Our Adventure

“When you see someone putting on his Big Boots, you can be pretty sure that an Adventure is going to happen.” ~ A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Two years ago next month, the Homeward Bound Memorial Gardeners put on their “big boots” to rescue an acre of weeds and bring forth a garden. And what an adventure it has been!

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Today, while Peggy and Steve began dividing the iris,

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Ina, Sarah and I installed the entry beds.

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We got to reminiscing about how far we have come in just the last year.

California Garden last September…

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and now:

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Herb and St. Francis Gardens last fall…

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and now:

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What a difference a year makes.

Returning a tool to the garage, I caught a glimpse of Lilly piling into a car and heading to her forever home.

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She’s one of our special needs dogs who has been waiting a while for just the right family. My heart skipped a beat and I was reminded of what this labor of love is for. Happy new life, Lilly…off to new adventures! We will miss you, beautiful girl.

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Grey Skies

Saturday, the skies turned dark, thunder clapped, and we were treated to a brief downpour – unseasonable for us this time of year. The garden is loving it.

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With the cooler temperatures and extra drink, everything burst forth in bloom.

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The light was different and the colors more subdued – but beautiful bathed in warm grey.

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Love the sound of these wind chimes in the rustling trees. My idea of church.

I’m really pleased with how these drifts have developed.

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Inspired by something I saw in Fine Gardening magazine, and purchased as 3″ plants from Digging Dog Nursery, they have grown to full size in one season and now provide a bridge from Ina’s Cottage and California gardens to Maria’s Herb and St. Francis beds.

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I was very pleased to meet this gentleman as well.

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His name is Renji and he is a total charmer. Wish he were mine! I suspect he’ll be scooped up quickly.

I heard a story on the radio today. Jerry Saltz, an art critic for New York magazine was talking about Jackson Pollock, the painter. When he made his first famous drip painting, he supposedly turned to his wife and asked: Is this a painting?

That’s how I feel about these. ‘Are these photographs?’ Or simply disasters?

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I dunno. Something made me save them from the ‘delete’ folder. Maybe someday, my disasters will be as sought after as Pollocks’ drips. A girl can dream.

The sun will be back tomorrow…and you know where you’ll find me.

Our Joy

The garden served up its usual beauty this weekend. Fall is beginning its advance and the flowers and their friends are grateful for the more moderate temperatures and cool nights.

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Their appreciation is clearly on display.

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But the most beautiful moments of the weekend did not involve flowers. First, new bricks were installed in the Memorial pathway.

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I donated this one for one of my very first blogger friends, Deborah at Romancing the Bee and her beloved companion recently departed – the Noble Bayard.

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The garden hosted the usual parade of pups. Hank took up residence on Steve’s lap –

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Fozzie Bear, who just recently arrived, made his first trip to the garden –

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beautiful Sting relaxed in the shade, exhausted from playing in the sprinklers –

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while Lilly practiced her table manners.

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In between, two great tales unfolded. First, Sydney – a special needs Golden who has pretty significant separation anxiety, found her perfect match in a family that did not see that as a special need at all.

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She went home with her new beautiful brother, Gunner.

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The two of them will have perpetual human company serving by day as greeters in their family’s store – Material Goods in (get this) – Carmel. Yup. Carmel By The Sea. I was hoping that they would adopt me as well, but some dogs just have all the luck! You can visit them there.

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And that was just the start.

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The story is told in full on the Homeward Bound blog (click here to read), but I’ll summarize here. A wonderful family with three beautiful children – adopted themselves – with incredibly giving hearts. On Thursday, they met Ollie, one our longer term guests.

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Deaf, with skin issues, and a golden heart – he had been passed over too many times. On Sunday, they met Mariposa. A tiny, malnourished and scared little girl who had not been treated well in her first year on earth.

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Two extraordinary dogs with special needs – who have found a very special home – with a beautiful family and a new brother named Sailor.

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People ask about the often bittersweet work of rescue: “how can you do it”? With weekends like this, how can you not?

The joy is ours.

Time to Appreciate

There’s one major drawback to an all-volunteer organization: when you want to have a Volunteer Appreciation Picnic, everyone has to work harder so we can appreciate ourselves.

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The annual event was held Sunday at Homeward Bound, which meant days of primping, weeding, cooking, and fussing to make the rescue look perfect and create a Thanksgiving-worthy feast. It was also the official Memorial Garden Dedication,

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and the garden was dressed for the occasion.

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Gina and Sarah did the flower arranging (with Hank’s help);

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a bouquet for each table from each bed of the garden (some out-of-season Tulip and Iris representatives did sneak their way in).

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The pups played nicely in the large park under the watchful eye of Pack Leader Laurie and a few other volunteers while their humans enjoyed a feast and some music.

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In the garden, some critters were doing a little feasting of their own. These red and black beetles on the milkweed multiplied ten-fold while I was on vacation so they were dispensed with,

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and Maria angered the wasps by spraying their very large nest at exactly the wrong time of day. They sought refuge at the base of St. Francis’ skirt, climbing over their poor comrades’ fallen bodies.

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The lizard and crawdad were allowed to stay, however – much to Lilly’s delight!

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Despite unseasonably warm temps, it was a wonderful day and a great way to show our appreciation for each other. Canines and humans alike.

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Dogs of Klamath II

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Back from our annual week of camping and fishing where the Redwoods tower…

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and the Klamath River meets the Pacific Ocean.

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This was predicted to be a record run year, and it did not disappoint. They were literally lined up shoulder to shoulder casting off both sides of the bank…

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landing 30-pounders with rod and reel.

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But me? My eyes were on the dogs of Klamath of course. Ocean dogs, river dogs, and prissy camping dogs…but not a Golden in sight!

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