Seasons Pass

Winter turned the page to Spring.


By next week, it will feel like we are beginning Summer’s chapter.


Time passes much too quickly to wish away the seasons. Accept each moment as a gift knowing that tomorrow we will say goodbye…and in another time – and another way – ‘hello’ again.


My soul is full of whispered song;


My blindness is my sight;


The shadows that I feared so long


Are all alive with light. ~ Alice Cary


Kind hearts are the gardens

Rescue is hard work. Incredibly rewarding…but very hard work. Rescue is not for the faint of heart. Not all can be saved, not all endings are happy. But every day we put one foot in front of the other to walk this path together and do the best we can – because the ones who depend on us, cannot.


Rescue relies on people so passionate that they give of themselves, their time, and their hearts with nothing expected in return except the joy of seeing an animal saved and going home.

Passion can sometimes be messy. We chase perfection, because so much hangs in the balance – the protection of each other, the dogs – and of each others’ hearts. But when it comes to living creatures – human or canine – perfection is near impossible to achieve.

“Nothing that is complete breathes.” ~ Antonio Porchia

That’s where patience and kindness come in. And forgiveness. Of each other and ourselves for our human flaws and inevitable failures.

Each of us is as unique as the parts that make up this passion vine flower…


put us all together – and we can achieve beautiful things.


“Kind hearts are the gardens,
Kind thoughts are the roots,
Kind words are the blossoms,
Kind deeds are the fruits.”
~19th century rhyme


Kindness. Patience. Forgiveness. These are the required tools of rescue.

“There is one word which may serve as a rule of practice for all one’s life — reciprocity.” ~ Confucius




“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.” ~ W.B. Yeats


Walking into the Memorial Garden this weekend, I was overcome with awe.


During the week, it seemed like everything was in bloom – like an orchestra moving from chaotic warm up notes to a full blown symphony…


only this symphony was of sight, color and smell. So overwhelmingly beautiful – I scarcely know how to describe it. Everywhere I looked there was a treasure from a previous season making its re-appearance. Our garden is back!


“These beautiful days … do not exist as mere pictures – maps hung upon the walls of memory to brighten at times when touched by association or will … They saturate themselves into every part of the body and live always.” ~ John Muir


The day was punctuated with other happy notes. Young Ava’s birthday present wish was donations of kibble for our pups. It was fulfilled in spades and delivered in person, along with 67 cases of canned food in response to our appeal for a dog whose jaw had to be rebuilt.

Two of our Reservoir Dogs found their forever homes; a third goes home on Monday. Amazingly, Michael – who was one of the shyest upon arrival, was among the first to bloom. His new “mom” Tara was smitten from the first time we wrote about him, checking in weekly on his progress. As soon as he became available, she was on our doorstep, clearly in love.


Joseph will enjoy the company of dogs in his ready-made family…just as soon as he finishes his nap!


Exhausted from a day of planting, hauling mulch and clearing foxtails and about to head home, I was overcome again. Our transport arrived with five more dogs…three with significant medical needs. To watch our team kick into gear, calming fears, reassuringly introducing them to their new surroundings, assessing and beginning to care for their needs…I was left speechless and filled with another kind of awe; esteem and admiration. The beauty of the garden pales in comparison to the goodness and dedication of these people. There truly is magic here.



“It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.” ~ Rainer Maria Rilke

It is hard to be a weekend-only gardener of the Homeward Bound Memorial Garden. So much changes during the week at this time of year; I have to take time just to soak it up each Saturday morning when I return. It is amazing to see last year’s perennials push their way skyward once again as the garden reshapes itself after the long winter.

The Snapdragon, Iceland Poppies and tiny Viola flowers worried Ina – a horticulturist with a penchant for California natives. She thought they might be too grandmotherly…but I think they have won her over, begrudgingly.


The roses are beginning to bloom.


You wonder what weighs them down? The tiny frogs have already taking up residence!



The California Poppies have opened; their gold offers striking contrast to the Lavender backdrop.


Maria’s Herb Garden is already lush and new additions will quickly fill in any holes.


Ina has prepared all of her beds for the dry days ahead, tucking them in with a blanket of shreds.


Even the Killdeer are back…leaving their nest eggs smack in the middle of the dog park!


Maria is off on another adventure, which means that I was left unsupervised on Saturday. That always spells trouble – and planting! When we began the garden, each person had their own bed to do with as they pleased. The good news was that the work was divided up; the downside was that the garden felt a little disjointed. Now that our core group is a little smaller, we can “color outside the lines” a little. I planted two beds, bridging the Daylily bed to the Rose bed – and the Perennial bed to a tree circle garden, echoing the most drought tolerant plantings in each.


Ina thinks I’m nuts (again), but allows me to play as long as I steer clear of her beds!

With the “dorms” (aka “kennel”) full – the dog walkers arrived in force this weekend, allowing me to work without too much guilt. There were dogs everywhere…


and some happy “going homes” including the dog I wrote about last week; our other Daisy who had been returned for being a still rambunctious two-year old. This time, we found the perfect home where her youthful exuberance will be exhausted by an outdoor-loving and very active mom.


The world is right again.