An Ode to The Valentine Girls –
This is a story about three Boxer girls that lived with the Valentine Family and who never met each other, but whose lives came to intersect, whether by coincidence or by design. Georgia Rose (left) was not a rescue, but this story begins with her. She was a stunningly beautiful girl, known as the “The Wild Child”, full of life and energy. Unfortunately that life was cut short by cancer at the tender age of 5 ½, and she crossed the Rainbow Bridge on January 22nd, 2020. Everyone grieves differently. The Valentine’s have found Boxer rescue to be their prescription for healing. Having 2-3 girls in the household is what they are accustomed to and very comfortable with. The loss of Georgia Rose left a broken heart and an older sister, Sallie Anne, another BRAF. Ms. Minnie Pearl (center), a senior girl, was surrendered to BRAF, coincidentally on January 22nd, and by chance (or design), her photo was seen by the Valentines. She was fostered by the phenomenal Jim & Sara George. Minnie needed a home, and the Valentine’s had an opening, so it came to pass that Minnie, with Georgia’s blessing of course, found a new home with them. She spent almost an entire year as a happy Valentine girl until sadly, cancer reared it’s ugly head again. On January 18th, 2021 Minnie Pearl made her journey over the Rainbow Bridge.
Another broken heart, another vacancy, and another search for a sister for Sallie Anne.
A sweet 14 year old boxer by the name of Sophie Anne (right) was surrendered to BRAF. She was taken into foster care coincidentally by our Jim and Sara George. The George’s knew however, that Sophie was going to need a permanent home, which could prove a bit difficult given her age. They foster Boxers during their 6 month’s residence in Florida. The Valentine’s & the George’s had a mutual love for their Boxers, that developed into a friendship. So, when the Valentine’s inquired about Sophie Anne’s future after the George’s returned to their home base, it only made sense that Sophie Anne would also become a Valentine Girl. Looking over Sophie’s paperwork, it was noted that her birthday was on January 18th, the same day that Minnie had passed on. Was it a coincidence, or was it a sign? It didn’t matter. Sophie needed a home and sadly, and/or by design, the Valentine’s once again had an opening. So it came to pass that Sophie Anne, like Georgia Rose and Minnie Pearl before her, became a Valentine girl. She spent four and a half wonderful months enjoying taking walks in the park, playing with her next door neighbor, laying out in the back yard on her blanket enjoying the cool breeze under the oak trees, and mooching as many treats and goodies as she could. It would have been wonderful had she lived to see 15 years, but she finally succumbed to kidney cancer, and crossed over the Rainbow Bridge on July 16th, 2021.
Three wonderful girls who’s lives touched on very special dates. Coincidence or by design … you can decide for yourself.
What we know for a fact and believe with our full hearts, is you are truly blessed when you have earned the love of an old dog. And we still have one, our 13 ½ year old BRAF Sallie Anne to help strengthen our heart strings.
Our sweet Forever Care Toffee crossed the Rainbow Bridge today with her beloved Foster Mum and friend Chris by her side. Toffee’s former life was one of neglect and when she came to rescue we thought she’d only be with us a few short days. Those days turned into 8 months during which she was loved beyond measure and learned life could be good. Toffee adored her Foster Mum and followed her everywhere. She could not hear due to damage to her ears but she knew she was safe with Mum. Toffee will be remembered always as a sweet girl who captured the hearts of all who met her. Thank you to everyone who donated toward Toffee’s care. She is now pain free and running like the wind. Goodbye sweet girl.
We are sad to share that we lost our Seamus Tuesday, January 12, 2021. We only had him a little over 2 short years. He was such a special and sweet boy. When we first got him, he had no problem jumping on the bed and taking a spot on the pillow. Many times he slept between the two of us and our other dog at my feet. We loved to snuggle with him. His favorite things were treats, hugs and snuggling with his blankets on the couch. His favorite is in this photo and came with him from his second foster mom, Kathy. When he could no longer jump on the bed or the couch, we helped him on the couch and made sure he had blankies beside him. We don’t know how he became a stray, but someone either lost or discarded a wonderful, sweet and well behaved boy. We loved him so much and miss him terribly. But we are so blessed to have been loved in return by him. We could see the love and gratitude in his eyes. They day we lost him, he napped on the couch, on his back with his legs up in the air. He was dreaming and running in his sleep. He was unable to run, but now he is running free. We love you Seamus.
Kelly and Russell
Our old boy Gordy crossed the Bridge on Sept. 3. He was so tired the last week we could hardly get him up to eat or go out. He was a great mentor & big brother to our puppy Huck who joined us last June. He stopped interacting with Huck at the end also. He always had a calm, gentle demeanor yet was “onguard” when he needed to be. He was one of the best and we will miss him dearly.
It’s with a sad, broken heart that we announce the passing of our beloved Chase on Aug 18,2020 due to Cardiac Arrhythmia. Chase brought so much joy into our hearts. He was such a sweet, loving dog. We knew the moment we saw his picture on BRAF’s Facebook page he was meant to be our dog. Chase is not only missed by us but also by his sister Brandy (Rosie) who we adopted on Aug 10,2019 from BRAF. Chase you will always be with us forever in our hearts.❤️🐾💜🐾
“We were on our way to Shands Vet hospital Friday evening after visiting our local vet and his direction. On the way there, our sweet and loving And amazing Rambo passed while Allison held his paw and he rested peacefully. The experts said they thought it was a cardiac issue and he just slowed down. He passed away with love and with peace and we were with him which makes me so happy. He was my kids best friend and was one of the best dogs I have ever been around. I will see him again in Heaven as all dogs go there and I know it. I wanted to let you know as you loved him too. We gave him the most amazing life, and he gave us an amazing love in return. I’ll Think about Rambo every day of my life so thank you for letting us welcome him to our lives.”
Eric and Allison
BRAF is deeply saddened by Bess crossing over the 🌈 bridge. She was a sweet, happy girl who was loved to the end.
My beloved Bess, adopted from BRAF died from catastrophic stroke on July 24, 2020. She was almost 11 years old. We adopted her Nov 2019 and is deeply missed.
Scooter crossed the Rainbow Bridge on 6/19/2020 and is no long in pain, after bravely battling several health issues. Scooter was one of the Magnificent Seven, who came to us with his sister, Sophie, as a bonded pair. He became a Daddy’s boy and he loved snuggling.
Even though Scooter weighed in at 75 pounds, he considered himself a small lap dog. He enjoyed naps, belly rubs and having
his elbows scratched. He is sorely missed by his sister, Sophie, and his humans. Thank you for the love and the laughter Scooter! Until we meet again, buddy… XOXOXO
Izzy gained her angel wings on June 22, 2020.
She came to BRAF on June 23, 2016 – afraid and scared.
Izzy passed with her loving Mom at her side. Every day her Mom came home from work she would give a hug for about thirty minutes each day. Paws around her neck for a huge hug when Mom came home – Izzy loved giving hugs and playing with her friend, Magic the cat.
She will truly be missed by her Mom and Dad and Magic.
Run Free Izzy – play free of pain with your Boxer friends.
Passed away 6/22/20 from an enlarged heart and congestive heart failure. This came on suddenly as he started huffing and puffing four weeks ago. Our vet sent him to a specialist in Clearwater but it was too far along. He was such a well behaved boy that loved any kind of balls. He passed at home in the loving arms of his family.
Hondo peacefully passed to the Rainbow Bridge this morning. His health had started to fail and he was slowing down.
I stayed with him until the end, telling him what a good boy he was and that he was loved by everyone that met him.
His foster home will miss Hondo dearly as they fell in love with him. R.I.P. Hondo.
Harley and her sister Lexie Lou came in to BRAF on June 1, 2018 and these two sweet bonded seniorswere very fortunate when a loving BRAF Foster Home stepped up to foster these best buddies together. Both were happy girls who loved people and were a joy to be around. When Harley’s sister passed earlier this year Harley’s Forever Foster Family helped ease her loss with extra love, comfort and snuggles on the couch. Sadly, Harley had to be rushed to the ER this week and her heartbroken Mom set her free to cross the rainbow bridge to run and play once again with Lexi Lou. Our deep sorrow and sympathy goes out to this wonderful family for their loss of these sweet girls who they loved so much and were loved so deeply by the girls in return. There are no truer words than those of Sidney Jeanne Seward, “Blessed is the person who has earned the love of an old dog.” Run free sweet Harley with Lexi Lou forever by your side.
This is so beautiful. Thank you BRAF for blessing me with the opportunity of having the time I did with the girls.
I must admit I was hesitant to take in seniors but I HIGHLY encourage anyone who is thinking of adopting or fostering please consider taking in a senior.
Seniors are truly a blessing and as my heart is breaking I am truly happy and grateful for the time BRAF gave me with them.
We adopted Bronx formerly known as Leo 3 years ago and I just wanted to let you know we had to say our goodbyes to this sweet boy in October. He wasn’t acting right late August so I took him to the vet to find out he had a mass on his spleen and required an emergency splenectomy. The tumor was hemangiosarcoma which we opted to treat to see how he would respond. In the interim he began collapsing, almost like fainting spells, and after the cardiologist put him on a 24-hour heart monitor we learned he had cardiomyopathy. Medication helped but he continued to have episodes and then about a month later ultrasound and x-rays showed the cancer was back with a vengeance and we were advised to say our goodbyes.
Our hearts were and still are completely shattered! We tried everything we could to save his sweet soul. We loved him dearly and miss him every day. I just wanted to thank you for allowing us the opportunity to love him while we had him.
Please know we loved him and he had a wonderful life!
It is with a heavy heart that I inform you our compassionate care foster Kelcie A19-008 has crossed the bridge. John and I were with her as she took her last breath, telling her what a good girl she was and how much we loved her. I have no doubt our Belle and many other rescues were there to greet her. Nancy.
Kelcie’s Journey – Kelcie, a petite and happy boxer girl came into BRAF after she was picked up as a stray by a county shelter. Although very thin, and covered in bumps and possible tumors, this friendly young senior was irresistible with her leaning Boxer hugs, soft kisses and wiggles. We knew we needed to help her.
The Boxer Angels named her Kelcie, which roughly translates to ‘Brave’ in the old Irish language. And oh, she has certainly lived up to that name. Through a major surgery, several diagnostic tests, and many different medicines, she has kept her spunk and loving boxer wiggle butt. Sadly, we now have a confirmed diagnosis of cancer which has metastasized to several places in her sweet little body.
The Boxer Angels have moved Kelcie into Forever Care. Kelcie will have a permanent home with her foster family who will ensure that her remaining life is filled with love and companionship. Kelcie will never be alone for a single day for the rest of her life. She loves going to work with her foster mom; car rides give her great joy as she watches the passing scenery! When she comes home to her foster dad and her two boxer brothers after her day at the office, she does her little happy dance. While we are all very sad as we anticipate the end of Kelcie’s Journey, we also recognize the honor it has been to care for her. And we will do all we can to fill her remaining days with happy times.
Mama Grace had been so overbred, her body just gave out. She was full of cancer and in intense pain. She was unable to eat or drink or we would have given her a cheeseburger. Instead, we held her tired sick body and loved her til she took her last breath. Her eyes said ‘thank you’ as she left.
R.I.P. sweet Mama Grace.
It is with a very sad heart that I report that sweet, handsome Tristan has passed over the Rainbow Bridge. Tristan came into BRAF on September 5th and his wonderful foster family worked very hard to help him gain much needed weight and get healthy. But Tristan’s Journey was not an easy one and he was soon diagnosed with pancreatitis and quickly progressing Degenerative Myelopathy. With his dignity and quality of life in swift decline, we made the tough decision to help him pass. Tristan was a lover to the very end, giving kisses as I held him in my arms and then he serenely crossed the bridge.
Henry was a stray picked up by Animal Services. He presented with heavy breathing even though he was HW-. X-rays taken at the Ark showed a huge mass in his chest that was clearly aggravating the evident heart problems.
He had two nights of love and care, hamburgers and then we helped him pass over the Rainbow bridge.
Jack O’s foster mom fell in love with this sweet boy. He was full of life and loved to play with the cat everyday.
Jack O past away in his sleep. He will be greatly missed.
Virginia his mom is heartbroken.
It is with heavy hearts that we share with you the passing of our beloved Hooch. We met Hooch in his senior years and he was our Foster dog and we fell fast in love and ended up adopting him.
Hooch’s favorite thing in the world was to cuddle on the couch with his humans, not just with us but on us (all 90 pounds)! He welcomed fosters into our home and liked going on walks with them side by side. He also enjoyed long car rides, sniffing all around at dog parks and having neighborhood dogs sleepover.
He was only with us for a little over two years but brought so much joy to our family and friends. We are thankful for every day we had with Hooch and also thankful to BRAF for rescuing him.
Pops was lovingly helped to cross the rainbow bridge in the arms of his foster mom.
We are deeply saddened by the loss of our sweet little angel, Hazel, after a brief illness. She was loved by all who knew her, human and canine alike. She was a boxer ambassador. A friend who has never been a boxer fan told us that Hazel had totally changed his mind about boxers. She loved people so much that her morning routine was to go outside, walk to the end of the driveway and look up and down the street looking for someone to greet. And if they had a dog, she was even happier. It’s truly hard letting go of such a sweet soul. We will always miss her.
Rusty was the sweetest old guy who loved the last 2 years of his life, being pampered and loved by his Foster Dad. He welcomed any foster dog that entered the door and was a great ambassador for the Boxer breed. When the cancer invaded his body so aggressively, we knew his time was short.
Until we meet again sweet Rusty, may you rest in peace.
Abby was tiny but she didn’t let that stop her from being sweet as sugar and the PERFECT dog per her Foster Mom. She gave it a good fight for almost 2 years and will be missed dearly by all, especially her 5 year old human foster sister and her Foster Mom Melisa.
R.I.P. baby girl. You were so loved and you returned it 10 fold.
A very sweet girl has crossed over today. Tallie had two huge masses, one on each side, and one was ready to rupture. Her back legs were also giving out.
Tallie was loved and on her last day she had steak and the bone followed by a Hersey’s white chocolate bar – cookies and cream. Her foster brother will miss her – she washed his face, wrinkles, ears and between his feet and gave him sweet kisses.
Tallie will be missed and thank you to her wonderful foster mom and dad who will miss her dearly.
Asia joined our angels at the Rainbow Bridge today. She was only with us for a short time, but she was a wonderful, very sweet girl. It never gets easy to loose a rescue no matter how old they are.
She has lost 13 lbs over the last year, she only weighed 40.5 lbs when she came into rescue. Huge tumor that was cancer and labor breathing. A decision was made to help her cross over and be with our other angels and be free to run and play.
It’s with a heavy heart that I tell you that Carter peacefully crossed the Rainbow Bridge yesterday morning. As you know, he was a stray in Charlotte County and none of the other rescues would take him. BRAF decided to take a chance on this wonderful little guy. Over the past few weeks, he had started to lose more control of his bowels and his urine stream wasn’t doing so well. His mind was still very sharp and he was embarrassed every time there was an issue. The decision was made that it was time. He was loved and he loved back over the past few months. He was able to come to a couple events with some of the BRAF volunteers and he enjoyed the last part of his life. Thank you all for being part of his world.
Lily peacefully left us this morning. Dr Daniels at Palmer Ranch and staff were very kind.
Lily had a great weekend full of car rides, friends, special treats, cuddly naps and constant companions.
Friday we hung out with our friend Nichole of Action Art Photography and we made some really fun memories. We also stopped in our favorite pet supply on the way home for special goodies (and attention from the sweet ladies there) Saturday we cuddled on the sofa all day for movie day and Sunday we went for more fun car rides and our early morning and sunset walks. Sunday was a beautiful day and we sat in the back garden for a while while it was breezy.
Even though she was only with us for a short time, she was very dearly loved.
Herc was helped to cross over the bridge, Tuesday, May 10th. HERC loved to go for walks, sleep on the bed with his foster mom. He learned how to open the cooler his foster dad had for his lunch for work. In fact one time HERC and his dad were playing tug of war to see who would win, when Don was trying to get hi lunch back…
He loved, loved, homemade beef jerky, peppers, nacho cheese and chips. Most of all, he loved belly rub!
He will be truly missed…
Sweet Redland, one of our Forever Care Boxers, lost his last battle with the big ‘C’. He was a real trooper and did his best to stay loved in his new life. But it wasn’t meant to be. We will miss you big guy and to know you were loved at the end of your life puts a smile on our faces
A sweet boy whose owners did not care for him – otherwise the tumor on his side would not have gotten that big. The mass was huge and cancerous and then an infection set in. It had spread to where it was in his stomach and headed up to his right shoulder. Vet wasn’t sure if they could even close certain areas as there would not be enough tissue and possible removal of the right leg. Grayson was in pain and suffering.
Grayson busted out of AS in a new collar and leash. He dined at Mickey Dee with two cheeseburgers and fries and had a glazed chocolate Dunkin Donut for dessert as he watched the water in the pond. From there we went to the vets office where he was gently held and loved as we said goodbye. Though we were unable to save him from his horrible neglect, Grayson is no longer suffering and now running pain free with our other beloved Boxers.
Its with DEEP sorrow that we inform you that Haus collapsed during a walk this morning and passed away. We are heartbroken beyond words. He loved everyone and everyone loved him. We are glad that we could give him a few really good months but we were expecting 3 or more years. His personality was just starting to really blossom. He started playing with toys and wanted to be on the couch and snuggle with us. He will be missed. Thanks for giving us the opportunity to care for this great boy.
~ Mike and Janet Schraer
Lucky lost his battle with his illnesses today. His foster parents are heartbroken. He was only with them for about six months, but he was loved and will be truly missed. He is now free and pain-free and waiting for all of us at the Rainbow Bridge
Run free and painless sweet boy.
BRAF Angel Janet named him Gentle Ben, a 10-12 year old incredibly sweet senior who had come in as a stray at one of our shelter partners. Tumors hanging from his body, nails never clipped, and every backbone showing, Ben had bladder cancer and was peeing pus. While Ben was only with BRAF for a few short hours, he was loved on, wined and dined.
From his Angel: “Gentle Ben and I had breakfast at Tiffany’s (McDonalds), then a slow drive with windows open so Ben could sniff the fresh air and have lunch by a pond – kids meal cheeseburger with fries, though he didn’t care for the apple slices. Ben gave the most wonderful kisses and thanked everyone at Pasco for helping him, and gently kissed me and our vet as we said goodbye. Gentle Ben now runs free of pain but I will forever be haunted by how he looked. Never should a dog come in like this! If you can’t take care of a dog, cat or other animal – don’t get one….. You may think they don’t suffer pain, they DO!”
Thank you to our BRAF Angel Janet for giving Gentle Ben the love he so deserved before setting him free at the Rainbow Bridge.
We are saddened to inform everyone that sweet Emma did not make it. She apparently had a malignancy in her throat and was unable to eat in addition to atrophy in her legs as well as other issues. The Vet said the most humane thing to do was to let her go in peace. While we weren’t able to save Emma she will forever be one of our Angel Boxers.
We were sad to hear of the passing of Quorra (Corra) who was in Forever Care with BRAF. Her foster family loved her dearly and Foster Mom sent us this message after helping Corra cross the bridge:
Corra left a big impression on me, throughout all my furs she was different and I was totally connected with her. She left her life the way she entered mine, with love, grace and faithfulness. My Corra left her mark in my heart. I’d like to say how rewarding and comforting it was to be a foster and being able to love and care for her when she needed it most. My most thanks go out to FBR and BRAF, especially to Dawn Thompson who opened my eyes on how much needed fosters are….. to help these fur babies young and old be such a wonderful part of our lives. Also to the dedicated staff at Palmer Ranch Animal Clinic, I thank you for your support helping Corra. You are just awesome.
The Davis Family
This sweet boy was rescued from one of our shelter partners who called the Angels to help this boy who was heavy heartworm positive. Sadly, soon after he arrived in rescue we learned this lover boy with gentle kisses also suffered from lung cancer. Memphis was gently helped across the bridge with an Angel by his side. Though only with us a short time he melted the hearts of all he met. Run free and painless dear Memphis. Your paw prints will forever be on our hearts.