A drop in the bucket

We had an unexpected surprise this week…something we haven’t seen in a very long while: rain!


While the rainfall total is but a drop in our drought bucket, we are so grateful. It delivered a much-needed assist to the firefighters battling the massive King Fire in El Dorado County, about 70 miles from us. After two weeks and thousands displaced, the 97,000 acre fire is now 87% contained.


The garden soaked up every drop and enjoyed a few consecutive days of cloud cover.


In response, it spewed forth tiny frogs,




and a host of mushrooms…one of the gifts of our bark paths when the days are darker and there is finally moisture.


You’ll remember Moses from my Say Goodbye To Summer post? Well, your good wishes worked. He went home this weekend –


joining Carly Simon, Loki, Gordon (below right with his new sister, Sophie) –


Casey, Reacher and Ginger (pictured left with her new sugar-faced sisters).


Patsy Cline and Coki went to foster. Curious about the names? You try being original after rescuing nearly 8,000 dogs!

It was another good weekend for adoptions. Heard among our volunteers: “We have lots of open kennels.” Quickly followed by the arrival of seven (at last count) more.


Seven adoptions; two fosters…a drop in the bucket that keeps being refilled. But, like the rain, we – at Homeward Bound – are grateful for each and every one.

Tree of Remembrance

Jody Jones is Homeward Bound’s president and our tireless leader; a woman with a passion for rescue. She and her husband, Mike, planted the seeds of Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue & Sanctuary years ago. Over time, it has grown into something truly remarkable.


The Memorial Garden was her vision as well. With saving lives as the priority, the undertaking was frequently sidelined. For years, it remained mostly a dream. But Jody is a woman full of (stubborn) patience, optimism and determination. “Tomorrow’s another day; it will be better,” is a familiar refrain. After years of fits and starts, the right mix of gardeners finally came together three seasons ago to make it a reality. I think Jody simply willed it into being.


Her latest project developed in much the same way. It is for the garden.


Jody and her father created it together. Over-sized coils collected over the years;


a giant hole dug in the ground – waiting; a pole eventually planted in concrete; a plan clear only to the two of them.


Finally, this artful, rusted metal version of a weeping cherry tree sprouted from their labor.


The tree will don the most special leaves; the tags of thousands of dogs who have come through our doors on their way to their forever homes. Some wait for us over the Rainbow Bridge. Saved, remembered, and cherished here.


Of course, exactly how long the process of adding thousands of these “leaves” will take remains to be seen. But no matter. “Tomorrow’s another day.”

This beautiful piece of art is a gift from father to daughter and daughter to father – a remembrance of time shared together.


It is a gift for all of us as well. A lasting tribute to all the golden friends that we have known; and a reminder of why we do what we do.


Until the Fall

The garden – like the rest of us – is desperately trying to turn the corner to fall.



It was not to be this week – with summer still making itself known by delivering temperatures over the century mark.



With the surrounding rice fields drained, even the crawdads are trying to seek safe haven.


I guess the word is out that we rescue, as most were scooped up and transported to our pond.

After a very hectic and full-house summer, we delighted in sending 14 dogs home last weekend. However brief the respite, there are, thankfully, a few open spots in our kennel “dorm.” I think all of us could use a bit of a rest from the crazy pace and heat of summer. Like the garden, we are a bit wilted and worn.


I look forward to cooler days and fall projects. Last year was the entry way – freshly planted and a looking a little bare this time last September –


now full and flourishing.


And the re-worked Iris bed. Last September, we carved out some center space for annual color while the irises take their own rest.


The summer plantings have completely taken over and will look even more beautiful as the season changes.

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There are bulbs to thin and plant, beds to re-work, and trees to install as the season’s cycle begins again. But all of that will have to wait until we have a bit of cooler, crisper weather suitable for hard labor. Until then, we’ll just enjoy the company of dogs.


The Dogs of Klamath III

“There is new life in the soil for every man. There is healing in the trees for tired minds and for our overburdened spirits, there is strength in the hills, if only we will lift up our eyes. Remember that nature is your great restorer.” ~ Calvin Coolidge

Every September, we camp where the river and ocean meet at Klamath, California, visiting with friends and restoring our spirits. Surrounded by the towering Redwoods and the expanse of Pacific Ocean, cares just drift away.

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The tonic of camping requires few comforts; a fabric roof overhead to protect from fog and dew; the warmth of a fire and a cozy sleeping blanket; good coffee…and of course, the company of dogs.

Following: The Dogs of Klamath III, along with a link to the full trip album for those so inclined. Enjoy. http://ogeesnaps.smugmug.com/Klamath-2014/

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“Going to the woods is going home.” ~ John Muir