Seasons surrender

The season is definitely upon us.


It seems like it happened in an instant. One day the garden was bursting forth – and the next, the leaves were falling, the buds were smaller,


and the bold colors of summer were replaced by a palette of oranges, blues, purples and browns.


Summer surrenders to fall.


I’ve written about surrender before. To me, it is the hardest part of rescue, and something I will never get used to.
More and more, the garden has become a place for families to say their final farewell.


The garden was always intended as a place for farewells and fond remembrances, so I suppose it is fitting that families spend their last few moments with their beloved dogs in a quiet, secluded corner of it. Today, it was a father and son saying a tearful goodbye to their pup. No pictures. It would not have been right.

And then, Ben & Jerry – two more arrivals later in the day.


I did not meet their family. I know these two will be scooped up right away. Still, I cannot imagine what goes through a dog’s mind and heart when their whole lives change in an instant.


When I was young, we never had an opportunity to say ‘goodbye’ to our pets. Our parents made a decision – and one day they were gone. I can’t even remember what we were told. Maybe I choose not to. Proper goodbyes – no matter how hard – are important for us humans. I wonder what the dogs know.

“If there ever comes a day when we can’t be together keep me in your heart, I’ll stay there forever.” ~ Winnie the Pooh, A.A.Milne

I am glad that we are here for them at Homeward Bound. I am grateful to everyone who supports our efforts. And especially so to the families that give these special dogs a new season of their own.

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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.

15 thoughts on “Seasons surrender”

  1. Funny, I don’t remember subscribing to your blog — and I’ve been so distracted lately by a ton of different things it seems — but I just finished reading your post from yesterday and your “About” page and I’m very glad I did!

    What a beautiful garden! And your own Goldens are gorgeous, too! I have two senior Golden Retrievers who my hubby and I got from separate responsible breeders exactly six months apart. Callie, the older one, was born April 16, 2004, and we brought her home on June 7th. Her younger “sister” was born on October 16, 2004, and we brought her home on December 7th. They have been best friends from the moment we introduced them; and practically inseparable. They may be seniors, but they will always be my “fur-babies”. And, when they’ve gone to the Rainbow Bridge, I will adopt another senior Golden.

    1. Your fur babies are beautiful! They just get better with age – and help us to appreciate all that a senior dog has to give. I’m glad we found each other. 🙂

      1. Me, too! Thanks!

        BTW, did you see my little “demon dog”? She’s a Cardigan Corgi/Black Lab mix. She’s a handful, but we all love her. She’s our little entertainer.

  2. The garden is SO beautiful. The story of the dogs parting from families is both sad and hopeful; although parted from their homes, at least they are coming to your wonderful place where there is hope and love. Such wonderful work you do.

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