When One Door Closes…

I thought that these sunflowers were the perfect metaphor for our Memorial Garden. Growing from one stalk, one head has faded, while another blooms. This is the cycle of quiet ends and new beginnings – sadness and joy – that we see so often at Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue and Sanctuary.

“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” – Alexander Graham Bell.

The Memorial Garden as a place to remember and celebrate the lives of our four-legged friends who brought us such joy, companionship and happiness.

Every dog lover knows the heartache of loss, and yet we risk it all over again – because the need is so great. So many pups in need of homes; so many homes in need of the unconditional love of pups.

“Dogs just wrap themselves around your heart in ways you never thought possible.” – HB

Often we hear people say that they can’t bear to adopt an older dog with the possibility of only a few years together. And yet, there on the organization’s Facebook page this week, was a post from a woman who said goodbye to her Golden – adopted at 10 and lived to 17. Seven wonderful years. Life has its own plans, and there are no guarantees. So worry less about the age and more about the connection and the difference that you make in each other’s lives. Hearts are like gardens – with endless capacity to be reborn. Never the same…

but equally beautiful.

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I am a nascent gardener, rescuer, and photographer, chronicling the journey of the dogs at Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue and Sanctuary near Sacramento, CA - and the Memorial Garden we have devoted to them.

10 thoughts on “When One Door Closes…”

  1. I am continually amazed at the vibrancy tucked away in this plot of land. You capture images of breathtaking beauty through Nature’s art. As always, thanks for mentioning the ongoing purpose of this garden – even more, the dogs alive and waiting. (If I can do a puppy at my age, anyone can. And he’s not even a Golden Retriever – just a Stockton shelter transplant granted a full life through Homeward Bound. As with children, the precious moments eventually fade the hair-pulling ones.)

  2. I took the loss of my two dogs so hard, it makes me so afraid to lose another for any reason. I cannot even get a puppy because I still feel too much pain from loss. So I do know how others feel in this regard, but I would not look at it as adopting an older dog, just getting a new friend.

    1. I’m so sorry for your loss. I have been there, but found myself healed by providing a home to two more. When the time is right, the right one will be waiting for you with amazing restorative powers. 🙂

  3. After the passing of my own dogs, I chose to adopt older Goldens in the full knowledge that our time would be limited. I had Leah and Nikki for four wonderful years, not nearly long enough but that decision was not in my hands. So when I lost them both in April, I again went looking for the dogs that nobody wants because they are old, or disabled. And I got Grady, neglected to the point he lost his sight, emaciated and matted. Now he’s blossoming like your garden, and whoever ignored his needs and turned him out on the streets will never know what they are missing.

    1. I hardly know what to say except “thank you” – for opening your heart again to Grady and for bringing us all his story. So, Thank You!

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