Roots and Wings


Roots are more than an anchor to keep a plant in place. They provide a lifeline – pulling in all that the plant needs to grow from the soil –

Butterfly Bush_DSC_6567

sending it up through the leaves so the plant can reach for the sky.

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A plant’s seeds are its wings – transporting it to new places.

Love In A Mist_DSC_6521

Good soil provides the underpinning that nurtures the growth and flight.


At Homeward Bound, we give our dogs roots and wings, as well. For dogs that need extra help, we try to lay a strong foundation of trust, training, and understanding to make the best match possible.

For some, this takes no time at all (Gracie girl!).


Those with greater needs might be with us for weeks, months – and in rare cases – years (Red, feral dog).


This groundwork gives them wings, enabling them to fly away – a sometimes bittersweet joy.


But the roots we provide are permanent – an invisible lifeline. In a perfect world, a “forever home” means just that. But the world is not perfect, and unforeseen things happen. If for any reason, and at any point in the dog’s life, it can no longer stay in its home – the dog returns to us.

Winter came back not long after she went home: she decided she liked her new sibling, but not sharing. While all the dogs are tested and spend time with their potential dog mates, sometimes casual play in a neutral space is one thing but sharing a home is another. This weekend, she was matched, instead, to a human who needs but one canine love.

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Finnean was home much longer. He’s a special needs boy who arrived emaciated and with a sparse coat.


He found love and success in quiet, calm, and watchful care.


When his dad became ill and could no longer look after him, Finnean came back to us, looking like a different dog. It is in cases like this when that lifetime commitment provides much-needed comfort to both the dog and the adopter. And thanks to the foundation laid by his dad, we know exactly what Finnean needs to fly home again.


Roots and wings. How we find our way to “home.”


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.

23 thoughts on “Roots and Wings”

  1. Beautiful! Hope Finnean finds another forever home very soon. Looking at this beautiful boy tells me he will.

  2. This was so beautiful, Audrey – both the photos and the story. Yet another of your posts that brought tears to my eyes and warmth to my heart. Thank you!

  3. Audrey, what a moving post. I’m touched on so many levels. The garden looks beautiful. I smiled at the love in a mist, as I spent time among mine this morning watching the bees fly from plant to plant. They love that flower. The golden’s are lucky to have all of you doing what you do best: loving them and nurturing them and carefully screening potential new homes. I always feel hope when I read your posts.

    1. Thank you for your kind note! Love in a Mist is such an amazing flower, isn’t t? So delicate, yet surrounded by what looks like a crown of thorns.

      1. I never thought of that is a crown. Good point. Ours have been covered in bees for weeks. It makes me so darn happy. Now that we’re settling into a week long heat wave, they’re starting to dry and fade. I love the seed pods, too. Do you ever save and dry them?

      2. This heat wave is knocking ours out too. I did save the pods last year – to dry the seeds and sprinkle them in very early spring – creating a patch twice the size. Just giving Mother Nature a little assist! 🙂

      3. Audrey, we’ve both enjoyed a longer than average garden spring, haven’t we? I knew this heat would arrive eventually, but I sure enjoyed the rain and cooler days while they lasted. That’s a great idea sprinkling more seeds for a boost. Mother Nature can always use our help.

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