If We Could Talk To The Animals

“If we could talk to the animals, learn their languages
Think of all the things we could discuss…”

People who love animals are often guilty of channeling their furry companions, putting tiny-human words to their every animal expression. Working in the Homeward Bound garden, I sometimes carry on entire conversations with dog walkers speaking in the first-dog-person of their canine companions.


Carla is one of those dog-channelers. She writes the dog profiles for our rescue, Homeward Bound.


I learned from her and our photographer, Rob that a connection can be made almost immediately through an expressive photo and a story – told from the dog’s perspective.


People fall in love with the look of a dog; that’s Rob’s job, and he does it beautifully. But physical attraction is not enough to make a good match – for dogs or humans. Dogs don’t keep secrets, and neither does Carla. She believes in putting it out there, warts and all.

“You can call me Max, but I probably won’t come! Do you know what they call a two-year-old boy with very little training? MAX!” ~ Max


Speaking for them, she helps people connect with a dog’s journey…

“I am a ten-year-old girl, and I am here because Divorce said dad had to leave and couldn’t take me with him and then Divorce said that mom had to work a lot of hours and didn’t have time to take care of me. So I told Divorce that I was going to Homeward Bound for a fresh start.” ~ Lola

explains their pasts…

“I am a three-year-old boy looking for a fresh start. I am what you call a “stray”; I was picked up with no visible means of support and no one ever came to post my bail. Maybe it’s my lack of training or the fact I jump up on people or maybe it’s because I don’t’ like cats. So now I am hoping that my new family enjoys training and will forgive my shortcomings.” ~ Denver (now adopted Bailey)


and helps potential adopters understand how they can support a dog with challenges.

“Alright, I have had some issues with other dogs. I can go for walks…which I love to do…and not bother another dog. It’s just sometimes, when you are wrestling and romping with another dog, things get said and I take it personally and well…it’s all down hill from there!” ~ Jenny


Reading a bio, talking to our assessment team, looking at a photo – she has a way of seeing into a dog’s soul and giving voice to their hopes.

“My owner died, and I swore I would never love again, it just hurts so much to lose someone you love. My problem is that all I know is unconditional love, and my idea of love is up close and personal! I am going to need an experienced dog owner who will also understand my very sensitive nature.” ~ Marley

And she does it without a hint of pity – because our dogs don’t need pity; all they need is understanding and loving homes.

“If we could walk with the animals,


talk with the animals,


Grunt and squeak and squawk with the animals,


And they could squeak and squawk and speak and talk to us!” ~ Dr. Doolittle Lyrics, If I Could Talk To The Animals


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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.

25 thoughts on “If We Could Talk To The Animals”

  1. I have conversations with Shadow and Ducky all the time. And I had them with Callie and Kissy, too, when they were still here on earth. Yes, people – my husband included – think I’m crazy, but I don’t care. My dogs and I understand each other perfectly. 😉

  2. What a gift to be able to write those descriptions so well – and the photography – and all of it. What a great organization, and what good things you all do for the dogs.

  3. What a wonderful post. Started my day off just great. How awesome you have so many people that do such wonderful things for all dogs at Homeward Bound. How lucky for the dogs that find themselves there. God Bless all, dogs and people, at Homeward Bound.

    1. And what makes you think they can’t, Will? For all you know, they are blogging about us all in a parallel universe! Oh, the stories they could tell!

  4. I am always home so I am constantly talking to Rosie and Sassy and of course can’t forget the cat, he talks with me also. The girls will sit and look right into my eyes and listen very intently. They may not know what I am saying but they are trying too. I’m the crazy lady in the neighborhood who talks to her dog while out for our walks. Oh, it’s not always women either. My husband talks to them also.

  5. The work of the Gardens holds a special truth to the journey for the volunteers, dogs and potential family matches ~ a place unmatched. Wonderful post ~

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