Ridgebacks & Friends

Dedicated to rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming Rhodesian Ridgebacks and Ridgeback mixes in California. Potential adopters must meet the dog(s) prior to adoption.

The purpose of Ridgeback & Friends is to save Rhodesian Ridgebacks and Ridgeback mixes in California and place them in suitable homes. While the focus remains on saving dogs from California's high-intake shelters, some of the dogs come into rescue as owner surrenders or homeless strays. All dogs are carefully screened for good behavior and receive proper veterinary care, including spay/neuter surgery and vaccinations, before being matched with appropriate adopters. The group provides sanctuary to a limited number of sick and/or under socialized dogs.  

We are 501(c)(3) tax-exempt public charity. 

1-818-406-4877

www.facebook.com/ridgebacksandfriends

Cover photo courtesy of Andrea Altman. 

 February 11th, 2018 -  Cedar 's journey with us was a long one, but he finally found his forever home with Barbara R. and her husband in the Canyon Country area for the past year. "I very suddenly lost my Big Boy Dog, Cedar. I am devastated and heart broken. Cedar was my every day giver of joy and unconditional love.  Cedar was such a boy dog. He had more expression in his face than I ever knew was possible for a dog. He followed me wherever I went, took daily sunbaths, loved to ride in the car and befriended everyone he let inside of the fence. I will forever miss his little nudges of affection and call for attention.  The sunbaths. He knew on cold or windy days I would leave the front door open so he could lay on his piece of carpet in the doorway, be in the sun and out of the cold or wind. Other times he would lay in his favorite places in front of the garage or on the front porch, the door was always slightly ajar so he could come and go as he pleased. Often he would come in the house, give me a little I love you nudge and go back out to continue his sun bath. He loved to lay down in front of the front door letting everyone know, this is my home, I am loved here. He loved his sunbaths and his home.  He was so smart. Such a gentleman in the house. Careful with his toys. I would leave him in the house whenever I was gone. Sometimes he would ask his Dad if he could go outside and wait for me. The first time he was outside when I drove in the driveway he stood in front of the car and I had to get out and take him inside the house. We worked on that and he learned, when I drove in the driveway, he was to go sit or lay on the front porch so he would be safe.  The snoring. The snoring said, I am home, I am safe, I am content, I am in my forever home and I am loved. The snoring was my comfort as I fell asleep each night. Oh how I miss hearing him snore.  Cedar was my buddy, my friend, my companion, my daily joy. I am grateful I had him for a short time to receive all of the unconditional love he gave me.  Rest in peace my Big Boy Dog, you will forever be in my heart. Cross the rainbow bridge and enjoy all the joy heaven has for you. I prayed that my Dad, who was such a lover of dogs, would be there with my Princess Dog Kimba, to greet you, care for you and give you love until we meet again. I am forever grateful you came into my life, I love you so very much."

February 11th, 2018 - Cedar's journey with us was a long one, but he finally found his forever home with Barbara R. and her husband in the Canyon Country area for the past year. "I very suddenly lost my Big Boy Dog, Cedar. I am devastated and heart broken. Cedar was my every day giver of joy and unconditional love.

Cedar was such a boy dog. He had more expression in his face than I ever knew was possible for a dog. He followed me wherever I went, took daily sunbaths, loved to ride in the car and befriended everyone he let inside of the fence. I will forever miss his little nudges of affection and call for attention.

The sunbaths. He knew on cold or windy days I would leave the front door open so he could lay on his piece of carpet in the doorway, be in the sun and out of the cold or wind. Other times he would lay in his favorite places in front of the garage or on the front porch, the door was always slightly ajar so he could come and go as he pleased. Often he would come in the house, give me a little I love you nudge and go back out to continue his sun bath. He loved to lay down in front of the front door letting everyone know, this is my home, I am loved here. He loved his sunbaths and his home.

He was so smart. Such a gentleman in the house. Careful with his toys. I would leave him in the house whenever I was gone. Sometimes he would ask his Dad if he could go outside and wait for me. The first time he was outside when I drove in the driveway he stood in front of the car and I had to get out and take him inside the house. We worked on that and he learned, when I drove in the driveway, he was to go sit or lay on the front porch so he would be safe.

The snoring. The snoring said, I am home, I am safe, I am content, I am in my forever home and I am loved. The snoring was my comfort as I fell asleep each night. Oh how I miss hearing him snore.

Cedar was my buddy, my friend, my companion, my daily joy. I am grateful I had him for a short time to receive all of the unconditional love he gave me.

Rest in peace my Big Boy Dog, you will forever be in my heart. Cross the rainbow bridge and enjoy all the joy heaven has for you. I prayed that my Dad, who was such a lover of dogs, would be there with my Princess Dog Kimba, to greet you, care for you and give you love until we meet again. I am forever grateful you came into my life, I love you so very much."

 November 14, 2017: In rescue, there are some dogs you pull KNOWING they'll never be adopted out but it doesn't matter because you just can't live with yourself if you left them at the shelter.  Benson  was one of those dogs.  Physically, Benson was just a hot mess but so incredibly sweet and soulful.  Mohawk Alley Animal Hospital  patched him up as best they could and he went to live with his foster mom, Fiona. Fiona was a first time foster who had never had a dog before and didn't really know what to do with a dog but we knew everything would be ok because Benson was THAT easy.  Within moments of posting his pictures and bio up on our website we got a call from Bill -- He saw Benson's picture and KNEW this was his next dog. So after completing the application and reference check, Fiona drove Benson up to Simi Valley for the meet and greet and sure enough - Benson had found his Forever Home.  Benson's name was changed to Niko III and on that day he gained two daddies, three homes and a 4-legged brother named Winston. Thanks to Bill and Scott's exquisite care, they were able to figure out AND GET RID OF the bizarre callouses on his back and nurse him back to health.  There is always a special place in our heart for seniors and it is our utmost honor to place then with families who appreciate their special love and spoil them the way they deserve so it's always bittersweet for us when we have to make the announcement that that senior has passed.  Bill and Scott and Winston got 2.5 years with Niko III and while it's not a terribly long time, their lives were enriched 1000 times over. In fact, they consider themselves lucky -- they didn't think they'd get to have Niko III as long as they did so they consider themselves blessed that he stayed as long as he did. Bill and Scot said in their adoption email to us “We want to thank you for your kindness, and your commitment to these precious spirits. We will be forever grateful to you for the trust you have placed in us. We won't let you down!”  Ridgebacks & Friends considers ourselves blessed to have found Bill and Scott - please join us in sending them love and hugs.

November 14, 2017: In rescue, there are some dogs you pull KNOWING they'll never be adopted out but it doesn't matter because you just can't live with yourself if you left them at the shelter. Benson was one of those dogs.

Physically, Benson was just a hot mess but so incredibly sweet and soulful. Mohawk Alley Animal Hospital patched him up as best they could and he went to live with his foster mom, Fiona. Fiona was a first time foster who had never had a dog before and didn't really know what to do with a dog but we knew everything would be ok because Benson was THAT easy.

Within moments of posting his pictures and bio up on our website we got a call from Bill -- He saw Benson's picture and KNEW this was his next dog. So after completing the application and reference check, Fiona drove Benson up to Simi Valley for the meet and greet and sure enough - Benson had found his Forever Home.

Benson's name was changed to Niko III and on that day he gained two daddies, three homes and a 4-legged brother named Winston. Thanks to Bill and Scott's exquisite care, they were able to figure out AND GET RID OF the bizarre callouses on his back and nurse him back to health.

There is always a special place in our heart for seniors and it is our utmost honor to place then with families who appreciate their special love and spoil them the way they deserve so it's always bittersweet for us when we have to make the announcement that that senior has passed.

Bill and Scott and Winston got 2.5 years with Niko III and while it's not a terribly long time, their lives were enriched 1000 times over. In fact, they consider themselves lucky -- they didn't think they'd get to have Niko III as long as they did so they consider themselves blessed that he stayed as long as he did. Bill and Scot said in their adoption email to us “We want to thank you for your kindness, and your commitment to these precious spirits. We will be forever grateful to you for the trust you have placed in us. We won't let you down!”

Ridgebacks & Friends considers ourselves blessed to have found Bill and Scott - please join us in sending them love and hugs.

 March 14, 2016: In August 2015, we pulled  Oso  from East Valley shelter (Los Angeles) where he found himself when his longtime owner fell sick and could no longer care for him. After much love and networking from shelter volunteer, Toni, Oso came to live with dedicated Ridgeback rescuers Mary & Nick Isaac for many months. Oso was a sweetheart but not fond of little dogs or dominant dogs, so when things got a little stressful for the pack the Matthews family, stepped up to foster him. We enlisted the help and networking power of Senior Pets for Senior People and Susie's Senior Dogs and thanks to them, 2.5 weeks ago Oso went to his Forever Home with Nicole and her husband and their 10 year old pit mix, Daisy. Just as we were all about to rejoice and do happy dances, Nicole reported that Oso wasn't himself -- he seemed very lethargic, mopey and everything about him was off. Nicole set up an appointment to take him to her vet today at 3:00 but when she came home for lunch, she found Oso lying unresponsive and rushed him to the vet. X-rays showed a very enlarged heart and the doctor said he had hemangiosarcoma and was suffering. We made the difficult decision to help him to the Rainbow bridge. After months at the shelter and seven months in rescue, Oso was FINALLY getting his dream: a family who posted cute Instagram pictures of him every day, who snuggled him while watching TV, who was dedicated and committed to making it work. A young family who explicitly wanted to adopt a senior! As Nicole wrote us just yesterday "he loves to go on walks, loves to eat. He has a wonderful heart. He is patient when you leave the room and is excited when you come back. He is very much a lover." Nicole held him and loved him till his amazing soul was able to leave behind his broken body. She let us know when he had made the transition: "He has peacefully crossed the rainbow bridge and will get to play with my Lucky dog and all the other wonderful dogs in heaven. The doctor said he was suffering and that it was good that I brought him in. I am just so thankful to have had the two weeks with him and been able to love him like we did. He can now chase all the little dogs he wants. Thank you for your kindness and for allowing us to love him in his last days. I wouldn't hesitate to do it again. He was a wonderful amazing loving pup."  Rest in peace, dear Oso. You were loved immensely by your owner, the East Valley shelter volunteers, and the THREE families who got to spoil you and love on you. Bask in the sun, watch birds, smile your gorgeous smile. We love you.

March 14, 2016: In August 2015, we pulled Oso from East Valley shelter (Los Angeles) where he found himself when his longtime owner fell sick and could no longer care for him. After much love and networking from shelter volunteer, Toni, Oso came to live with dedicated Ridgeback rescuers Mary & Nick Isaac for many months. Oso was a sweetheart but not fond of little dogs or dominant dogs, so when things got a little stressful for the pack the Matthews family, stepped up to foster him. We enlisted the help and networking power of Senior Pets for Senior People and Susie's Senior Dogs and thanks to them, 2.5 weeks ago Oso went to his Forever Home with Nicole and her husband and their 10 year old pit mix, Daisy. Just as we were all about to rejoice and do happy dances, Nicole reported that Oso wasn't himself -- he seemed very lethargic, mopey and everything about him was off. Nicole set up an appointment to take him to her vet today at 3:00 but when she came home for lunch, she found Oso lying unresponsive and rushed him to the vet. X-rays showed a very enlarged heart and the doctor said he had hemangiosarcoma and was suffering. We made the difficult decision to help him to the Rainbow bridge. After months at the shelter and seven months in rescue, Oso was FINALLY getting his dream: a family who posted cute Instagram pictures of him every day, who snuggled him while watching TV, who was dedicated and committed to making it work. A young family who explicitly wanted to adopt a senior! As Nicole wrote us just yesterday "he loves to go on walks, loves to eat. He has a wonderful heart. He is patient when you leave the room and is excited when you come back. He is very much a lover." Nicole held him and loved him till his amazing soul was able to leave behind his broken body. She let us know when he had made the transition: "He has peacefully crossed the rainbow bridge and will get to play with my Lucky dog and all the other wonderful dogs in heaven. The doctor said he was suffering and that it was good that I brought him in. I am just so thankful to have had the two weeks with him and been able to love him like we did. He can now chase all the little dogs he wants. Thank you for your kindness and for allowing us to love him in his last days. I wouldn't hesitate to do it again. He was a wonderful amazing loving pup."

Rest in peace, dear Oso. You were loved immensely by your owner, the East Valley shelter volunteers, and the THREE families who got to spoil you and love on you. Bask in the sun, watch birds, smile your gorgeous smile. We love you.

 April 11, 2016.  Lola  lived the last 6 months of her life being loved and doted on by her Fospice mom, Erin, and spoiled by her Ridge Angels who showered her with food and toys. To all, we are so grateful. We rescued Lola from the Inland Valley Humane Society in October 2015. We were told that she had kennel cough, which most dogs leaving shelters do. Unfortunately when we brought her to our friends at Mohawk Alley Animal Hospital, tests revealed that she actually had advanced lung cancer. After we all had our little cry we made it our mission to keep her as happy as we could for whatever time she had left. One of the things that gave Miss Lola great pleasure (besides moving all her toys around) was watching out for her self-proclaimed 'ditzy' foster mama and making sure she knew how to find her way back from adventures. She also tried to teach Erin that toys DO NOT GO in the washing machine, because she worked very hard to get them the perfect amount of mushy and dirty. We think Lola’s proudest moment was when she was wrongly singled out as a "vicious pit bull" in the neighborhood which required a visit from an Animal Control officer who took one look at our sweet, terminally ill, playful girl and burst out laughing.  Erin writes: She loved to be outdoors and waggled on her walks. She would never be or go anywhere unless explicitly invited and could hop like a pygmy goat if she got excited enough. Her sweet nature could charm the harshest critics but in another moment she could give you the dirtiest of looks if you didn't appreciate her barking or her need to beg the neighbors for carne asada.  Thank you to: Mohawk Animal Hospital, Eagle Rock Emergency Pet Clinic, Amanda Taylor for being Lola’s first foster home and Tonya for alerting us to her and helping us pull her from the shelter.

April 11, 2016. Lola lived the last 6 months of her life being loved and doted on by her Fospice mom, Erin, and spoiled by her Ridge Angels who showered her with food and toys. To all, we are so grateful. We rescued Lola from the Inland Valley Humane Society in October 2015. We were told that she had kennel cough, which most dogs leaving shelters do. Unfortunately when we brought her to our friends at Mohawk Alley Animal Hospital, tests revealed that she actually had advanced lung cancer. After we all had our little cry we made it our mission to keep her as happy as we could for whatever time she had left. One of the things that gave Miss Lola great pleasure (besides moving all her toys around) was watching out for her self-proclaimed 'ditzy' foster mama and making sure she knew how to find her way back from adventures. She also tried to teach Erin that toys DO NOT GO in the washing machine, because she worked very hard to get them the perfect amount of mushy and dirty. We think Lola’s proudest moment was when she was wrongly singled out as a "vicious pit bull" in the neighborhood which required a visit from an Animal Control officer who took one look at our sweet, terminally ill, playful girl and burst out laughing.

Erin writes: She loved to be outdoors and waggled on her walks. She would never be or go anywhere unless explicitly invited and could hop like a pygmy goat if she got excited enough. Her sweet nature could charm the harshest critics but in another moment she could give you the dirtiest of looks if you didn't appreciate her barking or her need to beg the neighbors for carne asada.

Thank you to: Mohawk Animal Hospital, Eagle Rock Emergency Pet Clinic, Amanda Taylor for being Lola’s first foster home and Tonya for alerting us to her and helping us pull her from the shelter.

 SEPTEMBER 2017 - We brought  Simba  into Ridgebacks & Friends in early January of 2016. She had been surrendered to her vet's office when her elderly caretaker passed away. The vet's office reached out to a local Ridgeback breeder who took her in and contacted us. She was lovingly fostered by Jennifer and Ti Le (and RR Cooper) and she was adopted in February 2016 by Ann Mariotti.  Ann wrote us this tremendous tribute to her dear Simba: "Sorry it took so long. I had so many words and no words. I miss her so much. Here you go: Simba was one month away from her 10th birthday when we adopted her. Despite losing the only person she ever lived with and her home, she wagged her tail. All the time. She went forth and met everyone. And she wagged her tail. She woke up and wagged her tail. She waited for her “goodnight” cookie and wagged her tail.  She was so full of life and happiness. She loved to stand in the open front door and look through our courtyard to the cul-de-sac to see what was going on. We called her our “Marine”. She was large, in charge, knew what was going on, and always wanted to be first. Everyone loved Simba. Everyone. Period. She loved to stick her head between our legs to see what we were doing. And wag her tail. She loved to rub her head all over us so hard she pushed us around. And wag her tail.  Shortly after celebrating Simba’s 11th birthday, we found out she had bladder cancer. We cried. She wagged her tail.  The only time Simba did not wag her tail was when dinner was in her bowl and we were not giving her the bowl fast enough. She slung drool. She whined. She growled. She let it be known the food needed to be served. Now.  When we knew we had to let her go, she wagged her tail. When she left us, she let out a huge sigh. She had lived her life well. The pain from the cancer was over.  I aspire to be as wonderful as Simba and no matter how bad life gets, to wag my tail. Somewhere in heaven, right now, she is wagging her tail.  We will always love you Simba!"

SEPTEMBER 2017 - We brought Simba into Ridgebacks & Friends in early January of 2016. She had been surrendered to her vet's office when her elderly caretaker passed away. The vet's office reached out to a local Ridgeback breeder who took her in and contacted us. She was lovingly fostered by Jennifer and Ti Le (and RR Cooper) and she was adopted in February 2016 by Ann Mariotti.

Ann wrote us this tremendous tribute to her dear Simba: "Sorry it took so long. I had so many words and no words. I miss her so much. Here you go: Simba was one month away from her 10th birthday when we adopted her. Despite losing the only person she ever lived with and her home, she wagged her tail. All the time. She went forth and met everyone. And she wagged her tail. She woke up and wagged her tail. She waited for her “goodnight” cookie and wagged her tail.

She was so full of life and happiness. She loved to stand in the open front door and look through our courtyard to the cul-de-sac to see what was going on. We called her our “Marine”. She was large, in charge, knew what was going on, and always wanted to be first. Everyone loved Simba. Everyone. Period. She loved to stick her head between our legs to see what we were doing. And wag her tail. She loved to rub her head all over us so hard she pushed us around. And wag her tail.

Shortly after celebrating Simba’s 11th birthday, we found out she had bladder cancer. We cried. She wagged her tail.

The only time Simba did not wag her tail was when dinner was in her bowl and we were not giving her the bowl fast enough. She slung drool. She whined. She growled. She let it be known the food needed to be served. Now.

When we knew we had to let her go, she wagged her tail. When she left us, she let out a huge sigh. She had lived her life well. The pain from the cancer was over.

I aspire to be as wonderful as Simba and no matter how bad life gets, to wag my tail. Somewhere in heaven, right now, she is wagging her tail.

We will always love you Simba!"

 November 2018 - Our hospice dog, James, passed away peacefully last week, surrounded by those who loved him. The celebration of his life is best expressed by his mom, Tara, who wrote this beautiful statement to us last month:    “James, 11, has deep grandeur, lumbering elegance (that’s a thing!), and a patient soul that shows up in the way he treats the three 13+ year old dogs who make up his forever home’s pack.  James is very much the patriarch, pausing on walks so that the smaller old men can catch up and deferring to the bossy lady dog who insists she be the leader.  He loves meals, any treat he can help himself too (he has opened a drawer and pulled things off of high counters), rolling in the yard after supper, a good nap, the park, and a leisurely stroll.   It wasn’t always like this for him.  James started life with the name Pirate’s Lair as the sire in a sketchy backyard enterprise that ended when the owner was paid to vacate his land.  He left [James] locked in a garage with dirty water and a vat of Cheetos.  The construction workers who arrived at the property got him to Ridgebacks & Friends, who brought him to his foster mother, who adopted him almost immediately.    James, in addition to congestive heart failure, arrived at his foster with multiple rotten teeth and a raging infection.  The heart condition made surgery risky, but the infection made his life painful.  With a canine cardiologist on board, James had 17 teeth pulled and is now as healthy as a senior with his history can be.   It took the surgery, the devoted dog pack, his foster mom’s love, as well as the fierce support of Ridgebacks & Friends, who pay for his multiple medications, to bring James out of the shell built by a lifetime of neglect and abuse.  Watching him blossom into the gentle giant he was always meant to be has been the gift of a lifetime.”  Thank you to: his angels at the development company for calling us, Dr. Melville at Stonecreek Animal Hospital, Cardiologist Dr. Nick Russell for working with him on the precise cocktail of medications, and Dr. Dean Graulich of *The Official* Malibu Coast Animal Hospital who removed his teeth to allow him to rebound quickly.  Ridgebacks & Friends sends our sincerest condolences and gratitude to Tara and her sister Garret for loving him fiercely and making him officially theirs.  James’ pack loved him so deeply and his absence is felt especially by sister Juno.

November 2018 - Our hospice dog, James, passed away peacefully last week, surrounded by those who loved him. The celebration of his life is best expressed by his mom, Tara, who wrote this beautiful statement to us last month:

“James, 11, has deep grandeur, lumbering elegance (that’s a thing!), and a patient soul that shows up in the way he treats the three 13+ year old dogs who make up his forever home’s pack. James is very much the patriarch, pausing on walks so that the smaller old men can catch up and deferring to the bossy lady dog who insists she be the leader. He loves meals, any treat he can help himself too (he has opened a drawer and pulled things off of high counters), rolling in the yard after supper, a good nap, the park, and a leisurely stroll.

It wasn’t always like this for him. James started life with the name Pirate’s Lair as the sire in a sketchy backyard enterprise that ended when the owner was paid to vacate his land. He left [James] locked in a garage with dirty water and a vat of Cheetos. The construction workers who arrived at the property got him to Ridgebacks & Friends, who brought him to his foster mother, who adopted him almost immediately.

James, in addition to congestive heart failure, arrived at his foster with multiple rotten teeth and a raging infection. The heart condition made surgery risky, but the infection made his life painful. With a canine cardiologist on board, James had 17 teeth pulled and is now as healthy as a senior with his history can be.

It took the surgery, the devoted dog pack, his foster mom’s love, as well as the fierce support of Ridgebacks & Friends, who pay for his multiple medications, to bring James out of the shell built by a lifetime of neglect and abuse. Watching him blossom into the gentle giant he was always meant to be has been the gift of a lifetime.”

Thank you to: his angels at the development company for calling us, Dr. Melville at Stonecreek Animal Hospital, Cardiologist Dr. Nick Russell for working with him on the precise cocktail of medications, and Dr. Dean Graulich of *The Official* Malibu Coast Animal Hospital who removed his teeth to allow him to rebound quickly.

Ridgebacks & Friends sends our sincerest condolences and gratitude to Tara and her sister Garret for loving him fiercely and making him officially theirs. James’ pack loved him so deeply and his absence is felt especially by sister Juno.

 June 2018 - A TRIBUTE for DANNY, from his adoptive family:  “As a rescue, we know only a bit of Danny’s life from his time in the LA area (Seal Beach) shelter. Thankfully, through Ridgeback and Friends, Danny became part of our lives in February of 2017.  At that time, we wanted a senior, having recently lost our 12 year-old Rhodesian the previous Fall. Looking through Ridgeback and Friends’ website, Danny’s loveable white face stood out, and we knew that we had to meet him.  As we walked in the door, Danny plodded right over to us, with wagging tail, and plopped down, fully at ease. That was his nature, so easy going, so gentle, never a fuss. On the drive to his new home in the Bay Area, Danny stretched all of his 113 lbs. body on the floor of the minivan, from the front seats all the way to the second row. Everyone could give him pets while he napped.  Jazz the Westie and Stella the husky mix greeted Danny at his new home. Everyone got along. Even Sammi the cat got along with Danny. Soon, he found his early favorite spot in Maya’s room, at first on the floor, then later on her bed.  Eventually, he added the queen bed in the next room to his list of favorites, then finally the family room. In the family room, Danny could lounge on the couch or lie along the coffee table where it was easy to keep an eye on snacks that might be left unattended.  Danny’s love of food was amazing. He would do anything for a bite. Early on, he rode along on a grocery run. When the tailgate of the van was opened, he moved to the last row and hung his head over the seat. As the first bag passed by his nose, he saw the baguette sticking up and in the blink of an eye, 3 inches off the end went into his mouth. Wow! That was impressive!  However, going for rides was his second love after food. To Danny, these rides were so exciting whether running errands or driving to the park or making beach trips to Carmel and Half Moon Bay. At each place, Danny would get out and prance and bark and have fun with sisters, even if he was barking in their ears. Stella especially got that extra attention.  The few times Danny did complain, he would crank up a humorous high-pitched “woe is me” over and over. It was so unique, it earned him the nick name “Wub-Wub” which he actually would respond to when called.  Around last Thanksgiving, Danny’s skin began showing early signs of an illness. He visited four vets and was poked and prodded, but his gentle, easy-going way never wavered. Through it all, Ridgeback and Friends provided such wonderful support and guidance at every step of the way. We were very grateful that we had their help.  In the end, our dear friend crossed the Rainbow Bridge on May 30th. His collar sits on the coffee table, near the edge where he loved to keep watch for snacks.  If the world were made of more Dannys, it would be a better place.  Wub-Wub, you were a good boy, and we miss you……  With appreciation and love,  Maya, Colleen, and Ken Mizuki”  Ridgebacks and Friends is most grateful to his previous foster mamas, Erin Elliott and Kerry Gordon, who showed him such love and devotion. We would also like to thank Stonecreek Animal Hospital and Adobe Animal Hospital for his stellar medical care. Thank you to the staff at Seal Beach Animal Shelter for taking such good care of him while he was in their shelter in the Fall of 2016. Finally, we consider ourselves blessed to have found the Mizuki family, a loving, wonderful family who gave Danny the best last 16 months. Although brief, his life with them was perfect.  Danny was a beneficiary of our “Soraya Seniors” program, which was established last Spring to assist with our senior ridgebacks’ medical care and therefore incentivize the adoption of these older, deserving souls.

June 2018 - A TRIBUTE for DANNY, from his adoptive family:

“As a rescue, we know only a bit of Danny’s life from his time in the LA area (Seal Beach) shelter. Thankfully, through Ridgeback and Friends, Danny became part of our lives in February of 2017.

At that time, we wanted a senior, having recently lost our 12 year-old Rhodesian the previous Fall. Looking through Ridgeback and Friends’ website, Danny’s loveable white face stood out, and we knew that we had to meet him.

As we walked in the door, Danny plodded right over to us, with wagging tail, and plopped down, fully at ease. That was his nature, so easy going, so gentle, never a fuss. On the drive to his new home in the Bay Area, Danny stretched all of his 113 lbs. body on the floor of the minivan, from the front seats all the way to the second row. Everyone could give him pets while he napped.

Jazz the Westie and Stella the husky mix greeted Danny at his new home. Everyone got along. Even Sammi the cat got along with Danny. Soon, he found his early favorite spot in Maya’s room, at first on the floor, then later on her bed.

Eventually, he added the queen bed in the next room to his list of favorites, then finally the family room. In the family room, Danny could lounge on the couch or lie along the coffee table where it was easy to keep an eye on snacks that might be left unattended.

Danny’s love of food was amazing. He would do anything for a bite. Early on, he rode along on a grocery run. When the tailgate of the van was opened, he moved to the last row and hung his head over the seat. As the first bag passed by his nose, he saw the baguette sticking up and in the blink of an eye, 3 inches off the end went into his mouth. Wow! That was impressive!

However, going for rides was his second love after food. To Danny, these rides were so exciting whether running errands or driving to the park or making beach trips to Carmel and Half Moon Bay. At each place, Danny would get out and prance and bark and have fun with sisters, even if he was barking in their ears. Stella especially got that extra attention.

The few times Danny did complain, he would crank up a humorous high-pitched “woe is me” over and over. It was so unique, it earned him the nick name “Wub-Wub” which he actually would respond to when called.

Around last Thanksgiving, Danny’s skin began showing early signs of an illness. He visited four vets and was poked and prodded, but his gentle, easy-going way never wavered. Through it all, Ridgeback and Friends provided such wonderful support and guidance at every step of the way. We were very grateful that we had their help.

In the end, our dear friend crossed the Rainbow Bridge on May 30th. His collar sits on the coffee table, near the edge where he loved to keep watch for snacks.

If the world were made of more Dannys, it would be a better place.

Wub-Wub, you were a good boy, and we miss you……

With appreciation and love,
Maya, Colleen, and Ken Mizuki”

Ridgebacks and Friends is most grateful to his previous foster mamas, Erin Elliott and Kerry Gordon, who showed him such love and devotion. We would also like to thank Stonecreek Animal Hospital and Adobe Animal Hospital for his stellar medical care. Thank you to the staff at Seal Beach Animal Shelter for taking such good care of him while he was in their shelter in the Fall of 2016. Finally, we consider ourselves blessed to have found the Mizuki family, a loving, wonderful family who gave Danny the best last 16 months. Although brief, his life with them was perfect.

Danny was a beneficiary of our “Soraya Seniors” program, which was established last Spring to assist with our senior ridgebacks’ medical care and therefore incentivize the adoption of these older, deserving souls.

 February 27, 2016.:" Miss Odie " and her sister Honey had been left behind at the Orange County shelter by their family. Honey was adopted and Miss Odie was left behind again. We rescued her on December 11, 2015 knowing that she had mammary masses and ear infections. Her post-shelter vet appointment confirmed what we feared - Miss Odie had breast cancer. We got opinions from two of our trusted vets, who both felt that she would have a very good prognosis after a radical bilateral mastectomy. We took a deep breath and asked our family of Facebook fans and supporters to help us because we felt that this 8-year old girl had a lot of living still to do....and you guys came through in a big way, raising the $3000 needed for her surgery in a matter of days. The surgery went well and she received excellent care at Sharp Pet Hospital, Stonecreek Animal Hospital, and aftercare at VCA Animal Hospital in El Cajon (who got a nasty foxtail out of her ear!). Although her margins were too big after surgery and her cancer spread, all was not lost ...our fundraising campaign had the *wonderful* consequence of bringing her mom into her life! Denise Mallos, an OC shelter volunteer who used to visit Miss Odie there, found her way to us online and offered to be her foster mom. When we told Denise that she was terminally ill, Denise said the offer still stood. We brought Miss Odie, now called "Miss Jodie" to symbolize her new beginning, to Denise on New Year's Day. She started off with a bang by pooping all over the rug as soon as she walked in ("sorry, mom!"). Denise proved to be a wonderful foster mom and Miss Jodie thrived under her care until just a few days ago when she stopped eating and wagging her tail and was in obvious pain....and we all knew the time had come. Her mom, Denise, writes: "I never wanted her to be alone if she only had a short time to live, so when I went to work I always had my mom (Barbara) watch her. She was a great dog, and it was a tragedy I had her such a short time. I definitely loved her and miss her, and it was a privilege to have gotten to know her, spend time with her, and have her in my life."  It takes a special person to welcome a terminally ill dog into her life. Denise and Barbara, you will see her at Rainbow Bridge and she will be there with her big grin, bright eyes, and wagging tail. Thank you for loving Miss Jodie.

February 27, 2016.:"Miss Odie" and her sister Honey had been left behind at the Orange County shelter by their family. Honey was adopted and Miss Odie was left behind again. We rescued her on December 11, 2015 knowing that she had mammary masses and ear infections. Her post-shelter vet appointment confirmed what we feared - Miss Odie had breast cancer. We got opinions from two of our trusted vets, who both felt that she would have a very good prognosis after a radical bilateral mastectomy. We took a deep breath and asked our family of Facebook fans and supporters to help us because we felt that this 8-year old girl had a lot of living still to do....and you guys came through in a big way, raising the $3000 needed for her surgery in a matter of days. The surgery went well and she received excellent care at Sharp Pet Hospital, Stonecreek Animal Hospital, and aftercare at VCA Animal Hospital in El Cajon (who got a nasty foxtail out of her ear!). Although her margins were too big after surgery and her cancer spread, all was not lost ...our fundraising campaign had the *wonderful* consequence of bringing her mom into her life! Denise Mallos, an OC shelter volunteer who used to visit Miss Odie there, found her way to us online and offered to be her foster mom. When we told Denise that she was terminally ill, Denise said the offer still stood. We brought Miss Odie, now called "Miss Jodie" to symbolize her new beginning, to Denise on New Year's Day. She started off with a bang by pooping all over the rug as soon as she walked in ("sorry, mom!"). Denise proved to be a wonderful foster mom and Miss Jodie thrived under her care until just a few days ago when she stopped eating and wagging her tail and was in obvious pain....and we all knew the time had come. Her mom, Denise, writes: "I never wanted her to be alone if she only had a short time to live, so when I went to work I always had my mom (Barbara) watch her. She was a great dog, and it was a tragedy I had her such a short time. I definitely loved her and miss her, and it was a privilege to have gotten to know her, spend time with her, and have her in my life."

It takes a special person to welcome a terminally ill dog into her life. Denise and Barbara, you will see her at Rainbow Bridge and she will be there with her big grin, bright eyes, and wagging tail. Thank you for loving Miss Jodie.

 May 12, 2017 - As you remember, we pulled  Ivy  from Baldwin Park shelter in early February - her sister, Jambalaya, had been privately adopted. As soon as we pulled her we realized that there was something wrong with Ivy's back leg and after several tests it was determined that she had a fungal infection and osteosarcoma. We consulted with a several specialists and it was decided since the cancer hadn’t spread and she was otherwise in good health, we would amputate and start the chemo. We’re very sad to have to tell you that we lost our beautiful Ivy. We are grateful to all who donated towards her medical care. Thanks to you we were able to give her a fighting chance but, ultimately, the osteosarcoma was too aggressive for her body to overcome. No one gave her more of a fighting chance than her extraordinary foster mom, Melinda, who along with Dr. Adams, loved her from the beginning and held her at the end. Ivy had many angels, two of whom were Jerry and Laura Hendrickson who, when the test results came back, were not deterred by her prognosis (despite just having lost a dog to bone cancer) and became her forever family. While this is not the happy ending we had hoped for, we are so gratified that Ivy had the greatest 4 months in our care. We send our deepest condolences to Melinda and Jerry and Laura. You can run free again sweet Ivy.

May 12, 2017 - As you remember, we pulled Ivy from Baldwin Park shelter in early February - her sister, Jambalaya, had been privately adopted. As soon as we pulled her we realized that there was something wrong with Ivy's back leg and after several tests it was determined that she had a fungal infection and osteosarcoma. We consulted with a several specialists and it was decided since the cancer hadn’t spread and she was otherwise in good health, we would amputate and start the chemo. We’re very sad to have to tell you that we lost our beautiful Ivy. We are grateful to all who donated towards her medical care. Thanks to you we were able to give her a fighting chance but, ultimately, the osteosarcoma was too aggressive for her body to overcome. No one gave her more of a fighting chance than her extraordinary foster mom, Melinda, who along with Dr. Adams, loved her from the beginning and held her at the end. Ivy had many angels, two of whom were Jerry and Laura Hendrickson who, when the test results came back, were not deterred by her prognosis (despite just having lost a dog to bone cancer) and became her forever family. While this is not the happy ending we had hoped for, we are so gratified that Ivy had the greatest 4 months in our care. We send our deepest condolences to Melinda and Jerry and Laura. You can run free again sweet Ivy.

 April 24, 2017 - We are devastated to report that we lost our beautiful  Matisse  (formerly Knox, rescued from Apple Valley shelter in January 2016). His devoted mom, Meg, who adopted him in June 2016 let us know: "Very gently and peacefully he went on his journey surrounded by love. Matisse developed a neurological problem a month ago (came out of nowhere) and exhibited signs of heptic encephalopathy. After a hospital stay to stabilize him, the neurologist put him on a regime of antibiotics and steroids and he seemed to rally around the first week and a half but never fully regained his eyesight and coordination on the left side of his body. We discussed other invasive procedures like a spinal tap etc., but the risk was too great that he wouldn’t survive in his weakened state. He would walk in circles and press his head into corners and walls. We needed to constantly supervise him to keep him safe from harming himself. He really put up a gallant fight but in the end it wasn’t enough. I couldn’t bear to watch him suffer anymore, particularly after all he has been through. These past two weeks his appetite started to wane and he would not settle down to sleep until late into the night."  "I think this condition may have been congenital or perhaps his early environment? It may have been there but his previous owner never addressed it when he was young? I just don’t know. He seemed to tire easily for being such a young dog and I noticed last month (in retrospect) the first signs of this were occasionally he would just stare right through me when I called him. Even looking back when I first got him, he seemed to stumble over things and not be sure footed in what would be normal circumstances for other dogs.  "Tragically, Matisse was really coming into his own, playful and that sweet nub of a tail wagging. He brought such joy to everyone he met and in particular to our household. We loved him so much and needless to say will never, ever forget him. It’s a tremendous loss we won’t get over any time soon. It pains me that he will never lead that long life I had wished to share with him as we grew old together."  "In the Buddhist tradition, life and death are seen as one whole, where death is the beginning of another chapter of life. Death is the mirror in which the entire life is reflected. In September 2014 I found a picture of a Ridgeback that I saved to my laptop. This was the dog I was searching for. The similarities are striking. Such a handsome and dignified fellow and that’s how I’ll remember Matisse. Calm, quiet, steady and patient except when you put food in front of him! Matisse was an extraordinary dog, precious and learning to trust. He taught me mountains about myself and about how to let go. We’ll feast on memories now, walks at the beach, chasing squirrels in the park, riding in the car and smiling into the wind. We hung out a lot during those rainy days last winter, curled up on my bed, snoozing. People gravitated toward Matisse. He was just zen and people wanted to touch him, find out his name and story. I’m humbled yet proud to have been his mum on this journey. What I’ll miss most is the kissing and hugging him all the time. Alex, my daughter couldn't walk by him without many huge hugs and kisses. He loved the closeness and familiarity. He had his routines and favorite spots. He was finally home and he filled up the house with his august presence. His bed is still in the living room. I feel his spirit. I will cherish him always and we will never forget him."  Ridgebacks and Friends is deeply indebted to Meg for loving him so dearly... as well as  THE ZEN DOG  for the first leg of his rehab, his foster family Kristie, Nathan and Bodie, who did so much work to teach Matisse (fka Knox) how to be a dog. They are currently working their patient, therapeutic magic with Huxley and we know he also has a perfect home out there just waiting for him. Please Join us in sending condolences to Meg as well as his foster family. RIP Matisse. You were loved. And you taught us so much in your short life.

April 24, 2017 - We are devastated to report that we lost our beautiful Matisse (formerly Knox, rescued from Apple Valley shelter in January 2016). His devoted mom, Meg, who adopted him in June 2016 let us know: "Very gently and peacefully he went on his journey surrounded by love. Matisse developed a neurological problem a month ago (came out of nowhere) and exhibited signs of heptic encephalopathy. After a hospital stay to stabilize him, the neurologist put him on a regime of antibiotics and steroids and he seemed to rally around the first week and a half but never fully regained his eyesight and coordination on the left side of his body. We discussed other invasive procedures like a spinal tap etc., but the risk was too great that he wouldn’t survive in his weakened state. He would walk in circles and press his head into corners and walls. We needed to constantly supervise him to keep him safe from harming himself. He really put up a gallant fight but in the end it wasn’t enough. I couldn’t bear to watch him suffer anymore, particularly after all he has been through. These past two weeks his appetite started to wane and he would not settle down to sleep until late into the night."

"I think this condition may have been congenital or perhaps his early environment? It may have been there but his previous owner never addressed it when he was young? I just don’t know. He seemed to tire easily for being such a young dog and I noticed last month (in retrospect) the first signs of this were occasionally he would just stare right through me when I called him. Even looking back when I first got him, he seemed to stumble over things and not be sure footed in what would be normal circumstances for other dogs.

"Tragically, Matisse was really coming into his own, playful and that sweet nub of a tail wagging. He brought such joy to everyone he met and in particular to our household. We loved him so much and needless to say will never, ever forget him. It’s a tremendous loss we won’t get over any time soon. It pains me that he will never lead that long life I had wished to share with him as we grew old together."

"In the Buddhist tradition, life and death are seen as one whole, where death is the beginning of another chapter of life. Death is the mirror in which the entire life is reflected. In September 2014 I found a picture of a Ridgeback that I saved to my laptop. This was the dog I was searching for. The similarities are striking. Such a handsome and dignified fellow and that’s how I’ll remember Matisse. Calm, quiet, steady and patient except when you put food in front of him! Matisse was an extraordinary dog, precious and learning to trust. He taught me mountains about myself and about how to let go. We’ll feast on memories now, walks at the beach, chasing squirrels in the park, riding in the car and smiling into the wind. We hung out a lot during those rainy days last winter, curled up on my bed, snoozing. People gravitated toward Matisse. He was just zen and people wanted to touch him, find out his name and story. I’m humbled yet proud to have been his mum on this journey. What I’ll miss most is the kissing and hugging him all the time. Alex, my daughter couldn't walk by him without many huge hugs and kisses. He loved the closeness and familiarity. He had his routines and favorite spots. He was finally home and he filled up the house with his august presence. His bed is still in the living room. I feel his spirit. I will cherish him always and we will never forget him."

Ridgebacks and Friends is deeply indebted to Meg for loving him so dearly... as well as THE ZEN DOG for the first leg of his rehab, his foster family Kristie, Nathan and Bodie, who did so much work to teach Matisse (fka Knox) how to be a dog. They are currently working their patient, therapeutic magic with Huxley and we know he also has a perfect home out there just waiting for him. Please Join us in sending condolences to Meg as well as his foster family. RIP Matisse. You were loved. And you taught us so much in your short life.