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

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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.

8 thoughts on “The Bridge”

  1. OMG! Homeward Bound absorbs the medical expenses of dogs in permanent foster homes? That’s wonderful! But how do you do it?! With so many rescues struggling financially these days, I don’t know how they stay in business (but I’m glad they do!)! If I had your physical address, I’d nominate you for a grant from The Grey Muzzle!!

    1. Yes! 🙂 And here is how:

      1. We are an ALL-volunteer organization. Over 200 devoted volunteers make it happen.
      2. We have amazing supporters. Almost all of the funds we raise come from private donations (but grants are always welcome!).
      3. Among the great vets we call upon, we have a dedicated “doc” who has discounted part of her services and devoted her only weekly day off to Homeward Bound for years.
      4. We are habitual penny pinchers about everything except the dogs.

      Our physical address: Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue and Sanctuary, 7495 Natomas Road
      Elverta, CA 95626.

      About Us:

      You can read about us in this book: From Property to Family: American Dog Rescue and the Discourse of Compassion

      Check us out on Guidestar as well. 🙂 And thank you!

      1. Cool! Im in the middle of a project at the moment, but I WILL find out how to nominate you and then go about doing so. Meanwhile, have a great New Year and give all those sweet doggies a kiss and hug for me at some point during their stay with you.

  2. Indeed, your words and photos communicate so powerfully the ways that the heart is a muscle that strengthens through use. Glorious news about Maria’s new foster!

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