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.)

Published by


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.

20 thoughts on “Worth Working For”

  1. Beautiful photos as always. I can’t understand why Lucky is being passed over. He may need some work but working and training a dog brings such a special bond between dog and owner. Everything special in life requires a bit of effort. My golden girl is 2yrs. old and I have been working with her since she was a puppy. Sometimes it’s frustrating and difficult but when the fur kid “gets it”, it’s amazing!
    I hope someone will adopt Lucky and have days of enjoyment loving and connecting with this sweetheart.

  2. Lucky is a gorgeous boy and he may need some work but that is what makes it all worthwhile. I’ve always love the quote from Roosevelt, “Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty…” and that applies to owning a dog. Fabulous photos and what fun it must be to watch a young dog having a great time, I still love watching our dogs play and they’re 14 and 8 years young 🙂

    1. We’re all working on turning Lucky’s love of play into an opportunity for “school lessons.” Hoping that gets him home sooner…but even then, he will need someone to guide him. Great quote. And so true!

  3. Audrey, so eloquently stated, especially with regards to Lucky and other dogs-in-training like him. Just like humans and gardens, dogs are evolving works in progress. As with any child, whether covered in fur or not, someone has to take the time and make the effort to bring out their best qualities. Patience, persistence and perseverance is how they learn to be well behaved!

    Our family has been blessed with Holden the Golden Lab, a Homebound Bound alumni. We thank Jody, Mike and all of the dedicated volunteers involved with this wonderful rescue for the incredible investment they make to these dogs’ futures. Your beautiful blog and Rob Kessel’s fantastic photos shine each of these Golden’s lights brighter to the world.

    1. I like that…”whether covered in fur or not” 🙂 Patience, persistence, perseverance…yes. And the effort makes the reward even more cherished. Thank you for your kind note – and your support of Homeward Bound…not to mention Holden The Golden Lab!

  4. His family is out there, they just haven’t realized they need him yet. We hope he finds his forever home soon.

    Monty and Harlow

  5. Your words are so true, and I believe that it, “takes a gardener”, to understand the process of life. You are truly that, and I feel honored to have spent some time with you last weekend. Lucky reminds me so much of another special HB dog, Bodie, who my son and daughter in law adopted 2 years ago. He has truly blossomed into a special, special boy…

    1. Bodie is a great example…and Ginger…and Owen…there’s a long list. It takes special people to recognize special dogs. I’m sure we’ll find Lucky’s special people soon. It was great to see you…and thank you for your contributions to the garden…now in bloom!

      1. I have told the family (close friends of mine) to fill out the application. I do have a few questions though and would like to speak with you if possible. Please email me your phone number to mikemorales@comcast.net and let me know when a good time to all would be. Thanks!

  6. If I lived closer, didn’t already have 3 dogs, etc., I’d love to take Lucky; but I can’t. He will eventually find his new family. 🙂
    PS. The garden will be lovely again, I’m sure.

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