Tributes to Rio

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He made me smile and he made me cry, but he always knew the right thing to do.

He depended on me, without realizing how much I depended on him.

As I held Rio as he took his last breath, I felt his soul leaving and somehow a part of me went with him. I felt so sad, yet a kind of calm wrapped around me — knowing that he died without pain, held by the two people he loved the most.

In our lives many of us have lived with many different pets and we loved them all — but as a legacy, we’re only allowed one special pet in our lives, and for me that was my buddy Rio.

Denise and I shed our tears, even had our smiles over some of the nutty things he did. There’s a lot more grieving ahead, but when I put my head on the pillow at night, I know he’s looking down at me saying:

“Thanks Pop, It’s O.K. I’ve met all of the pets that you loved so dearly, and we’re having a good time knowing that we will all be together with you again someday. Until then, thanks, I’ll get back to you later, Pop. There’s a squirrel running across the clouds that I need to chase.”

Warren Eckstein

I cried when I read Warren’s tribute to Rio.

He was such a special dog.

I got to know Rio because I was his overnight nanny. It was a privilege to watch over him.

Actually there were times I felt very strongly that he was watching over me!

With love and appreciation, Nadene (Katz).

Simply, God bless you Warren. You are truly making a difference. You and Denise and Rio will be in my prayers.

John – Windsor

Warren, what a beautiful tribute to Rio. I know that you love him as much as he loves you. I can honestly say that I feel your heartbreak.

One of my four cats, Buffy, is very ill and has been for sometime. I am taking her to the vet after work today, maybe for the very last time and it breaks my heart.

As much as I can’t imagine making chicken soup without Buffy making sure the chicken is ready for human consumption or watch TV without her putting her paws on my head as she maintains her place of honor on the back of the couch, I can’t stand to see her suffer any more.

Pets are wonderful, aren’t they? They make us laugh when we are sad, they make us get out of bed when we think that we need to sleep a little more. They worry when we are sad or late coming home. They “force” us to pet them because they know that will make us feel better. They ask for very little and yet they give so much more in return.

I know that you won’t forget Rio. You won’t forget his smile, the way he barked, the way he got you to play with him even when you didn’t want to. He did some crazy things to make you laugh, didn’t he.

I will ask one thing of you. The next time you speak with Rio, please ask him to take care of Buffy for me. She is afraid of everything but if he will just protect and comfort her I will be forever thankful.

My heart goes out to you. You are a good person who loves animals. Thank you for reminding us just how lucky we are to be taken care of by our wonderful pets.

Barbara – Chapel Hill, NC.

so sorry about your beloved pet-the price we pay for being able to love is also to feel the pain of loss- Rio was a lucky boy – Taylor, MI.

Very Dear Warren Denise And Rio,

I am an occassional listener. I cried when I heard on your show that Rio died. My Dmitri died 21 years ago and I still miss him. They are running around Heaven wiating for us to join them for a hug and a scratch behind the ear

Love you – you are a good kind man.

Henry, NYC.

I am deeply saddened to hear of your loss.

Allison, New York.

Warren, my heart is heavy with grief for you and Denise. I have been listening to you for many years, the love you have for animals is very much appreciated.

I had to have my 10 year old cat, Misti put down June 11, 2003, what a difficult time, the tears are still falling.

All of us animal lovers are so fortunate to have you on the air, as there is a multitude of people to share our grief when that time comes around. Keep up the great work you do, you are the voice for all of our animals.

Warm Regards, Karen & Sammi (Misti’s twin litter mate) – Whitehouse Station, NJ.

Dear Warren and Denise

Please know that my prayers are with your entire family (furry and otherwise) as you mourn Rio’s passing. I understand the pain you must be feeling – my family lost our Sheltie, Cindy, at the beginning of April.

Thank you for loving all of the animals – Andrea – Shelton, CT.

Dear Warren,

My heart is heavy as I type this. Your tribute to your beloved Rio could not have been more perfect. I have had two special “boys” in my life; but, my black Lab Bailey that now shares my home with me is my very special friend. Being a widow, he is my comfort, my joy, my everything. Rest assurd he’ll get extra loving tonight–if that’s possible.

I also believe that your Rio will be waiting for you when it’s time for you to meet up again. Until then, hold on to your cherished memories. My heart goes out to you and everyone who loved him!!

Most sincerely, Nancy – Huron OH

My sympathies on the passing of Rio. Take comfort in knowing you gave him a wonderful life.

Debbie – Mancungie

Dear Warren and Denise;

Your tribute to Rio is very inspirational.

We feel as though Rio was one of our pets,too. My daughter and we both have dogs nearly 18 years old ! I hope they meet Rio when the time comes.

Al – San Juan Capistrano

My thoughts and prayers are wth you. I listen to you on Mix 105.1 in Orlando. I am so sorry for your loss. Can you imagine the time all of our guys are having romping and running in the clouds?

Best Wishes, Jen – Oviedo, FL.

My heart goes out to you and to all who knew and loved Rio.

In 1989 we had to put our beautiful Siberian Husky, Princess, to sleep. Our sons were young at the time and we told then that she just died because she was sick. They never would have understood the very hard decision my husband and I had to make for the sake of our beloved pet. My sons are 23 and 25 now and they still don’t know the truth.

We swore we would never get another dog because putting Princess to sleep broke our hearts—but into our life came Preston our spunky and very smart American Eskimo Spitz. He is the light of all of our lives and while he could never make us forget Princess, he is a special joy for all of us. We can swear that sometimes he’s human!

Our prayers go out to you and maybe Rio and Princess have met and are barking (and howling) up a storm together. Best wishes to you and your family. We enjoy your radio show tremendously and Preston takes his Hugs and Kisses vitamins everyday and sends his love as well.

Sincerely, Linda – Hawthorne NY

Mr. Eckstein, I am so sorry to hear about the passing of Rio. He is in my prayers that he has gone on to be with our Father and will one day be united with you again. I know how hard it is to give them up. They are so much a part of our lives and bring us such happiness. I had my Mosby 19 years and I know hard it was to lose him.

Thoughts and Prayers are with you. Joyce – Lovettsville, VA.

Dear Warren and Denise:

Words fail us at times like these. There is no comfort when we lose a beloved furry companion, except possibly to know there are so many others out there who have gone through it, too, and send you warm thoughts of support and lots of hugs.

I lost my precious Shih Tzu, Scooter, to a brain tumor last October. The empty place in my heart has been huge. One day in July I met a little 2-1/2 year old Shih Tzu named Mitzi, and she’s now joined me and my other 2 girls. Is the empty place filled? Of course not. But we always find there is more room in our hearts for another little soul who needs love and a home.

I hope you and Denise will find just the right four-footed person to join you as you continue your journey through life.

Warmest regards, Susan B – Anaheim CA

I am so very sorry to hear of your loss. May happy memories soon replace the pain you now feel until you see Rio again.

Peace, Rosemary – Alexandria, VA

Your beautiful message about “Rio” made us cry. We are so sorry of your loss.

Your wonderful story of “The Rainbow Bridge” was such a comforrt to us when we lost our “Chester” 5 years ago to cancer.

Our love, prayers, and thoughts are with you and your family.

Lisa, La Mirada CA

Dear Warren and Denise,

I admire your strength for sharing this very intimate part of your lives. I can’t even imagine how I will deal with this situation when the time comes…I hope I can be as brave and focused. Rio was a beautiful dog! May the memories you have of him give you happiness…

Sue, Guilford CT

Dear Warren and Denise:

We happened to catch your radio program this morning and learned of your loss. Five years ago your kind thoughts and counsel helped us get through the sudden death of our “special” Homer. We can only hope that your experiences in aiding others to overcome the pain involved in their losses will now help sustain you through yours.

Since Homer died, we have also lost our two older dogs, Monroe and Augusta. They lived into old age (16 and 17 years) – having given a lifetime of love and companionship and receiving a lifetime of love and respect. We now live with a Bichon and a huge rescued hound named Socrates and Jay Jay – plus the cat and birds – as our love-fest with these creatures goes on and on.

Your theory that each of us will encounter that “one special” pet is accurate. I am sure that your Rio will be warmly remembered as you move on to enrich the lives of numerous animals.

Fondly, Larry and Debbie – Los Angeles

Dear Warren,

My deepest sympathies to you and Denise. I have read your books, watched you on TV and listened to your radio show.

I know that you deeply care for all animals and I am so sorry for your loss. Our pets are our very best friends and family and I know that Rio is watching you from heaven.

How wonderful that you had such a warm, loving friend in Rio. How beautiful that you could be there for him when he needed you most.

God has blessed you enormously – Pat – Nutley NJ

I was so sad to hear about the passing of Rio and I cried when you read your tribute at the end of your show.

Suzy, a terrier that I adopted from Pals Rescue last November, and I prayed for Rio each week and our praying brought us closer together. I have lost 2 dogs in the past 3 years and feel your sorrow. Both are still with me in special places in my house and every night I say good night to them and tell them I love them.

My deepest condolences to you and Denise. I know Rio is happy and at peace making new friends and just waiting to see both of you again.

Bernadette & Suzy – Whittier CA

Dear Warren, that was a wonderful tribute to Rio and my thoughts are with you as you grieve this loving pet.

I’ve been through this pain so many times as I know you have and it doesn’t get any easier. A few months ago my cat Dixie died after giving me so much joy for 15 years. I still feel the hurt of not having her around the house. It helps when you have another pet and I’m fortunate to have my cat Teddie to give and take love.

I enjoy you and your show so much. Thanks for all you do for our pets and pet lovers.

God bless, Marilyn C. East Northport, NY

Dear Warren,

I have enjoyed your show on WOR for years and always loved hearing stories about Rio. I was showing a friend who has some puppy trouble your site and read your beautiful tribute. I cried when I did.

You are right in saying that a special friend like Rio comes along once in a lifetime. He will never be replaced in your heart.

My heartfelt condolences to you and Denise. Maria Krug – Newton NJ

Warren and Denise…Rio knew true heaven on earth with you as his family. Surely as his paws softly prance on the clouds above he smiles remembering your times together.

How you loved him and anticipated his every need!

One day you will be reunited – until then his memory will fill your every day!

My heart goes out to you… Dianne – Staten Island

Warren and Denise.

I feel your pain. However you are correct to remember the good life Rio enjoyed. When your best friend leaves you, you need to realize what a good life they had because of you and what a good life they had because of you. They also would want you to adopt another friend to make you happy again. Isn’t that how he made you feel?

Me and Meg , my mini schnauzer wish you both more good kisses from another 4 legged friend.

Patty & Meg – Dallas

Dear Warren,

I am so sorry to hear the sad news about Rio. It’s true what you say, we may have many pets throughout our lives, but, there is always that one that tugs at our heart-strings like no other. I can’t find the words to express my sympathy for what you must be feeling. I hope that you are right and that some day you and Rio will be together again.

I am fighting a battle to keep my dearest love, Casey, a “brilliant” and beautiful eleven year old cocker spaniel, alive and happy. He is still my shining star after bouncing back from major surgery for cancer in Jan. and now dealing with a serious kidney problem. He has slowed down a bit, but, is still “fresh” and playful and I love him so. Every day I have him with me is a blessing. So, I can understand how you felt about Rio.

Thank you for your kindness, your wisdom and your sense of humor. I hope this helped a little.

In sympathy, Barbara – West Milford NJ

Dear Warren and Denise,

I too was adopted by a German Shepherd Dog. Incidently his name is “River” English word for “Rio.” Perhaps they are related 🙂

My big guy is truly special so I know what a huge loss this is for you. I have had other dogs but none has had the intelligence nor personality River has. I’ts so amazing how he can read my mind and anticipate my next move. Everyday without asking he watches over my daughter and keeps our cats safe. His playful nods for affection and silly smile brighten my day and remind me of the things that really matter.

I too know the day will come I’ll have to say goodbye to River, I only hope that by then I would have learned to be the person my dog thinks I am. Rio has not left you.. Your love for him cannot die and will only grow stronger as you continue to share your life with all of us.

Hugs and Kisses, Giovanni and River, Nevada City

Dear Warren:

This is the first time I have looked at your web site and was so sad to see that your pal Rio has gone to The Rainbow Bridge. (That is a term our greyhound adoption group uses when one of ours passes.) I just want to say how deeply sorry I am. I know from experience how it hurts and that they take a piece of you with them. It is a piece of your heart that will never heal.

I recently saw the rerun of the decorating show that redid the living room of your home and remember one of the last shots of you and Rio in your new living room chair. It was heartwarming.

My sincere condolences to you and Denise.

Mary H – Crown Point, IN

Just as you have helped so many of us, I hope that all of our mesages will help you to know how much we are greiving with you on the loss of your Rio. I lost my ‘one special dog’ in March and have not been able to get over it yet. I know that Malibu has greeted Rio at the Rainbow Bridge and I hope that one day we’ll all meet there.

Sincere sympathy Paula H – Holmdel, NJ

I am truly saddened by the news of Rio’s passing and would like you to know that you and he have been in my thoughts and prayers. As a true animal person, like you, I have mourned for several of my pets as well when they had to leave for their Rainbow Bridge journey. My heart is filled with their memories.

I’ve listened to your show on the east coast for over at least 10 years and look forward to spending two hours with you on Saturdays….always agreeing with your opinions and hearing helpful tips for helping my pets live with me!

Sincere heartfelt sympathy to you and Denise.

Shirley from NJ.

sorry for loss – you can take comfort in that you gave Rio a great life. george – stny point ny

Warren and Denise I am so sorry to hear of your loss. When I lost my loving friend Lady Shannon last year my heart broke. The poem Rainbow Bridge has helped me to deal with this loss. I have also passed this poem on to others. I know that Rio is waiting for you in a place free from pain and that someday you will be with Rio as I will be with my Shannon.

Carol M – Lowell

Warren & Denise – I am saddened to hear of Rio’s passing. It is so hard when our little friends leave us. You have helped thousands of animals live wonderful lives, through your own ownership and helping those of us deal with our own.

Rio waits for you at The Bridge along with all of the rest that have passed.

Our hearts are heavy with sadness with you. Know that you are loved by all of us and hugs and kisses from my brood and me.

Blessings to you, Patti – Carmel NY.

Dear Warren:

My deepest condolences on the loss of your beloved companion Rio. I lost my precious cat Sonny 2 months ago, and he is in my heart forever. I know he is looking down on me, and is now with the many other wonderful cats I shared my life with over my lifetime.

I pray you will be comforted by his memory and you and Denise will always have him there with you, forever in your hearts.

You are an inspiration to all of your friends and to the animals. Bless you.

Your friend, Ann. Brooklyn NY.

Dear Warren – I was so sorry to hear about Rio. I have a 13 1/2 year old Cocker Spaniel named Snapple who I pray for every day. My heart is with you.

Best wishes, Renie – Lake Ronkonkoma

In Memory of your Rio and our Betty, Boop, and Oscar we send our heartfelt sympathy…
A beautiful. loving, touching, tear-provoking tribute to this special soul that you were blessed to be with for a time. May everyone be so blessed. I know we are now and have been with others before their passing.

Jay, Lilly, and Ela with woofs and meows from Kramer, Mia, Dorian, Rosie, Dolly, and Eirene – in LA.

My dear Warren:

I feel your pain and only time will heal. You are my inspiration! I have 29 cats and 2 dogs. All rescued and adopted. I love them dearly. They represent different times in my life when I rescued them. PS all neutered and spayed. I see my cat, Roy, getting frail. He’s nearly 20. I know what’s ahead of me.

Be strong Warren and Denise.

Lots of Love to you both. Pat – Peconic, NY

I’m so sorry to hear about your Dog Rio passing. I know how it feel’s I have lose a dog (Blackie) two years ago. I have got another dog name Sparky. I will pray for you and your family.

God Bless, Ron – Sacramento

Dear Warren,

I am truly sorry for the loss of one of your family. you are right when you say, out of all the pets we may own, and love, there is that one that is a legacy. That is how I feel about my rescued greyhound, Tyrus. My thoughts are with you and Denise.

Donna & Tyrus, Zelda, Bear and Rosie – Matawan

Warren, I am so sorry to hear about Rio. I started crying when I read it, really! I know it will tough for you and Denise for a long time to come. This May I lost my precious dog “Demi” to cancer. She was only 4 1/2.

I really feel for your loss, as if I knew Rio personally. I hope you will begin to feel better soon, thinking of all the good years you and Rio had together! I know that the work you do and the help you give to people and their pets, Rio will want you to continue in his honor!

I know we will see our pets again someday, and that they are looking down on us right now. They are still with us every day Warren, as Rio will always be with you! God Bless, Warren!

Diane – Budd Lake, NJ

Dear Warren & Denise,

My heart goes out to you. Having made that horrible “final journey” to the vet myself on more than one occasion, I know how you must be feeling. Hope you take comfort in knowing he is with all your other pets that have gone before him and that he truly is in a better place.

Suzanne – Washington DC

Sorry about Rio. Saw him on HGTV. He is special. not ‘was’.

I know animal souls live on. Once when I was really sick last year, my cat Daisey came to me and sat next to me all night. I could feel her warmth and soft sweet breath. She ‘died’ a long time ago.

Many people have these stories to tell. You and Denise now have a superior guardian angel.

Thanks for your ‘Hugs and Kisses.’ my American Eskimo (Mai) a 1 year old… is so healthy because of your nutritional support product. We trust you.

All the best to you and yours Warren ….

Marilyn N, – Holistic Health Practitioner – New York

My heart is with you at this time Words cannot say how I feel upon hearing of Rios passing. Your beautiful thoughts are very comforting and I hope he will play with my dog who has been in heaven for a few years now.

The death of a pet has always caused me more grief than that of certain people because we do experience their soul.

My prayers are with you and your family.

Sincerely, Alan Slavin – N.Y.C.

I had to turn your program off today, too many tears were in my eyes.

You put it so well about our loved ones who have moved on and the GOOD TIMES they’re now having.

How else could it be.

Thank you, Warren.


I want to wish you my sincere condolence on the passing of Rio. I am going through the same thing now with my SweetPea who I got 141/2 years ago at 6 weeks from our Humane Society. By Listening to your show and coming unto your site has given me some of your strength. I am crying right along with you for Rio. Your friend, pal and child in the family.

Bonnie K. – Wisconsin

Dear Warren,

It was with deep sadness that I learned of the death of your beloved Rio. Your tribute made me cry and the pictures of him on your website are gorgeous.

I cried for your loss and I cried for my loss again after three and a half months of my life without my shepherd, Katie.

Katie was a “lost and found” down at the New Jersey shore and I had her for 12 and a half years. She was the love of my life and I could not imagine life without her. I never put her in a kennel. I could not have gone away and imagined her in a kennel wondering if I was going to come back for her. Consequently, if she could not come with me I did not go anywhere for all those years and I do not regret that choice. I would do it all over again.

Four and a half years ago, when I thought her time with me might be coming to an end, I purchased a little Yorkshire Terrier that I named Muffin. Their lives overlapped longer than I thought and for this I was grateful.

My loss of Katie was my first experience losing a pet. She was the first pet I had had as an adult. I cried everyday for six weeks and I even cry now as I write this note to you.

So, again, my deepest sympathy over your loss of Rio and may we all meet again someday…I do believe, as you do, that we will meet again.

Carole H – Whitehall, PA

Warren, I was very sad to hear of Rio’s passing. Over the years, I’ve heard you give comfort to many people who had lost pets, and I can only hope that a comfort has come over you now, especially knowing the fact that you have helped so many.

Rio is peaceful and can eat and catch whatever he wants now, and can play or sleep all day, if he wants.

Take care Warren, and I’ll be listening. Charlie – Quakertown, PA

Dear Warren:

My sincere sympathy on the passing of your beloved, Rio. As you said, our loyal friends bring us such joy and love. This is what we have to remember when it is time to say good-bye. Rio can now romp and play with my Meri (14 year old Clumber Spaniel) and my JC (40+ year old horse).

All my best wishes,

Sheila P – Staten Island, NY

Dear Denise and Warren:

I too want to send my sincere condolences to you both! “Rio” had a wonderful life with you both and I know he will be “cherished” in your memories! We never have enough time with our “special babies”…they leave us much tooooo soon!

My prayers and thoughts are with you both! May God bless you both for giving him the life he had…with all its pleasures!

“Rest in peace”…”Rio”..

Hugs and kisses,
Mary and Buffie too! (Monroe Twsp. NJ)

Warren: Please accept my heartfelt sympathy on the loss of Rio. What a regal animal he was. I lost my Collie three years ago and one 14 years before her. It is a terrible loss that only animal lovers know. One is never poor who has experienced the love of an animal. It makes you one of the richest people in the world.

Dianne Porter – Mt. Vernon, NY

Dear Warren,
My deepest sympathies to you and your family. My family reciently lost our brown lab. named Toby. We spent Tobies last day holding, hugging, patting and extending our love to him. We too held him while he died. It was a moment too sad and too special for all of us.

Your greatest admirerer, Tim Kamys Sebec, ME

Dear Warren,

I am truly sorry for your loss. The unconditional love we get from our pets and give to our pets is special and unique for each pet, and I’m sorry Rio’s time with you has ended.

Sally Wilson, San Jose CA

Dear Warren & Denise,
Please accept my heartfelt sympathies in the loss of Rio. I have lost seven dogs in my life, two just a year ago, within 5 months of each other, Heidi 16 and Lady 14.’ I still miss them every day and know they are waiting for me. We now have Andy who is a two year old Shepherd/Beagle. He helps to ease the pain. God Bless both of you.

Jo Ann Lucas – Clinton OH

Dear Warren and Denise,
I am so sorry to hear about Rio. I have listened to your show for many years and I know how deep your love was for him. I’m sure you’ll get another “best friend.” I know he won’t take the place of Rio but I know you and Denise have enough love to give to a new pet.

I also want you to know that I treat my “rescued” dog like you treated Rio. Many of my friends say when their time comes, they want to come back as my dog.

P.S. You trained a dog of mine 26 years ago when you were in Oceanside. I used to buy my dog biscuits from Fay in your Rockville Centre store.

Best Regards, Laurie – Bayside NY

Our heart goes out to you and your family. Remember, that Rio is still with you in spirit and you will be reunited with him when you cross the bridge. He has probably met our four footers and are playing pain free and happy just waiting for that day.

God bless you for giving Rio a good loving family.

Jim and Sue Hawes
– Oakland Iowa

Dear Warren and Denise,
Don’t ever apologize for your feelings about pets. People who don’t have them just don’t get it. Please accept my condolences. Rio knew that you were the best parents any pet could have wished for.

Sending hugs and kisses,
Arlene and Kaci (my Yorkie)
New York City

Dear Warren and Denise,

I send my heartfelt sympathies to you both. My heart is breaking for you, because the pain of losing your best friend is overwhelming. I’ve heard you talk lovingly about Rio for years. You were very blessed to have each other.

I just had to put my 16 year old cat to sleep last night (8-18-03) due to kidney disease and I turned to your website for consolation and peace only to find you needed consolation as well.

My heart is heavy with grief for both your loss and mine even knowing our furry children are at peace and playing in the lush green grass at Rainbow Bridge.

It is still so hard to lose someone you love. God bless you and Denise and also your Rio and my Phoebe. May they be playing together as I write this.

Sincerely yours, Terry, Heather, my dog, Bella, my cat, and Shane, my youngest cat. East Rutherford, NJ


My heart goes out to you and Denise as you grieve for your special friend, Rio. I feel sorry for people who don’t allow these amazing creatures into their hearts and lives as we have….they are missing one of life’s great blessings. There is nothing like loving and being loved by that special pet.

With warmest wishes from Mary and Frankie, my dog boy – Burbank

I myself am going through what you experienced with Rio…1 week ago my cat returned home with advanced Kidney disease. I have experienced this before, but I know it is not ever easy to watch the one you love slowly decline. Like you, the eyes tell you. I have listened to you talk of Rio for the longest time and also feel a close loss.

I want to extend my deepest sympathy for you and Denise and want you to know my husband and I said many prayers for you, Denise and Rio. We also told all our “kids” who are also frolicking at the Rainbow Bridge to come and extend their paws, and licks to Rio. I am sure he is engaging in a good game of chase with our kids, and they are sharing their toys with him.

With much sorrow…
Gail S

Dear Warren: We were deeply saddened by the passing of Rio – We know how very special he was to you. I just lost my 12 year old Doberman, Rachel, and can sympathize with you! Our prayers and thoughts are with you and Denise and Rio. God Bless all !

Sincerely, Patricia and Veronica (faithful listeners to your show every Saturday!) We’ve learned so very much from you – Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Read your tribute to Rio. You and Denise are so brave. Yes, you will have many hours of grieving to come. I lost my special friend in January and my eyes are filled with tears now as I read your tribute. Healing takes time but only the good memories will remain in the many days to come. I still experience the tears as the days pass.

Thank you for just being there and I hope your heart becomes less heavy. My thoughts are with both of you.

A radio listening friend.

Dear Warren: Please accept my sincere condolences on the loss of your beloved Rio. I have listened to your show often and called on a few occasions, and I know how much you loved Rio and how much he meant to you. I will be thinking of you during this difficult time.

I too have two dogs, and one at age seven is starting to show signs of age. Although I know that we still have several years left together, I know that too will have to face the same situation in the future. I have thought about writing a tribute to our beloved pets, and I will try to compose my thoughts and submit the tribute to your site soon.

May God bless you for the service that you do for all of us animal lovers.

Best regards, Jeffrey W West Covina, CA

Warren: Listen to your show on most Saturdays here in Long Beach.

So sorry to read about Rio. I too had to put my best canine friend to sleep 9 years ago. Sam came to me at 6 weeks and she was by my side until almost 15. I know that she is at the Rainbow Bridge and I await to see her again.

Now, I have Colby, a pure Shepard with a mind of her own. She is a lot of work but she too has stolen my heart and I will also be there for her when the time comes.

Warm personal regards, Jim M

I am so sorry to hear that Rio had to leave. People that don’t have animals or don’t understand the love these beautiful creatures give us don’t get it when we mourn their loss.

I didn’t know your dog, but have heard you talk about him for years and saw his pictures and I am crying so much right now as if he was my own. Thats the way I feel.

Thank you for all your insight to the correct way to treat and raise our furry children.

My two dogs (Anastasia and Delilah) both send their love and miss Rio also.

Pam S

Hi, Warren, I’ve been listening to you for a few years and just wanted to let you know that I am very sorry about Rio. He will always be with you. You really love animals and I, as a true Sagittarius, do too. I have a keet, a cat and two hermies. I really didn’t think I could get attached to my hermies, but I really love them and talk to them. Take care and I will keep listening.

Losing four dogs over the span of thirty years (one a pedigree, the other three shelter dogs), I know how it feels to have to say good-bye to our wonderful companions.

Just looking at Rio’s picture on your website makes me cry. He is such a handsome dog. When you & Denise were featured on House & Garden on TV a while back, I was so glad you had Rio on the show with you.

Again my condolences, however, it’s comforting to know Rio has crossed over the Rainbow Bridge where all our wonderful furry friends are (including ours).

Nataline K

im so sorry warren…i am crying as i write this…denis b

Dear Warren, My sincere condolences on the loss of Rio. What a beautiful dog, and he looks so happy in his photo, thanks to your love and care. I can sympathize with you. We lost our two beloved cats to cancer this summer, both in one month. It is a devastating loss for us. Please keep up your wonderful work. We need you to advocate for our precious pets.

Dottie P – Long Valley, NJ.

I have known the sadness and pain you feel at this time. One of my two dogs (Ringo) is 13 and failing. Been there many times before and dread the inevitable. I truly believe our friends will be waiting for us, tails wagging, and jumping about. When my children asked if dogs went to heaven I would tell them that in heaven you have what you desire. Believe me, they will be there. Love your show nice to know people like you exist.

Anne R. – Bridgeport, CT

I know there are no words to help with your greiving. You are in my thoughts and prayers

Nick M – Staten Island

Dear Warren,

no words can make it different,
no words will stop the tears,
no other warm & loving paw
quite fills his print

no other way to let you know,
no greater love that fills your life,
has a price we all must pay
yet we would have it no other way

Helene, Al, VinnieBear, GinaBear, SusieBear, Maxie&Shadow (meows)

I learned of your loss at the end of Saturday’s show, and immediately felt that I, too, had lost an old friend. Through your stories over the years, it seemed that I’d known Rio as well as I know the pets of all of my friends.

My heart goes out to you and Denise. One of the hardest times is when you’ve been away from the house and return home…and he’s not there to greet you. His loss just leaves a huge void. Please take care and know how many of us are thinking about you.

Felice, Northridge.

Our heartfelt sympathy to you during this very sad time. We hope that you are able to take comfort in the knowledge that Rio had a wonderful life with you and that he wanted for nothing. Every dog should be so lucky as to have such devoted ‘parents’.

Please don’t think of him as gone, as he will continue to be with you going forward–ever vigilent, ever loyal. Look for him in the twinkle of a happy dog’s eye, in the spring in a proud dog’s step, or in the strength of a noble dog’s character. Certainly, he will come to you this way to let you know that he has never left you. He is as proud of you as you are of him.

Thank you for loving him so deeply.

The German Shepherd Rescue of Los Angeles and Orange Counties

Maria D, Newport Beach

You came to my home and you helped me with my new puppy Old English Sheepdog, Betsy. This was back in 1990. (I was the one who told you about putting the flea collar in the vacuum bag !)

I am so sorry about Rio. I feel as if he & Betsy grew up together. Thanks to the many kind tips you gave me that evening & over the radio these past 13 years, Betsy & I have had a wonderful life together. Although she suffers from arthritis, she is in otherwise excellent health.

You & Rio have been and will continue to be in my prayers.

God Bless you for all you do for these special creatures of God and for all of us, their grateful caretakers.

Peace & Love, Rosemary K – Broad Channel, NY

Dear Warren:

My heartfelt sympathies are extended to you. Twelve years ago, pippin, my 16 year old cat, told me it was time for him to go. He had a bad heart for five years. It was the hardest thing i ever had to do and it was the saddest day of my life. Now i have 12 year old twins, ellery and qwill.

I have listened to you on WOR radio for many years and have learned much from you. You are a unique person with much passion for the animal world. Please continue your broadcasts for many years to come. Thank you for all your wisdom.

Jack S – Westbrookville

Dear Warren and Denise

I extend to you my deepest sympathy. I was so saddened when I heard a few weeks ago that you may have only a few days left with Rio. Our pets do tell us when it’s time and we are able to help just one more time.

I so enjoyed hearing about Rio whenever I listened in and feel I’ve lost someone I know. You’re correct when you say we have one special pet among all the pets we’ve loved and grieved for. Mine was Casey, my cat of 20 years minus a few months. I lost him in ’94 and the memories of him are part of my life as Rio memories will always be part of yours.

Many pets have come since Casey and, as is usually the case with pets, sometimes I help heal them and sometimes they help heal me.

Again, I am so sorry about Rio.

Marion – Hamilton, NJ

Dear Warren, I am so sorry to read about your loss. You have my deepest sympathy. As in many of Rio’s tributes, I am crying too, thinking about your loss. I have been there too. We can always take comfort that our critters had wonderful, happy lives. And they helped us to have the same.

Bridgett B – Albuquerque

Dear Warren – I know all too well the particular pain you are living with in loosing you”soulmate” pet.

I lost my most special one two days before Christmas, 2000. He was my 20+ year old black kitty- Mephisto. he was a difficult little gut, but He loved me and I loved him.

Be gentle with yourself. Our special kids become the warp and woof of our lives. The pain can sneak up on you when you least suspect it, when you think you’re having a “good” day.

Think of Rio at the Bridge – young and whole and basking in the sunshine and… chasing squirrels.

I am so very, very sorry.

Arlene D – Bridgeport, Ct

Dear Warren and Denise.

I’m so sorry about Rio’s passing. I listen to you every Saturday, cried when you read the tribute, and crying now reading it again, and looking at the pictures. Still brings back memories of putting our “favorite” cat to sleep 3 years ago. We have 2 others that found us in the last 2 years. We enjoy them daily. Thanks for all you do.

Sharon, Fairfield CT

Dear Warren and Denise,

I was so shocked to learn about Rio…..My deepest condolences to both of you for your loss.

A little over three years ago, I lost my Molly (yellow lab) and your show and website really help me thru that time. Thank you for being there for me.

I have been a long time listener and promoter of your show, and my newest baby, Mitzi, is on your Centerfold.

Our thoughts are with you.

Miyako – Huntington Beach

dear warren and denise,

With sincere and deepest sympathy on the passing of your furchild Rio, my own heart goes out to you. i know your pain, i am so very sorry.

lourdes p – new york

Dear Warren and Denise:

I join my fellow listeners in offering heartfelt sympathy for your recent loss. We too have experienced the profound joy of sharing our lives with canine companions / family members and also the grief at their passing.

I thought of you yesterday when I was watching the movie “Seabiscuit,” particularly the scene where the trainer saved an old horse from being shot because it could no longer race or be of use to them. “Every life has value” he said. That is the essence of your show and the people who support it.

Thanks for all you have given us and best wishes to you both.

Lloyd Z, Anaheim, CA

Dear Warren,

I am deeply sorry to hear of Rio’s passing. He was truly the canine love of your life, and I know how much you will miss him.

I want to say how much I admire you and Denise for being with Rio when he passed. Not everyone can do this, but I feel it is the last way we can show our love for our animals who gave so much love to us.

My husband and I went through this four years ago with our collie, who was the canine love of my life. Rio was so fortunate to have you and Denise to take such good care of him, and I know from hearing you talk about him on your radio show how much he enriched your life.

Thank you, Warren, for all you do for the animals. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Denise, and Rio.

Marna, Arthur, “Shadow,” and “Sebastian” – Edison, NJ

My heartfelt sympathy to you and Denise on the loss of your beloved Rio. Today is the 10th anniversary of the death of our very special black lab dog named Bishlea. To pay her tribute I had written a poem and attached photos and framed it all. I look and read the poem on my wall frequently and it still brings smiles and tears after all this time. I hope that the memories you have of Rio always brings smiles to your face and warmth to your heart.

Lorraine B – New City, New York

Warren, Denise, I try to listern to your show every Saturday. You have helped alot over the years. Please accept my sincere condolences on the loss of your beloved Rio. God bless Your furry friends in NJ Tina,Quennie,Sprit,an Slayer want to send you their condolences.

Patti – Edison NJ

My heart goes out to your family. One year ago we lost our precious Cocker Spaniel, Taffy, from a sudden incurable illness, just 3 days after my husbands father died. After spending a heart renching day with her we made the difficult decision to have her put to sleep. With no children she was our child. I know she is at the Rainbow Bridge and I hope she and RIO have met and are friends.

Arlene, Ogden, Utah

Dear Warren,

I was so sorry to hear of Rio’s passing. We lost our beloved dog Comet in June at age 13. What a great dog he was…we miss him dearly. I will keep your family in my prayers. I just know Comet and Rio are chasing the squirrels together!

Kathy – Medford, NJ


I am so sorry for your loss of Rio. I am sure that there are no words that can bring comfort to you, but I wanted to let you know that my sympathies are with you and that Rio was a gift whose memories you should always treasure.

Rachel K. – Aberdeen, NJ

So sorry to hear about Rio. I still miss my Rusty and Moses who pasted over four years ago.

I now have two more babies Lucky and Amber. Amber is fourteen years old and came into my life two months ago at our Vet Office and she came home to live with Lucky and her cat sister Midnight.

I understand the feelings you have because I know in my heart that I probadly will not have Amber for long and I will miss her dearly.

I know all my babies from the past have greeted Rio and will lobe playing with him. Take care.

Joan E. B. – Maplewood,NJ

Warren and Denise:

I share your tears…

I am also sending you AND Rio much love and light.

Sincere condolences, Susan H. – Manhattan Beach

Knowing that sad day was coming for Rio I don’t think takes away the pain of loss.

I lost my dearest German Shepherd, Isolde when she was 15 years old… I cried like a baby over her. I’d had her since she was a puppy when I saw her being wheeled through the Village in NYC in a babycarriage with her littermates. What a joy she was.

That love will live forever as yours and Denise’s love for Rio will live forever.

Phyllis – New Jersey

Dear Warren,

Sorry for your loss, Take care, Isabel

I know exactly how you feel. We lost Kristal, after 15 years, last month. It is so hard to let go and yet we must. I am lucky that I have Gallop but no dog will ever replace Kristal and I know no dog will ever replace Rio.

It helps to know that they are now playing together on the Rainbow Bridge. My sympathy to you and Denise.

Love, Joanne U – Salem

Im so sorry Warren.You are in my prayers. I can’t write, I can’t stop crying, and my beagle Junior (10 yrs) don’t like when I cry.

Love Elida, Robert, Junior and Bubbles – Fountain Valley

Dear Warren:

Unfortunately, I know what you are going thru since I lost my 15-yr. old Sheltie almost 3 years ago and then I lost my other Sheltie a year ago at the age of 12.

Our animals are definitely furry angels from heaven only on loan to us for a little while and Rio was definitely an angel! But I have to say Rio got lucky too when you took him into your heart and home.

Know that Rio is at peace when you look up at the sky at night and see that extra bright little star twinkling above you.

Sleep well dear Rio for one day you will walk in the morning sun with Warren and Denise – never to be parted again.

Carroll B – Sierra Madre, CA

Dear Warren, Please accept my deepest sympathy on the loss of your buddy, Rio. We have two beautiful ShiTzu’s and csnnot imagine life without them.

Listening to your program today, I started sobbing when you told the caller who also loss her buddy that he was still asleep at the foot of her bed. I, too, believe in heaven for our beloved pets.

Thank you for all you do in spreading awareness for the care and protection of our family of pets. Please know you are in our thoughts and prayers.

Ronnie, Peter, Rose, Cari, Coty and Casey – Wood-Ridge, NJ

Dear Warren and Denise,

We were saddened to learn that Rio had crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. We lost our very special buddy, Footsie, in April. You were so kind and helpful to us when I called the show that Saturday in April. I am honored to show the same kindness to you. Take care, my friends.

Paul, Peggy, and Friskie – Santa Monica, CA

Dear Warren,

My absolute deepest sympathy and condolences to you and yours at your tragic loss. You can be consoled, as am I, that he did not have to suffer.

I recall how you’d speak of him on your interesting show, and I thought how lucky he was to have had you as his “pops” and caregiver. He is certainly the most beautiful German Shepherd I’ve ever seen.

I hope that time serves to ease the pain and sorrow in your heart, although I know from personal experience memories of Rio will live on in your soul.

Best Wishes and care to you from,
Zara, Mom to Tara, Destina & Sissy (Yorkies) -Los Angeles

Dear Warren and Denise,

I’m sorry to hear about Rio. I to lost my special German Shepherd Frankie in March and not a day goes by that I don’t miss him. I have two other shepherds still here but I still feel the viod Frankie left.

We’ve had German Shepherds with us for 37 years and have loved and felt they all were special in their own way. I just wish we could do something to help our breed get beyound that horrible 13th year. Of the 10 shepherds we’ve had only 1 made it to her 14th birthday and we lost her to bloat the day after her birthday. Most of ours have died in their 13th year.

Our Frankie that we lost in March seemed to be so strong that I was hoping he might make it but he bloated in January and then we lost him to cancer in March. He only made 13 and 3 months.

It broke my heart. I feel him watching over me but I still ache to reach out and hug him again. I only hope that some day I will again have a special shepherd come into my life and I hope the same for you.

Take care and know we share your grieve. Grace – Lynbrook NY

Dear Warren- Several weeks ago I was thrilled to see on the Home & Garden Channel that Rio got you and Denise to remodel your living room. Judging from the wreath on the door, it looked to be around the end of last year. I loved the ending shot of you in the chair and Rio on the ottoman.

Today I just heard you talking about Rio’s passing. My son and I lost our best friend 2 years ago and I still miss him. You are so right about being allowed to have one special pet. Cerberus was ours – 120 pounds of the sweetest tempered dog I can ever hope to know. He loved digging and I tried your advise regarding driving a stake into the hole and having the dog spend a few minutes next to the pit.

My yard eventually looked like I was killing vampires. Cerberus would patiently stand by the fresh dig, without being leashed to it, and wait for me to call him in. I finally gave up and invited him to participate in all landscaping work.

I currently have a “rescued” Pembroke Corgi who has taught me to enjoy life regardless of the hardships.

I hope you and Denise have a wonder life and are still holding hands when you’re both old and drooly.

Susan – Whittier CA

no one will ever no what you and your wife feel until you lose a pet our heart goes out to you and hope you live through another like we did
lysa – jericho

I clicked on your website to get “the rainbow bridge” for a friend and started crying. I am so sorry for you and your wife. It just makes me cry when someones beloved pet goes. I would send you the “Rainbow Bridge” if I could. Miss your show on the radio.

Better days ahead.
Cindy P – Pinon Hills, CA

Each time I heard you talk about Rio getting older and now his going, I had to cry. Your tribute is truly beautiful and I’m sure Rio is waiting for you, as you said, chasing squirels, with all your other pets at the Rainbow Bridge.

It truly helps to believe that our beloved friends will be waiting for us. It is a miracle how these wonderful animals, dogs, cats, etc., can make us feel more than ourselves by giving us their unconditional love.

It can break your heart when it’s time to say goodbye but they also make us richer than money or material possessions can ever do. I hope you will get another pet with a personality that will help you get pass the grief and on to the beautiful memories of Rio as I did when my sweet Maine Coon Duffy died of cancer.

My husband and I now have Dudley, another Maine Coon. Now I cannot imagine not having Dudley around, he is so different from Duffy, more demanding and people-oriented. I will always miss Duffy, but it is not so poignant now. I’m sure Rio and Duffy and all our wonderful animals at the Bridge are waiting and watching for us all.

Happiness to you and Denise
Margie S – Glendale CA

Rio is now out of pain and has run over The Rainbow Bridge. He’s there now with my Sheba, Misha, Lulu and Trixie and all the other beloved animals who left us in our life time. Sincere condolences to you and Denise and enjoy your precious new little one.

Phyllis – Manchester

i recently had to put my 20 year old tiger a male cat..with such an amazing grace..a really wonderful cat…he was a Regal cat but with a kind soul,

when the time came…to let him go i was fortunate to have a wonderful vetenarian, a very special & kind lady… Her hosptial is only for cats and small creatures…& it made his passing that much less painful..i held him too, & it hurt but i knew he had a really great life….my son grew up with this guy!

We all love you out here warren & know we areall collectively… holding your hand thru this time… i also adopted a new puppy…a min pin…i cannot believe how lucky we are to have him…since someone did not want him… all my pets are rescues…or strays..he has two pussycats siblings one female,one male …

I wish you love and sympathy …you are the Best…& Rio had a great Pop & Mom Denise

Phyllis B – Sea Cliff, New York

Warren, thank you for alllll you do to help our pets train us and teach us how to love more deeply. I want you to know that I am very sad that you lost Rio. I know how special he was to you, and you to him. Thank you for sharing your brilliance and your feelings.
Jessie R – Sarasota FL

So sorry to hear about Rio I truly know what you are going through and my prayers go out to you.
Jan A – Lapeer, Mi

Dear Warren,
I haven’t heard the show all summer since we spent it at a lake in Texas with our wonderful black lab Bear, who we have talked about. When last I heard, Rio was ill and on medication. When I signed in this morning and read your tribute, I cried for you and Denise.

Some months ago, you were speaking of grief and I called to tell about the childrens book, Dog Heaven. Please read it now as I have had to do myself this week. Bear was taken to Dog Heaven in a tragic accident on September 8th.

My heart aches, for you and Denise, but I know that now Bear will have Rio there to show her around, and be a pal. It is so hard, and I had clicked onto the site this morning so I could get the number to call in because I knew you would understand my pain, not knowing that you are too experiencing it with me. Bear was my best friend who knew how much she was loved.

Thank you for helping us get through the small problems we did have. Your advice always worked. You autographed your book to us both and when some time has passed, and I can get a new friend, your book will be by my side.

I’ll be listening. Fondly Dee – Fullerton, CA

Dear Warren, I’m sorry to hear of your loss. My dog Midnight had to be put down about three wks ago and I miss her terribly. My condolences to you and Denise for your loss. Yours truly, Jewel – Altadena CA

Dear Warren & Denise

So sorry to hear about Rio. I can truly say that I know the pain you are feeling. We’ve been through that pain 3 times and it doesn’t get any easier, but the joy and love that you get are worth the heartache. What wonderful memories!! We are now the lucky companions to yet another amazing dog, Bailey. The joy they bring to your life is truly remarkable.

Dorothy – Windsor ON Canada

Hi Warren & Denise,
I am so sorry for your loss of Rio. When my dog Bugsy passed after 13 years with George and I, I got a sick feeling in my stomach that I thought would never leave. Five years later I still think of Bugsy but when I read your story I recalled that sick feeling again.

Time will heal the pain but your memories of Rio will never pass.

Joann – Manhattan

Warren: My heart goes out to you for your great loss.

People who have lost their family member do not realize how heart breaking it is. I lost my dear son, Kitter, an Akita over six years ago and it makes me cry today just thinking about him. I have him on my mantle.

God bless you and remember Rio will always be with you and your loving wife. Many heartful prayers are sent to you for your loss. Sincerely, one of millions of your listeners.

Margaret D. – Maidstone ON Canada