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 info@afh.ong.

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water, and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in a joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together…

Author unknown…

Image credit: Image by Graham Lowe from Pixabay

Sophie (Celeste)

Hello – we adopted Celeste ( whom we renamed Sophie) in 2007ish  when she was about 6 months old and we were a foster family for you in Chantilly. We didn’t even make it the 3 blocks home from her pick up before I knew she was meant for us. We called her our happy accident of genetics – we had our guesses but whatever the mix was she was purely wonderful. Full of joy, life, spunk, grit- maybe a little short on common sense. We were grateful she was not our human child as she would have put us in an early grave but as our dog she only gave us a few more gray hairs along with the happiness she brought our whole family. Always game to go for a hike, always ready to tell us what she needed. The vet said he had no idea how this dog continued to walk since she had no joints left to speak of, but, until this last year, that never slowed her down, tail always wagging, happy face always ready for more fun. more. The steroids the vet gave Sophie gave a couple of nice months to enjoy the spring, enjoy us, just be Sophie – at 33 rpm, but still Sophie. Yesterday seemed a little different- fewer wags, more far away looks. That was redoubled today. She was saying it was time. So  we are spent our morning cuddling, rubbing and reminding her how important she is to us. The vet came at one.  We will miss her every day. See her playing get the baby at age 15 https://youtube.com/shorts/F5Tl4hrcKYc

Coco – Best Family Dog

We adopted our dog Coco from A Forever Home in 2010….  Unfortunately due to health issues we made the difficult decision to put her down on January 8, 2023. She was a black purebred Cocker Spaniel and quickly became a member of the family.  She was here for the birth of our two children and always a very friendly and protective pet to both of them.  Coco was an extremely intelligent and loyal pet.  In the evenings she loved to jump up on the couch and cuddle next to you.  She was very gentle with both children and loved to give kisses.  She had a couple of health issues with her knees, eyesight, and hearing but we were thankful to have her in our home for almost 13 years.  One of our favorite memories was taking her for walks at my in-laws who lived out in the country.  We would take her off her leash and she would run ahead, stop, turn around and look at us and wait until we got closer, then she would take off, run ahead, stop, turn around, and wait. She would do this the entire walk and we thought this was the funniest thing.  She really was the best family dog and best dog in general.  We miss her trememdously but are glad to have had so many years with her and happy that she is no longer in any pain. 

Beloved Lexi (Nyla)

On March 22nd, 2023 my beloved Lexie (Nyla) crossed over the rainbow bridge at the age of 17. Lexie came into my life in December 2013 and I am not sure who rescued who.  She was part of the Valentine’s Day rescue.  She was the sweetest dog and loved by all who met her.  Lexie had a rough first half of her life but her last half was filled with lots of love and adventures.  Her favorite thing was to be at home with me where she was my shadow and constant companion. Lexie really enjoyed her walks, riding in the car, butt rubs and eating her treats.  She was a really special dog and is greatly missed.  I just loved how her little tongue out due to having no teeth.

Ritter (Blitzen) – Best Dog Ever

Hi Maribel and Mary…I loved receiving Mary’s message – over the years, I often wondered what happened to Ritter’s (aka Blitzen’s) siblings. It pains me to share with you that Ritter passed away at the end of January this year. Like Almond, our family felt Ritter was the BEST dog ever…My husband and I welcomed him into our family at the Chantilly PetSmart…At the time, he was our one and only baby. How lucky were we to welcome him into our home right before the Snowpocalypse – we loved the extra time with him and still remember his confusion when the ground stopped being white 🙂  Fast forward a few years and Ritter became big brother to Charlotte and then Claire. It was around that time (circa 2016) that Ritter started to really love the benefits of living with my in-laws whose daily routine included coffee and pound cake at Starbucks followed by hikes all throughout the area and Shenandoah. In his lifetime, he would complete 220 trails for a total of 1,750 miles (not counting his daily 1-2 mile local hikes) including every mile of trail on Massanutten Mountain….There is not a day that goes by without us thinking of him. 

Warmly, Jennie

Beloved Colonel Mustard

Our beloved beagle mix (although the vet said he was full beagle), Colonel Mustard crossed the Rainbow Bridge on March 14, 2023.  He was only 6 years young and his loss was very sudden. If you look in the dictionary for the word sweet, you’d likely find a picture and description of Colonel Mustard or The Colonel or just Colonel.

Colonel came into our lives on July 16, 2017, about 1 month after we lost our 13 year old rescue, Macy (also an AFH alum).  In fact we went to see him at the adoption event because the name intrigued us.  When we saw him, it was love at first sight.  Colonel had been a stray and was at a kill shelter in rural Virginia when AFH came to his rescue.  Two weeks later, he had his forever home with us.  At first he was shy and unsure of everything but with some training and buckets and buckets of love, he grew to be the best dog ever.  He was pretty quiet unless the ambulance or fire engine went by and loved his walks (his nose never left the ground).  He also just loved to snuggle and chill.  There was never a person or other creature he did not like and everyone loved him.

Colonel was also a frequent flyer.  Upon the birth of our first grandchild, we started spending extended time in San Diego.  He was a great support animal and charmed everyone in first class.  Our grandkids (now two of them) loved to play with Colonel and he had his best girlfriends on both coasts.  I cannot tell you how many people were touched by that sweet, loving boy.

Although he is gone too soon, we are so grateful he was in our lives.  Thank you AFH for rescuing him and bringing him to our home.

We will always love and miss you sweet boy 

Darcy (Darva)

Hello, I adopted Darcy from your rescue back in June of 2012. She was 9 weeks old, from Dinah’s litter. Her name was originally Darva. I want you to know how much she was loved and how many hearts she touched. I want to thank you for the amazing 11 years I have had with this sweet girl and thank you for all of the amazing work you do for rescues.  

Thank you again, Lauren

In Memory of Abby

Twelve and a half years ago, we adopted a Great Pyranees/Boxer pup named Abby.  She came to us with that name as the foster family had originally named the litter – and her name just stuck.  From the beginning, her personality shined.  She was strong but gentle dog who loved her daily walks.  She was smart and learned the ways of our home quickly.  She even taught us a few tricks, like bringing us a toy meant she wanted a treat.  We fell for it every time. She was a loyal companion who was a playmate and pillow to our two boys and a foot warmer to my husband and me.  She was a persistent friend to our cat, Penny, who reluctantly warmed to her and later became her snuggle buddy.  Although gentle with the kindest brown eyes, she had a fierce bark that would always alert us to delivery drivers and solicitors. She always made us feel safe although we knew she’d be the first to welcome them in after her initial reaction. Abby was introduced to her new friend, Hazel, about five and a half years ago.  She was the big sister to our beagle right from the start and showed her the ropes on the how our home operated.  They were best friends until the end. Throughout the years she has been by our sides to witness and participate in celebrations and comfort us in our time of need.  Except this time. We laid our dear Abby to rest on Monday, March 6, next to her original friend, Penny, on our farm in West Virginia.  We will miss her pleasant demeanor and her unwavering loyal companionship but take comfort in the memories we made with her for more than a decade.  We hope you’re once again running at full speed “Wooby!”  You’ll always be in our hearts.

Penny (Precious) – Greatly Missed

I just want to let you all know that the dog we adopted from you in 2009 passed away last week. Known originally as Precious, we adopted her from A Forever Home in 2009 and renamed her Penny (Penelope Louise.) She was my first dog ever and a true member of our family. She was 15 when she passed and she will be greatly missed. Penny moved with us from VA to TX in 2011, where we have lived ever since. A few years later, we adopted her “sister,” a Dachshund named Trixie and they were best friends for years. Trixie is missing Penny. Penny grew up with my sons – they hardly remember life without her. They’re college sophomores now. I just want to say a huge thank you for giving Penny a chance!!! Her paperwork said she was picked up in the Jacksonville, FL area and taken to A Forever Home for adoption. You guys even fixed up her broken leg before we adopted her, so thank you so much for having faith in her. Our family is sad today, but grateful you found Penny so she could live forever with our family and now forever in our hearts.

Sweet Benny (Manny)

It was a magical night in 2008 when our family met at Petco in Chantilly to bring  home our sweet Benny (one of the golden quads named Manny by Aforeverhome).  Our oldest son was 4th grade, middle son  2nd grade and youngest daughter kindergarten.  He walked them to the bus stop in the mornings and greeted them each day when they came home from school. He was there for many little league, youth football and lacrosse games. He was part of prom pictures, high school and college  graduation photos and many family  beach vacations.   Each of the kids went off to college and they would all send texts to “send Benny pictures” because they  missed him so much when they were away.  We bought a retirement home near the beach a few years ago and had so much fun spending time with Benny at the new house and taking him for walks on the beach.  Last week he passed, and it happened to be the week my oldest son bought an engagement ring for his girlfriend of many years – it was nice that Benny made it to that milestone in my sons life.  We loved him so much and he brought so much love and joy to our family the last 15 years.  We are thankful for Aforeverhome for rescuing him and bringing him into our lives. 

Best Regards, Mike and Mary 

Rover – Dog Ambassador

Rover was the name he came with, and we never found a reason to change it.  We adopted him from A Forever Home in March 2013 when he was three.  Our first adventure together was a walk around the Tidal Basin to see the cherry blossoms.  Rover made us a family, united in our love and care for him, and turned our house into a forever home.  Despite a heart murmur, he made many trips to Maine with us to hike in the autumn woods; closer to home, he was the neighborhood “dog ambassador,” tail wagging cheerfully as he welcomed new families to our Del Ray neighborhood.  When he grew too sick and frail to take joy in his life we sadly let him go, but he will always be with us in our hearts.