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.


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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.

28 thoughts on “Tree of Remembrance”

  1. WOW, beautiful tree, beautiful remembrance of Gaia’s creatures and I am sitting here trying not to cry, but I think this is so special its going to happen ..tears are a coming 🙂
    Beautiful post, Thank you for sharing…
    Take Care…You Matter…

  2. Oh my, this is the sweetest tree I have ever seen! What a wonderful idea. It’s both sad and comforting to know that my boy’s tags will be on that tree someday. Thank you for this post.

  3. Wonderful project. Years ago, in a Unitarian church, on All Soul’s Day, they put a naked tree up front, and everyone in the congregation was invited to write the names of loved ones who were gone on construction paper leaves as they entered the service. Then, during the service, everyone was invited to come re-leaf the tree with all their leaves. It was a remarkably touching event. A dead looking tree came to life with fall-colored leaves. Much like this lovely tree. Lovely idea.

  4. Such a beautiful insight into the miraculous links between generations: Jody and her father, and the Weeping Cherry tree that shelters and links golden souls through the generations. THANK you for sharing this!

  5. That really is beautiful. I’ll admit – I cried when I saw the tags. I’ve saved every tag from my pups over the year and have a long chain. I can just imagine how beautiful this tree will be.

    Monty and Harlow

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