And Toto Too

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We prune to encourage new growth in the spring. It’s an art and a science. And while roses are pretty resilient, you still take great care because, sometimes, you can go too far.

In December, odd couple Cody and Rusty arrived. We nicknamed Rusty, Toto, for his resemblance to Dorothy’s little friend.

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Rusty is 7; Cody 10.

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Cody portrait graciously loaned by Rob Kessel

Surrendered when the wife developed allergies, they were inseparable. It was easy to know. On the rare occasion that they were briefly apart, Rusty let out blood-curdling screams that sent all of us running to investigate.

We work very hard to keep bonded pairs together. Like our mud-covered friends, Toby and Noel who went home together this weekend.

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Still, the odds of finding one home for this mismatched pair were slim – to none? When a family fell in love with little Rusty, we reluctantly gave our OK, knowing that it would dramatically improve Cody’s odds. As it did. He was adopted very shortly after.

But then Rusty came back. He was miserable without his buddy and screeching for him incessantly. When a call was placed to Cody’s new family to inquire – might they, would they, could they be interested in adopting Rusty, too? – the response was “actually, we’re not sure Cody is such a great fit, either. Maybe they should be together.”

Cody was returned Saturday morning – rejoined with his beloved Rusty to squeals of joy. We had pruned too far.

Nature knows what is needed. You just have to use care and have faith. Which is why, not a half hour after Cody was returned, a wonderful couple arrived in search of a pair; a Golden, and a lap dog. What are the odds? They said ‘yes’ to Cody…and Toto, too!

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While their new family grew larger, our roses grew smaller.

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Six gardeners with clippers and one relentless man with a wheelbarrow managed to prune over 100 roses in the Memorial Garden.

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And just in the nick of time. The Daffodils, Hyacinth, Narcissus and Rosemary signal: spring is near.

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But Cody and Rusty could have told you that. Their new season has already arrived. Happy lives, you two!

17 comments

  1. Carolyn

    Beautifully stated and illustrated as always! Thank you Audrey for your stewardship of the Memorial Garden and sharing the touching stories of our pups and their families.

  2. Wonderful how their bond could not be pruned and it was only a matter of time before the right home appeared. We wish them a very happy life with their new human companions 💜🐾🐾

  3. derrycats

    Fabulous story, and hooray for Rusty and Toto and the wonderful folks who gave them a place to continue their journey together.

  4. Another happy ending, and new beginning, too for those bonded pups. Well done on the roses, too. My daffodils are just up, but not flowering yet. The hyacinth are in fragrant bloom, though and oh what a scent.

    Thank you all for the work you do.

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