A Letter To Shasta

Dear Shasta,
This is not the post I hoped to write about you. Please don’t be sad or embarrassed that you are back so soon. And if those other dogs tease you, you let them know it will cost them cookies!


That it didn’t work out with those nice people is not their fault. And it is not yours. It’s ours. As much as we thought we knew about you – we just didn’t know enough.

You have worked so hard to shed years of your too-young-life being a dog of purpose and not of the heart. You did what you were trained to do; you hunted with astonishing speed and dogged focus. Shasta at work is a sight to behold!


But you never learned to play. And you never knew the ways of a loved dog –


until we showed you. We expected more from you, and for you. Eventually, you leaned in and trusted us.


And just when we thought you had finally met your match…you are back. What we didn’t know is how strong that hunting instinct still was in you. And when you tried, in wild pursuit, to find your way to freedom, they knew they could not keep you safe. We hadn’t seen that in you – or we missed the clues. And we forgot to teach you something else about humans (perhaps you already knew): we make mistakes sometimes.

But there’s one more thing we hope you know, girl: we don’t give up. We will not give up on you, sweet Shasta. We will hunt and seek until we find your perfect match. And until we do, you are safe and loved with us.

“But ne’er the rose without the thorn.” ~ Robert Herrick


Thank you, Rob, for use of your wonderful capture of Shasta running.

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.

14 thoughts on “A Letter To Shasta”

  1. It is always sad when a “forever home” turns out not to be so ………… but there’s one just around the corner for Shasta. She’s lovely and just needs to sniff out people with hunting dog experience and lots of patience! 🙂

  2. She will never call it failure, just another adventure. We are keeping paws crossed for you, Shasta!

    Monty and Harlow

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