Hard to believe a year has gone by and changes that has happened since. Let me start at the beginning, I had a great Golden Retriever named Lily, she was 8-years-old. She was my best friend, and became even closer after my divorce. She was always there for me, no matter what with unconditional love and caring. I had gone to Japan to participate in the Law Enforcement Torch Run to raise awareness for Special Olympics. I had 12 great days there and an opportunity of a lifetime. When I returned home Lily was somehow different. I thought it was from me beinGolden Coreyg gone. Week went by and did not get any better, so I took her to the vet and she was diagnosed with Spinal cancer. I took her home until it was time for her to go home under the rainbow bridge. Lily went to Rainbow Bridge on March 23, 2005. I came home from work and she could not move, I called a special friend from work and he came and helped me take her to the Vet. Saying goodbye was the hardest thing I had to do and my friend Ben so graciously offered to take her up on his property so that I could go visit her there. For this I will be eternally grateful to him, knowing that she is safe and near a family that I care deeply for.

I felt lost coming home and no Lily there to greet me. It has to be the greatest feeling having your dog there for you, not having to say a word just total unconditional love for you. Always knowing when you needed some extra touching and closeness with them. Dogs are very keen in this area.

I went about a month and I started looking for a new dog. Had two requirements, one it had to be a Golden Retriever and two it could not be aggressive.

I happened to do some searching on the internet and came across Oregon's Golden Bond Golden Retriever Rescue, and thought wow this is neat, I need a dog to love and there had to be a dog out there that needed a forever home. Was very moved by this organization and the caring people that were behind it. Before you know I filled out an application, got my home approved and had the fun of looking for a new dog to join with me as a family member.

The first one I looked at, his name was Sonny, a 4-year-old, reddish Golden Retriever. I met him three days later and fell in love with him, then had to wait a week as his foster family was on vacation. So one week later I went and picked him up. May 7, 2005 what a great day. I changed his name to Harley and we were now a family, just Harley and I. He is a wonderful dog, except when he bolts out the door; you see Harley was chained up for four years and never given the love that he so much deserved. So when he saw the opportunity to run as he should have been doing for four years he took the opportunity, and still does. Someday will have to write a story on my adventures with Harley.

After I got Harley I kept checking the Golden Bond website and started reading on being a foster family for other Goldens  that needed a temporary home. Again I filled out the application and after I was approved, I became a foster mom.

My first foster dog was Rosie, only had her 3 weeks but became very attached to her. Thought my heart was going to break when I said good bye to her when she was adopted. But life goes on. I figured I can do this and then I got Zoey, then Roscoe, and then I got Corey, a 7-year-old Golden Retriever so full of needing to be cared and loved.

Corey’s first day with me is etched in my mind. Corey probably thought what have I got involved with. I went and picked him up on November 26, 2005 and we were home when I was out in the garage on a ladder and fell 10 feet to the concrete floor. When I woke up both Harley and Corey were there sitting beside me. When I finally got to the phone to call for help, he was really confused with the police and paramedics being there. For that I say thank god to 2 more special co workers for taking care of me and my dogs till the paramedics came.

So the first weekend I was kind of in and out of it but would get up to let the dogs out or let them in the house.

Corey adjusted slowly. I did not have a lot of history on Corey’s past but I knew that he had been alone behind a shed for several years, till some neighbors got involved and then contacted Golden Bond to rescue him.

Corey was the softest golden, and lavished on attention. He started having some bad dreams and I would talk him out of the dreams and then he would be okay once he awoke from them, and come over for some attention from me while I talked to him and made him feel safe. These tended to not be very frequent so this was okay for me to deal with, as he just needed someone to love him.

He had his first contact with a possible new family and went with them but it did not work out as he did not get along well with cats and was their other dog was an older Golden with not quite so much energy as Corey had.

Was all good, he came back and things were good. A few bad dreams but again they were tolerable and easy to work with. Then another family came to look at him for adoption through Golden Bond. They were great and talk about the perfect family. I knew Corey had found his forever home. Within the week Corey had some issues stemming from some bad dreams and came back to me on 10 day quarantine. We dealt with some more bad dreams and they would come and go.

Then one bad dream he had he became aggressive and I talked to him, took me allot longer this time, but that time it worked. Then he had a few more and became aggressive with Harley. What was sad is that he seemed to be in a trance while these were happening. The night the quarantine was lifted we had another incident, and I knew something had to be done.

I did not blame Corey at all for any of this, he deserved a chance to be with a loving family and to grow up as a happy dog, but that right was taken from him somewhere along the way. I had to do the hardest thing and call Golden  Bond and tell them what had happened and that I could not risk anything happening to Harley but also to Corey. Something was very wrong and his cries out for help I think were not in his favor, so many years had passed and it was all overwhelming for him.

Today March 13, 2006, I let Corey go and he was put to sleep and is under the Rainbow Bridge now. This day is almost as hard as the day I said goodbye to Lily. The only difference is that Lily was loved and doted on and was a member of my family to the fullest. Corey had been robbed of that chance and it became too late for him.

I never had a dog for a HERO and never thought I would, but Corey is my hero for being such a wonderful short term friend to me and he knew he was loved here. It makes me ill to think how anyone could have done whatever they did to him, and he in the end suffered the most. He lost his life because someone took an animal and did not nurture it and make it a family member. I do not think this was on purpose or at least I hope it is not, but when someone takes on the responsibility of an animal they need to take full responsibility and realize they deserve to have the best life that can be given to them, not cast aside when they get bored with them.

I will miss this wonderful dog that became my friend and Harleys friend, right now I am grieving for him because I feel like I failed him and that is the hardest thing one should have to face, the not knowing what they could of done different.

If anyone reads this story, please remember that there are so many more out there like Corey, not getting a real chance at life and a real family that loves them as a family member. There are so many that need warmth and love and that is in dog rescue and deserves that one chance.

COREY WAS A Golden THAT DESERVED A CHANCE AND NEVER GOT IT, and this is the STORY FOR THE LOVE OF A Golden  Retriever, AND MY HERO COREY. You will be missed, we loved you very much even if the time was short.

Love, Dala and Harley