Down the rabbit hole

If you think plant names are challenging – try coming up with unique and memorable names for thousands of rescued dogs. Lately, we have resorted to “months” – artist month, musician month, etc. This is writer month. Which is how this sweet little girl acquired the name Beatrix Potter.


She is a breeder surrender with only one functioning kidney. That makes her imperfect in a breeder’s eyes – but certainly not in ours, or in the adoring eyes of the family that adopted her today.

It is fitting that Beatrix Potter’s namesake should be represented in the garden today. The author of the Tale of Peter Rabbit must have inspired the return of our bunnies who have tunneled two burrows under our prized blueberry bushes. You might remember that this was the former site of the dreaded blackberry bramble. As fate would have it – the bramble served as the bunnies’ previous home. They have apparently returned to take their revenge!


Beatrix Potter wrote, “There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never quite know where they’ll take you.”


The Memorial Garden is like that. Begun with a desire to contribute to the rescue’s mission, it has taken us down the most wonderful rabbit hole of friendship and extended Homeward Bound family.


Today we met to re-work Randy and Vonnie’s butterfly bed. All but the roses were lost in last December’s deluge.


So we regrouped; raised the bed; and planted a host of perennials for attracting butterflies: Bee Balm, Milkweed, Sage, Yarrow, Coreopsis, Penstemon, Lantana, and more. The bed will be quite a showpiece in a month or so – befitting its position in the center of the garden.


Then, it was time for a doggie parade.


Dressed to impress with colorful collars and leashes donated by the generous folks at Lupine, we took photos to create an appropriate “thank you”.


Some of us were more into hamming it up and cuddles than modeling, but everyone knows that looking good is important to a dog’s self-esteem!


When you look good, you feel good…and you never know where that will lead a rescue dog. Maybe even to a forever home!


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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.

18 thoughts on “Down the rabbit hole”

  1. Peter Rabbit lives here too and loves to get into my veggie garden. I have a whole new appreciation for Mr. McGregor!

  2. The new Butterfly Garden will be stunning! Looking forward to checking it out during my next visit. And a rabbit hole in the Blueberries??? Bet they lived in there when it was a bramble patch. Gorgeous pups! 🙂

  3. I love that you named her Beatrix Potter. My favorite children’s author. When my niece and granddaughters were born that was the first collection of books I got them. Little Beatrix looks just like my little girl, Bella Rose – Rosie, Rosebud, Miss Rose in bloom and the list goes on.
    The butterfly garden is going to be magic. Can hardly wait to see it in a month or so.

  4. Oh, forgot – I have a friend out of state that is an awesome very loving and respected breeder of Goldens – not for money but for the love of the breed, breeding only once in a while (not with the same female each time) to keep the Golden line pure. She would never in a million years turn a dog over to rescue because of an imperfection. Any dog that leaves her place leaves with a signed contract and the dogs are to be spayed or neutered before 1yr. and not to be bred. AKC Limited registration. If you decide you don’t want the dog you must tell her so she can take it back. She also stays in contact with you for the life of the dog. I just wanted to let others know that all breeders aren’t bad although the good ones are hard to find.
    The “breeder” that in my eyes dumped Beatrix lost out. She is a beautiful little golden with so much love to give and what a lucky family that is going to be getting all that love for a long time.

    1. Thanks for sharing, Cindy. Of course, we encourage adoption given the number of dogs looking for homes. For people who want to purchase a particular dog or cat…yes, there are responsible breeders, but you have to do their homework and follow best practices to ensure you are not inadvertently supporting the irresponsible ones. Here’s a link to the Humane Society’s guidelines for those interested:

  5. I totally agree. Like I said the good ones are far and few between and you have to really do your homework. I totally support rescue-adoption first. Out of many many animals we have had and still have (5 at the moment) I have only bought 2 from a breeder who I interviewed for 6 months before her female even got pregnant. This last time I tried to adopt but our household situation did not work out for any dogs available. We tried for 4 1/2 mo. So now I have my second pure bred golden from the same breeder. I feel bad I didn’t get to rescue but sometimes it just doesn’t work out. I love Homeward Bound and totally give them my 100% support. Adoption is the real way to go. For us this time, we had to go another direction. But this is my last PB pup. We will probably adopt more (if our bodies and finances hold up) though. Life (no matter how old you are) is not a full life without a furry companion to complete it.

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