Ned: Of Golden Heart

His file read: “Young, male, mix. Gentle, affectionate, can be insistent when you stop petting him.”

Who wouldn’t adopt a dog like this?

“Emaciated, with multiple scars. Malnourished, neglected, possible previous animal attacks.”

This – and a horrifying photo on social media – is how Neo came to our attention. I won’t share the photo. It is in his past now.


β€œIt’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person dog then.” ~ Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

He is not a Golden Retriever by any stretch of the imagination. But who could leave him like that in a shelter? Not our rescuers.


We came to learn that his open wounds and scars were inflicted by the family’s other dog. Their interactions throughout Neo’s life were obviously ignored, as were his injuries. The best thing his “family” did for him was to leave him at the shelter. The best thing that ever happened to him was to be rescued by Homeward Bound’s angels.


Misreading his file, he was renamed ‘Ned’ upon his arrival. It suits him better, and leaves the past firmly behind. His wounds and skin were treated; he was fed; and walked; and cared about, quickly becoming a favorite.


What is amazing is his loving and forgiving nature. For as much scarring as he had on his body, it is not evident at all in his personality. He does not exhibit fear or anxiety. He still likes other dogs. But mostly, he wants to be with humans. Kind and loving humans…who carry cookies!


With weekly baths, his hair is beginning to grow back in and you can begin to see the dog he will be on the outside.
Inside, he is pure gold.

Some people will look at him and fear for his past.
But someone special will look at him and see only his golden heart – and future.


Ned will be waiting with us for that special someone. He’ll be the best thing that ever happened to them.


To share or adopt Ned, you can view his profile here.

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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.

15 thoughts on “Ned: Of Golden Heart”

  1. I’m so glad he is with HB! What a wonderful life he’ll have now, surrounded by love and safety. Thank you!

  2. Thank you for saving Ned. And you’re wrong. He IS a Golden. An Honorary Golden Retriever. With that personality, he deserves the “honorary” title. I know my girls would agree with me. ❀️❀️❀️

    1. I think we should make up some medals for just such occasions. Honorary Golden. I like it! And I stand corrected. πŸ™‚

  3. On February 5 I wrote a check for Neo to homeward bound rescuers but never got the u.s.mailing address. Please let me know who to make the check to and where to mail it……..thank you! Sherry Johnson-Traver. Thank you for saving this beautiful baby

    1. Awww…thank you, Sherry for your support of our Neo/Ned! Homeward Bound’s mailing address is: Homeward Bound
      7495 Natomas Road
      Elverta, CA 95626
      If you need more info on the organization, you can visit our website at:

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