Emmie: A Gift from the Universe

“We cannot stop the winter or the summer from coming.


We cannot stop the spring or the fall


or make them other than they are.


They are gifts from the universe that we cannot refuse.


But we can choose what we will contribute to life when each arrives.” ~ Gary Zukav

To the person who left sweet, thirteen-year-old Emmie at the shelter, emaciated, sick, and alone – in the winter of her life that she could not stop from coming;


thank you for this gift from the universe that we could not – and would not, refuse.


She brings light to our lives,


and purpose to our days. Our contribution is surrounding her with love and kindness, for whatever time is left.

Regardless of the sadness we know is coming,


this is what we choose. It is your loss that you could not do the same.

Update: Sweet Emmie passed peacefully and gently, surrounded by our volunteers the week that I wrote this post. We knew her time would be measured in days, not weeks or months. In a very short time, she touched so many hearts, not the least of whom was the woman at the shelter who alerted us to her need. Upon Emmie’s passing she writes: “I cried tears of sadness and anger when I got the call from the former owner stating she was bringing her to the shelter I work at. I am now crying tears for her passing. I am eternally grateful to Homeward Bound and for being there to show her love…she deserved nothing but the best, yet her owner was tossing her away. I will never understand that. Big hugs of thankfulness to every person at Homeward Bound! You are an awesome group of people.”

Fly free, sweet Emmie. You are our gift to heaven, now.

Thanks to Rob Kessel, of robanddog.com, for the beautiful photos of Emmie.

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.

28 thoughts on “Emmie: A Gift from the Universe”

  1. Beautifully presented but then, she is a beautiful “girl”. Many of us will openly applaud what you did for her, but she is already giving you the best reward ever.

  2. Thank you so much for taking beautiful Emmie in and giving her a home where she will know love for whatever time she has left. God Bless all of you for your kindness to all of these dogs!

    I will never understand people who abandon their dogs – at a shelter or anywhere else – especially when the dog is older, sick, and only wants to be with its family!! If she had been mine, I’d have moved heaven and earth to be able to keep her with me right through her final moments! I’m so glad Emmie has all of you now!!

  3. Argh……and what a blessing that Emmie has all of you for these days. If I lived nearby, I’d adopt her in a minute. Old dogs are such a treasure.

    1. Sometimes, reasons that surprise us. I’m grateful not to be in their shoes. And I’m grateful that our volunteer found her and refused to leave without her.

  4. I am so in love with this precious girl. This is a sadness I will gladly embrace feeling the peace and purpose she has already gifted all of us. Beautifully written…

  5. People who abandon their family dog at a shelter should NEVER have dogs. Thank goodness for Homeward Bound, I know she will get lots of love and kisses now. She is adorable.

  6. Emmie is beautiful. What a blessing that she can live her last years at HB with the gentle hands of loving people. You can look into her eyes and see her sweetness. Precious girl.

  7. I’m so glad she’s at HB! She’s beautiful and I know she’ll get the best of care and lots of love there. When did she arrive? At least whoever dropped her off had the good sense to take her there instead of the pound or leave her on the street. Another lovely story for us, Ogee! Thank you!

  8. OMW thank you for surrounding that precious old face and heart with love at the time when she needed it most. Breaks my heart. My own Golden Lab is about to turn 13 and I can’t even begin to imagine what horror or circumstance would force me to hand over a beloved member of my family at such a time of need. I do know I could never abandon any member of my family. My dogs are my life from beginning to end at whatever stage of their lives either might be. Bless you for your perfect hearts. Bless that precious Emmie xxx

    1. Like you, I cannot imagine making this choice for one of my own. I have learned not to judge, but to be grateful that we can be there for them when they need us most. Sweet Emmie left us this week. Peacefully, quietly, and surrounded by love. She touched so many hearts in such a short time. Truly a gift sent from on high. Thank you.

  9. My heart is filled with a lot of sadness for this beautiful, Golden girl who was abandoned by her owner, but found love, caring and safety, thanks to the wonderful people involved with Homeward Bound. She touched a lot of us, even those of us who never met her and live in another part of California. May she rest in peace and run free in the beautiful meadows at The Bridge. We love you Emmie, and all of the Homeward people who were there for you.

    1. The scenario, sadly, is not unfamiliar to us. But this sweet girl touched so many hearts – perhaps because we knew our time would be measured in days, not months or years. A gift from the universe…truly. We are filled with gratitude that we have the means to be there for dogs like Emmie.

      1. Emmie was truly, a Gift From The Universe. I will continue to support Homeward Bound as I have since 2001, when they helped me rescue a precious Golden oldie (Sidnie) from our local shelter, where I am a volunteer. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that Homeward Bound does for these incredible dogs, and for being there for them when they need us the most..

  10. Thank you, once again, for your loving and sentimental and profound writing – it always gives my heart a jolt and makes me run to my sweet Lucy dog for hugs. In tears again!

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