She will always be loved by myself and her family. Olive is my “girl”, my “baby”. I miss her many communicative nudges, such as, to remind me to fill an empty water bowl, her bark of excitement or alert, her eye contact to signal her needs, her kisses, her snuggles, her play, my hiking partner, my bed buddy, my steadfast love. I miss Olive. Olive passed at 14 ½ years. I thank AFH for saving my Olive Hailey and allowing me to have her in
my life. Olive will forever be in my heart.
Hudson said his final goodbyes to us on February 3, 2022. He was just over 15 years old and we considered him to be our first child. My wife and I found Hudson at a puppy adoption event in 2007. He quickly adapted to his new home and made us part of his pack. Even when we accidentally left the door open after leaving the house, Hudson knew it was his job to wait patiently for our return—even if that meant waiting in the middle of the driveway for a few hours. Who’s a good boy??!!
Our first “human” child, a boy, came in March of 2008. Hudson wasn’t sure what this new cry-y thing meant to his house, but he quickly took on the role of protector: sleeping by whatever chair his boy was sleeping and his crib at night. They also had a bit of sibling rivalry to get into one of the parent’s laps or even when Hudson hip checked his learning to walk toddler. Ultimately, the child was admitted to the pack but clearly the pecking order was still up for debate.
When Hudson was almost 8, his second human sibling arrived. No one in the house was more excited when we brought her home. All four paws leapt off the ground trying to get a sniff when we first carried her in. He again took on the role of protector.
Hudson was the most gentle creature. He could have the most juicy bone in his mouth, but if you put your hand on it, he would let it go. He knew when you were sad and would come put his head on your lap. Only two times in his life did I hear Hudson give such a snarl, such a growl, such a bark that even I was taken aback: both were when he thought some other dog was threatening one of his kids. He was fiercely loyal.
He was a rare lab that didn’t gobble down all of his food, eating only when he was hungry. If a bowl was empty, he would paw at it to let you know to fill it so that he could sniff it and walk away. He learned to ring a bell to go outside and he loved to play fetch and adored running in the snow. It was running in the snow when he first tore his ACL. He didn’t like the “cone of shame” after the surgery, but he recovered well, but was a little more cautious in the snow after that. It was a snow storm a year ago that signaled his decline. He injured that leg once again at the age of 14 and a year later, at 15 and with arthritis, his health ultimately declined.
He was our first child. He was a lovely soul. He will always be in our hearts.
Hello Maribel, Just a quick note to let you know our beloved Peaches passed away last Thursday Feb 24. She was with us for 13.5 wonderful years. While we are presently heart-broken, we have so many wonderful memories of her during the short time she was with us to get us through her passing. Thank you so much for letting her join us!
Gary & Linda
I was the lucky one to adopt “sassy britches” from your organization 11 years ago. I should have known I was in for a wild time with this pup. I changed her name to Maggie Moo (see the resemblance in the photo) but always thought her original name captured her personality. To the people that were lucky enough to call her a buddy she was the sweetest dog who had a whole body tail wag that could practically knock you over. Some dogs have a smile and hers was one of the biggest. It would always brighten the day. She just wanted to be around us – whether it was a long hike or lazy afternoon. She will be missed terribly. Thanks to the organization that connected me to such a companion.