Counting Our Golden Blessings

Our own Bella had surgery today for a ruptured disc on the lower spine. We are grateful for to our very astute vet who believed us when we said she was not right, even though she did not consistently display the typical clinical signs. We were referred to a specialist for a full workup including MRI. The MRI clearly revealed the issue and she went immediately to surgery.  She is, thankfully, doing well, and should come home on Friday to begin many weeks of recovery, including confinement. That won’t be fun for any of us. She has a huge heart for play!

Our vet gave props to us for being willing – emotionally and financially – to do what is best for our pup. We never gave it a second thought. However, I am reminded through my experience with Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue and Sanctuary, that is not always the case. Far too often, the result is abandoned dogs – or worse.

We’re blessed that we are in a position to help her without hesitation, with savings to cover the costs, and flexible employers who understand how we feel about the four-legged family members. For those in the unimaginable position of having to surrender their ailing friends, we are grateful for rescue organizations like Homeward Bound and the amazing work they do.

Unexpected Delights in the Garden

Today’s trip to the Memorial Garden at Homeward Bound was purposeful. The task at hand was moving crape myrtle trees from the perennial bed to more fitting homes. While every garden is blessed to have trees, nine crape myrtles in one bed is a little too much of a good thing! I feel good (and tired!) for accomplishing the task, but as usual, the greatest delights are the unexpected things you find in the garden.


Thanks to recent rain and warm temperatures, bulbs are pushing up everywhere…and I encountered my first snake! Welcome to country gardening. We were warned!

This guy looks like he had a pretty recent meal, and he was about as happy to see me as I was to see him!


Volunteer and Dog
Tasha with Summit


But the biggest delight of all was meeting Tasha and Summit. Tasha is one of Homeward Bound’s amazing volunteers. She specializes in working with the older goldens, and today, she was accompanied by Summit, a beautiful 10-year old boy who arrived just a day ago from a shelter in Fresno.  He was surprisingly calm and attentive, considering all the upheavel he has experienced recently. Surely Summit never expected to find himself here at this point in his life. He is lucky to be at Homeward Bound, where their mission is to rescue and heal displaced, homeless and abandoned Golden Retrievers and Golden/Lab mixes no matter what their age or health. I imagine that Summit gave someone many years of love and loyalty. With his big heart and desire to please, I also imagine he will be an unexpected delight for someone looking for a gentle and generous friend. I hope that they find each other very soon.

A beautiful early weekend, so, naturally, I went to the garden nursery.  It took every ounce of self-restraint not to walk out with a car full of items on the planting list. My garden sister assures me that planting this early in the season somehow sends a signal guaranteeing six more weeks of frost. That may be a bit of an exaggeration, but point taken. Patience…patience.

Our Homeward Bound garden leader, Laure, shares regular updates to keep us motivated. Maria has adopted the “Bed Bed” seen here. She plans sweet peas this spring and Sunflowers that she promises will wave to our Dahlias this summer. It will make a perfect country vignette.

Chris has planted a Garden of Whimsy. Susan and Jeff cleared another tree circle for planting, and Peggy weeded the Iris Garden. Ina continues to expand the Cottage Garden, and Dick built a St. Francis House and installed it in the Container Garden.  St. Francis is the patron saint of animals; so fitting for the garden. Finally, Jody has made a special memorial spot in the Birch Tree Bed for one of her Goldens that she recently lost.

Laure marked four of the nine crape myrtles in our perennial garden for transplant. A productive and timely diversion to keep me from plant shopping!  In the meantime, my own Jackson is helping me clear the dropped oranges in our backyard garden! Jackson loves oranges!