A flower for every smile

For the first time since I began volunteering at Homeward Bound, the kennels are only half full (a temporary situation, I’m sure.) Despite the reduced workload, the volunteers were out in abundance. I overheard one of them explaining to someone about what draws her here: the joy she feels when she pulls through the gates; the serenity of the country surroundings; the garden; the people – like Michele and Chip who visited with their failed foster, Murphy, to pick out a new foster pup (they have fostered more than 20);


and of course, the dogs.


These are the loved dogs of Homeward Bound…


the ones that have been with us a long while because their special needs make them hardest to place.

We have faith that someday their perfect match will come along. But until that time, we are very happy to love on them.


“If I had a flower for every time you made me smile,
I’d be walking in an endless garden.” ~ Author Unknown

The garden is smiling back at us;


every visit this time of year brings new spring delights in the waking of perennials, trees and grasses from their winter slumber. I was thrilled to find the Mexican Sage finally popping out from its wood sticks, and Campanula making its way skyward.


I am under orders not to make any significant changes until Ina and Maria return. Does editing the Hummingbird bed count as a significant change?


I don’t think so. Wanting some greater structure during the winter, I added a smoke tree bush, dwarf blue spruce, blue fescue, some boxwood and others.

What do they expect, leaving me alone in our endless garden?

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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.

24 thoughts on “A flower for every smile”

  1. I so envy all your blossoms while my spring bulbs are still frozen in the ground under the snow. I can’t wait till it’s all gone, the grass is green again, and Grady gets his bed of oregano back for rolling in.

    1. The longer it takes for spring to arrive, the more it is appreciated! Maybe you need to make a pillow of dried oregano for Grady in the winter…doggy catnip!

  2. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!!! The beautful retirevers made me smile and your beautiful garden did too!!! Kudos to you. Plus you have Talavera pots. So do I! I love them~

  3. Gorgeous photos of the floiwers (and the dogs too) for me to enjoy while I watch it snow…can’t wait for spring!

  4. Beautiful photos, and good news (even if only temporary) that the kennels are a little empty. My human mommy wishes she lived closer to you so that she could love some of your longer-term residents. Instead, she says she will give me extra hugs and kisses today. I like that!

  5. This is the first time I’ve found Homeward Bound. What a pawsome blog and cause. The garden looks BEAUTIFUL. I’ve not seen spring spring yet … but it’s coming. I can feel it in my paws. *wag wag wag*

  6. Another poignant and beautiful post! Thank you for all you do — here and in the garden. Your hard work — and that of all the Homeward Bound advocates — translates to happier times for the sweetest creatures God ever dropped on this Earth!

  7. Oh, I agree so much. The beautiful flowers and wonderful happy dogs — we are so lucky to have them in our life. Thank you for all of you time and effort at Homeward Bound. The garden is fantastic.

    1. Aren’t we?? Thank you, Carol…I’m not sure if we are back to “fantastic” yet…but give it a few weeks and we will be! Give a hug to Maggie! 🙂

  8. Love the pictures of the rescued dogs. They look so pleased to have the volunteers come and spend time with them. Also, the flowers are beautiful!

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