Go Daddy’s Superbowl Commercial: What were they thinking?

Thanks to my sis for sharing this petition. I know some publicist somewhere is yelling “there’s no such thing as bad publicity!” But this commercial from Go Daddy needs to go. So wrong, in so many ways. Please consider weighing in.

Update: RIGHT WINS OUT. GoDaddy has pulled the ad. It really is amazing what people can accomplish when they work together. 🙂


The Blessing of Animal Companions

I don’t share a lot of petitions, but this Super Bowl commercial from Go Daddy simply appalled me on so many levels. Take a look, and sign if you feel so moved! I think they were trying to mock all the Super Bowl commercials featuring puppies, but they must be completely unaware of issues in animal welfare. Big miss.

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Worth Working For

Now begins the time when every day turns up another treasure – a hint of how the garden will take shape this year.


Lots of people appreciate the final result, but a gardener takes pleasure in watching each step that unfolds from their labor.


Now I know, a refuge never grows
from a chin in the hand and a thoughtful pose
Gotta tend the earth if you want a rose. ~ Indigo Girls

It’s a cliché – and it’s true – anything worth having usually has to be worked for.


I hear over and over…”We’re looking for a young dog.” What they often really mean is, “I’m looking for a perfect young dog.” They want a dog that is socialized to others, bonds quickly, has impeccable house manners, and knows all those things we call rules (don’t we all?!). When a young dog has all of that going for it, it is because someone invested all of the hard work required to get it there. And you generally won’t find them surrendered.

Our young four-legged kids are generally not “perfect” – because someone didn’t take the time to make them so. But that does not mean they don’t have the potential. Young rescue dogs are often like adolescent humans in so many ways. Willful, a little wild, often insecure, sometimes mouthy, but ultimately trainable and loveable – if someone will just make the effort.

Our Lucky is one of these.


It pains me to see him passed over because he is still a work in progress, especially at his young age of eighteen months. He’s thoroughly adorable – if a little rebellious – and a bundle of playful energy.


He would make a perfectly devoted and active companion for someone willing to accept a dog with “some assembly required.”


With a little time and some work, you’d be amazed at what takes shape.


“I’m a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.” ~ Thomas Jefferson



starts as this.




becomes this.


I’m hoping that someone sees that in Lucky soon.


(Thanks to Rob Kessel for the photos of Lucky.)

Walk With Me: II

My work commute is an hour drive each way. Not fun. The good news is that it puts me out of town and within walking distance of tucked away walking trails filled with old oaks, small ponds and flocks of birds. Walk with me through some protected trails in Roseville, CA.

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Fifty years ago, there was nothing here but miles of oak trees.

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A suburban city sprouted, but someone had the foresight to set aside designated open space – areas where natural beauty would remain for the generations to come.


It remains largely unspoiled – save for a few forgotten or visiting treasures.


Oh to be as free as a bird and stay all day.

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Catching Up

For those of you suffering through snow and ice, let me catch you up on our Northern California garden!


The Narcissus arrived – a bit early thanks to all that water in December (and woefully, none in January).


The roses took a final bow following a brief freeze…


and let us know that their time had come. January is the month for pruning roses In Northern California. By my count, there are 41 of them in the garden proper with another 20 along the perimeter. To help get the job done, Ina brought a fresh recruit. Beth is a knowledgeable and focused gardener – and a great addition.


St. Francis, Patron Saint of Animals, took a serious tumble from his housing in a high wind storm.


Sadly, we were unable to revive him. Given his stature, a proper burial was planned at the base of the podium. Because of conflicts with her plantings, however, Maria wanted to save space and lay him to rest with his head upright.


While discussing the inappropriateness of this plot, Scrappy misplaced his ball, adding insult to injury.


The plantings were displaced to create a proper resting place; the ball was retrieved…


and disaster was averted.


You might remember Yule – the frightened dog that Maria took home to foster. Well, that was two weeks ago, and she is not showing any signs of giving him up at this point! He has adapted really well at home and become much more confident and clearly relaxed.


He is an excellent garden dog. Another great addition to our team.


Late in the day, one of our longer term residents went home. At only six years old and gorgeous, you’d think that Ernie had everything going for him.


But he is one of those very independent dogs that doesn’t connect right way to people. Not to mention that his manners were less than perfect. He went home for a time with our dog photographer/whisperer, Rob, to work on those. Today, it paid off. His new people spent a lot of time with him and learning about him. Their “going home” photo (thanks Rob) reflects a match that was worth the wait.


Happy life, Ernie!

Moving from human to kind

In a world that has seemingly gone mad, you would be forgiven for wondering if an effort like rescue is trivial in comparison to the headlines these days. But it’s not. There are lessons here.


It’s not just the hundreds of dogs that we rescue each year through our own effort at Homeward Bound – but the untold number of rescuers, advocates and angels all over the globe working together for a common good.


It’s not just the dogs saved, but the countless number of people whose lives are touched…




and transformed as a result.


It’s not just the act of rescue, but the education that accompanies it. Not that long ago, rescue networks were non-existent. We have a long way to go – but we have demonstrated that a difference can be made against seemingly impossible odds when people stand united together. The dogs, and our work on their behalf, teach us about acceptance of others,




and healing.


We learn to face adversity without losing hope…


and how to say “good-bye” – while still carrying on.


Rescue reminds us that despite all the difficult things we see and experience, human beings still have the capacity for care and compassion.


And in this crazy world – maybe that matters most.

“The next evolutionary step for humankind is to move from human to kind.” ~ Author Unknown

Walk With Me

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After all the year-end projects are finished and the holidays are put away – my mind goes blank, and my motivation flies right out the window. It’s time to get outside and clear the head. Getting off the beaten path and out in nature returns perspective – and appreciation. I hope you don’t mind me taking you off our usual garden/rescue path for a short detour.


“Sometimes we must unfocus our way to clarity.” ~ Terri Guillemets


It’s so easy to get lost in our daily lives. Tasks take on undue importance until we return them to their proper place. Headlines make us worry for the world we share. On sheltered trails under big blue skies –

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by the pond’s edge on cold, crystal days –


all of it is temporarily shed and I’m reminded of all the beauty this world holds.


“If you do not raise your eyes you will think that you are the highest point.” ~ Antonio Porchia


Restoration and rejuvenation lead to innovation and renewed passion – in any undertaking. Change your point of view, and be reminded of the world’s good grace.


I took a couple of days off to walk our American River trails and explore the nearby Bobelaine Audubon Sanctuary. The creatures were not as cooperative as my camera would have liked, but that’s OK.


It made me look up. I don’t do New Year’s resolutions, but I do resolve to do this more – and to bring others along. So thanks for walking with me.


“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” ~ Marcel Proust

The Bridge

Mojo was the last dog of 2014. Dog number 410. Something tells me he won’t be with us long. 🙂


Hunter is the first dog of 2015. He was literally pulled from a Los Angeles shelter after closing on New Year’s Eve. Special elves opened the gates to help set him free and into the waiting arms (and van) of Barry – one of the many angels who help ferry dogs on their journeys home. Hunter (on the left) spent his New Year’s night in foster style waiting for transport. He has yet to arrive on site…hmmm. Another failed foster? Or transport adoption/abduction in the works? It wouldn’t be the first!


Maria, one of our devoted gardeners, is an experienced foster “mom” herself. For the past two and a half years, she provided permanent foster to handsome Beau.


Our permanent fosterers are special angels. They take the dog as their own, while the dog legally remains Homeward Bound’s. The rescue continues to provide all of the medical care the dog needs throughout its life. It is the perfect arrangement for special needs or very senior dogs. Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue alleviates concerns about medical expenses, making it easier for families to say “yes” to a dog in need.

Beau was both a special needs and senior dog. When he went to live with Maria at the age of 11, he already had failing hind legs.


Regardless, Beau went everywhere Maria went, even traveling in a special cart when walks became too much.


When Maria was out of the country on one of her many world travels, her sons and devoted caregivers, Aly and Drew, stayed with him. But his favorite place to be was right beside Maria in the garden.


He was never alone – and utterly adored. When his time finally came, Maria was determined not to have another dog too soon. And then she met Yule.

When our beloved companions leave us, some people wonder how you could open your heart again. We ask: how could you not? The loss of a dog never leaves us. But love has a way of making hearts grow larger.


“Our feet still go around the place the food dish used to be.
And, sometime, coming home at night, we miss them terribly.
And although time may bring new friends and a new food dish to fill,
That one place in our hearts belongs to them…and always will.” ~ Linda Barnes

I showed you how Yule melted into Maria’s hands when he first arrived a couple of weeks ago. He’s a shy boy – and a young one at only two years of age. He’s also a little hard to read in a rescue environment.


Today was Yule’s special day. Maria is wearing her foster hat again.


Whether he ends up staying with her forever, or only for a while, her time with him is a gift. It allows Yule to gain confidence in the security of a home environment, and it provides an opportunity for us to learn much more about him. If he is not Maria’s forever dog, our odds of making a perfect match are better for their time together.


Beau will never be forgotten. Rather, he is honored by Maria as she makes room in her heart – and home – for Yule.

“I am the bridge between what was and what can be. I am the pathway to a new life.” ~ Diane Morgan, A Poem to My Foster Dog