"Dogs aren’t our whole life, but they make our lives whole."
~ Roger Caras
Kerry Mensching, founder and president of Grateful Goldens Rescue, would have argued that point – dogs, especially goldens, were her life. She spent the last 17 years making sure that homeless golden retrievers had a second chance at a loving home. She inspired us all with her commitment to rescue as many goldens as possible. Always understanding that she couldn’t save them all, she never gave up trying. She never turned away from a golden that needed her help -- the little girl in a rural shelter only hours away from being euthanized, with mange so bad that we weren’t even sure she was a golden who, with love and good vet care, became a beautiful golden with a zest for life; the boy so seriously injured from a gunshot wound that chances were he wouldn’t even survive the trip to the vet’s office, who overcame the odds and now hosts his own golf tournament every year; or the female rescued from a shelter just in time to give birth to her pups in a warm, comfortable bedroom surrounded by volunteers ready to tend to her every need. Kerry never refused a late night call from the emergency vet to help a critically ill or injured stray, like the emaciated and dehydrated golden who managed enough energy to lick her hand in thanks as she authorized the vets to do everything possible to save him. Save him she did – from 30 lbs of skin and bones, close to breathing his last, to now 90 lbs of solid muscle, he and his family owe his life to Kerry’s dedication.
Her joy was in the updates and pictures from adoptive families or seeing the dogs at reunion picnics and events, all healthy and happy as though they’d never experienced anything but spoiled care.
Kerry’s love of the Gold was contagious. Grateful Goldens Rescue started with a few people in Charleston and has grown to encompass a vast network of dedicated volunteers and supporters along the coasts of South Carolina and Georgia westward to the I-95 corridor and beyond. Her dream became our dream – a world where every golden retriever is healthy and happy and loved. She helped over 800 dogs achieve that goal just in the last six years, and each one has a family who, without Kerry’s dedication, would not know the special love that only a rescued dog can give. We have all been blessed by her – in the wonderful dogs we have known and the lasting friendships we have made along the way. In honor of the work she started, Grateful Goldens Rescue is committed to continuing her mission of providing a second chance to homeless goldens. Every golden we save will be a tribute to the love and dedication that she passed on to us.
Anyone who has ever loved and lost an animal is familiar with the story of the Rainbow Bridge. It’s a beautiful place just this side of Heaven where animals go when they die to wait for the special person in their life that they had to leave behind. Reports are that there was a mob scene there in the last few days, as all the goldens that Kerry had helped, who had gone to the Bridge before her, eagerly ran to greet her with golden smiles and kisses. It’s also said that St Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals, is thrilled to have her on his team.
She leaves a void in our hearts that can’t be filled. But we also know that she is still with us, encouraging us to “Go for the Gold”!
If you would like to make a donation to the rescue in memory of Kerry, please click the PayPal link below. Be sure to note Kerry in the comments of the donation. Donations can also be mailed to: Grateful Goldens Rescue, PO BOX 2799, Myrtle Beach, SC 29578.