Because We Are Family


Lucy and Minnie came to visit recently. Lucy was a breeder dog; completely unsocialized and terrified of her own shadow – much less people.


She was helped by many, but by one person in particular: Chris spent countless hours helping Lucy learn to trust and seek out humans.


I’ve written about Chris and her husband, Steve, before. Devoted volunteers; for as long as I have been with the organization, they have commuted a great distance to stay over weekends so they can be at Homeward Bound to feed, walk, and work with the dogs.


They work with the most difficult dogs to rehabilitate them – including their beloved Shelby,




and Sammy.


When the world says, “Give up,”
Hope whispers, “Try it one more time.”
~Author Unknown

Chris helped to organize our dog walking teams and then took on coordination of the feeders.


Steve has been a go-to rock, quietly working behind the scenes to help maintain the facility. Both have a gift for understanding the canine mind and helping even the most troubled dogs find a future.


“Some people talk to animals. Not many listen though. That’s the problem.”
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

They will be leaving us soon, moving to Colorado on a new life adventure. Today was their farewell celebration. Saying goodbye is never easy, but life happens and new adventures await. Hopefully, they will stay connected as another vital rescue link in our extended network.


“When you see someone putting on his Big Boots, you can be pretty sure that an Adventure is going to happen.”
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

I’ve been compiling a history of the organization as we celebrate our 15th anniversary. I’m finding countless names of founding members. Many are no longer on-site, but still play a vital role and remain connected to our mission – the work of rescuing more than 8,000 dogs since our beginning.

There will be key gaps to fill with Chris and Steve’s departure. But I have faith that others will step up to fill the void. Because we’re family. The dogs’ family. And they need us.


Best wishes to Chris and Steve. And on behalf of countless dogs like Lucy – thank you.


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.

16 thoughts on “Because We Are Family”

  1. Chris and Steve,
    Sorry I wasn’t there for your goodbye celebration. I do hope you keep in touch with all of us. I will miss your walks through the memorial garden and just the chit chats we had. Good Luck in Colorado, and thank you for everything.

  2. I too am sorry I missed this bitter sweet celebration. Wishing you both the best on this new chapter of your life.
    Thank you for all you’ve done for the dogs & all the knowledge you have shared. Safe travels

  3. What a lovely tribute. We so often simply accept the work and dedication of volunteers and yet, I wonder how many people realize that life on this planet as we know it would literally grind to a halt if every volunteer withdrew their services! In your context, we are often out with our beloved Ray when a total stranger will look at him and say “Hi Ray! How are you doing buddy?” We find out that they are/were volunteering at our Humane Society and either walked him regularly or interacted in other ways. Ray takes us back there on a regular basis because he has so many human friends there! We should always celebrate volunteers! 🙂

  4. Chris and Steve, good luck in your travels and the next chapter of your life. Your love of animals and people is amazing, and I wish the best in the world for both of you!!

  5. Thank you for such a beautiful, loving tribute to Chris and Steve whose love transformed so many goldens’ lives and whose attentiveness to goldens and humans was incomparable. To Chris and Steve, warmest of wishes for your new life in Colorado. I wished I could have been with you all yesterday, but was helping two-legged college students graduate for Commencement weekend 😉 Hugs from Annie and Liz

  6. This was a great tribute to both of them. I loved working with both of you SO much! I will miss you! Please keep us all informed of your new endeavors. Just like family, we will always be there for you! Big hugs to both of you!
    P.s. Who was dubbed king mice trap cleaner now? Ha ha ha!

  7. Chris and Steve,
    Best Wishes for your new life in Colorado. Bill and I want to thank you for all the help both of you gave us with Maggie. Both of you will be a great loss to Homeward Bound. Hope someday you will come back for a visit and that we are there. Thanks again for your excellent quality of work at the shelter.
    Carol, Bill and Maggie

  8. Wonderful volunteers, and I’m sure they will be missed. I have completely fallen in love with the work you do. 🙂 It’s a joy to read about how these precious dogs receive so much love, and go on to new homes with people who undoubtedly adore them. 🙂

  9. Ogee, our dog Maggie has been a valued member of our family for almost 13 years. Our policeman son-in-law found her left in a back yard with two Cool Whip bowls, one for water and one for food, in July heat in Kansas. She rescued us as much as we rescued her, and she is one of our best friends. Maggie sends you and your family best wishes from our family.

    1. Thank goodness for your son-in-law and Maggie’s second chance at a great life. Best wishes shared and returned to you, as well. 🙂

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