In Defense of My Summer Garden


Don’t look too closely at the Homeward Bound Memorial Garden, much less my own.


The dahlias are late, the sunflowers are sad, and the weeds are winning. But I have an excuse.


Actually, 12 excuses.


All of them adorable.


The puppy list is long at Homeward Bound, so everyone is sworn to social media secrecy when a litter arrives. And what an arrival!


With all puppies spoken for, and some already home, the cone of silence has been lifted, and you can see for yourself what poopy cuteness has been keeping me from the garden.


They came to us as a result of a partnership with another rescue, Forever Friends Golden Retriever Rescue in Ventura. A hugely handsome dad, Harley;

Harley Going Home_DSC_7602

a long, leggy mom, Molly;


and their 12 tiny “oops-puppies” surrendered by a woman in ill health, unable to care for them.


Puppies don’t raise themselves. Molly was a devoted and exhausted mom. Dad got himself adopted right away, and made a run for playtime on the coast, naturally! As soon as it was healthy, we weaned the pups and took over the heavy lifting for Molly.

Mollys Puppies_DSC_6575

Keep in mind: what goes in…


must come out,

Mollys Puppies_DSC_6663

and then it must be splattered on everything and everyone in sight!


For the past few weeks, I have arrived every morning to clean them and their mountain of mess – part of a team that watches over them day and night.


And while the garden has indeed suffered, watching these little fur balls grow, thrive – and go home to long-waiting families – makes it all worthwhile. Including sweet Connor who found his home with mom, Molly!

Molly Connor Going Home_DSC_8793

Six are now home; the rest will soon follow. Then, I will make my way back to the neglected and overgrown garden. Watch out weeds!

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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.

36 thoughts on “In Defense of My Summer Garden”

  1. Audrey, Another beautiful piece! You are an artist with the stories you weave using your captivating photography! >

      1. Awww…thank you, Alys. Good thing puppies are born so darn cute. Makes the poopy work much easier to bear when the payment is in puppy kisses!

  2. Utter delight and so much work! What beautiful pups. Lots of wonderful happy families, I’m sure. To me your garden still looks stunning, but I can easily see where your attention has been diverted. These little beauties would take all my attention, too!

  3. “I am in lov, l-u-v!” (as the song says.) ❀️❀️🐾🐾 I want another Golden soooo bad, but alas, it is not the right time. They are all beautiful, little bundles of Golden joy. I bet you’re already missing the ones who have gone to their new homes.

  4. Forget the weeds, staking, deadheading, dividing, watering because there isn’t a gardener around that I know who would resist the opportunity to play nursemaid to those cuties. Oh my gosh, they rocked the cute chart right over. πŸ™‚

  5. Your pictures are priceless, much like your unflagging devotion to making sure all living things grow and flourish at HBGRR! We’re so lucky to have you.

  6. Oh this brings back memories of working at the shelter. When puppy season came around it was all cuteness and poop, all day long. Though, your photos of these guys outside add a perfect serenity to the craziness that is puppies.
    Thanks for getting these guys started right!

  7. I have nowhere the excuse for skipping out on the weeding! The pups are cute as buttons (even if they bite), and thank you for all that you have done for ALL of them! Including Hope and Faith!

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