Susan adopted Belmont from Jan Flaherty in 1999. Once she moved back to New Jersey, inspired by Jan and knowing there is always a need for volunteers, she became more active in GSP Rescue. We were saddened to learn that Belmont passed away last month but know he had the best life that any adopted dog we could ask for. The following memorial was written by Susan.
14.5 years ago I was blessed to cross paths with Jan, who gave me the greatest gift of my life. I was living in LA and wanted to adopt a GSP buddy for me and my dog Winston. I thought Winston would do better with a female sibling. When Jan called me to come meet a 6 month old female, I sped to Oceanside (got pulled over by CHP going 100 mph but he let me go because I told him why I was in such a hurry!) When I arrived, Jan and I spoke about Winston’s temperament and she thought a male would be a better fit. As luck would have it, they had just rescued 3- 14 week old babies who were abandoned in a stable along with Mom. They all had mange and the volunteers who nursed them back to health dubbed them the pickle puppies. The 2 boys were wrestling around with each other while the third (Ivanhoe) was hanging all by himself. I pointed to that lil guy in the back of the pen, and proclaimed “I’ll take him…he’s the one!” It was love at first site and that love only grew with every tick of the clock together. We were each other’s soul mates…that I am sure of. He stuck with me through everything.
We traveled the country together and spent our happiest times at Jalama beach camping just about every weekend. He loved running the water line, chasing the sand pipers and the occasional cows that wandered down from the field, even a seal once. Rolling on the dead birds and fish were his specialty, despite my protests.
We eventually moved back to NJ. I was diagnosed with cancer and he lay by my side for over 6 months. Even though he was a high high energy boy, he waited beside me til I was better and we could once again run the beach, hike the woods and enjoy life together. It was then my turn to take care of him. He developed an immune deficiency disease, amongst a multitude of other illnesses over the years. He was the most amazing, strong, determined dog I’ve ever known. So many times I thought he was not going make it, nor did his very special doctor Kate Palmer, but he always pulled through. He was an amazing source of strength for me and taught me the importance of perseverance, companionship and love.
Belmont touched everyone he met. He was just that special.
Belmont (2.25.99 – 6.29.13)
My heart will never mend.
My tears will always flow.
You were my wingman, my best friend, my true companion.
We walked our journey side by side.
Til we meet again. I love you my sweet boy Belmont.