Chief’s Gratitude

We have been blessed and blessed and blessed.

And if April showers bring May flowers…we are in for quite a show.

Our five years of drought are officially over – and with the weekly rains, our gardening has been largely on hold;

called on account of cold, soggy ground.

Quick to forget, people naturally stopped counting our blessings and started whining, prompting one of my favorite nurseries to send out an email: “Don’t be a grumpy gardener!”

To complain about a planting delay after so long without water is to be ungrateful. The sunflowers will keep, or they’ll be started anew.

“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.” ~ Epictetus

To complain about anything when I look at this face seems doubly silly and small.

We call him Chief, but he wasn’t always called that. He was probably called some pretty awful names – none of them repeatable here and best forgotten, anyway.

His journey to Homeward Bound was unexpected. Chief’s “people” took him for a drive out to the fields nearby, opened the door, and shoved him out. Then they closed the car door and sped away. Chief chased after them futilely – afraid of being left alone. A kind lady saw what happened and alerted the authorities. They suggested calling us as well as we were right down the road. It took three days for them and our president, Jody, to coax/trick Chief out of the field. Once gotten, she gladly welcomed him – saving him from the pound despite his obvious lack of Golden pedigree.

He was terrified and – naturally – untrusting. For a good period, Jody was the only one he would go out with. He sought refuge in his kennel and by her side. But gradually, he became curious about the kind people around him, and – bit by bit – started to let some of them into his heart.

Chief takes things slowly because he doesn’t want to be hurt – or left – again. But just wait until you get to know him! He really is just a puppy at heart.

And most of all, this half Great Dane, half Lab is resilient and full of gratitude and love that wants to be given in return for the smallest kindness.

“Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul.” ~ Henry Ward Beecher

Gratitude is not relative, and it is not soon forgotten. It lives in the heart and is always available. If Chief can move forward from his past and wait patiently for his future, we can wait for the rain to pass.

With grateful hearts and hopes for sunnier days – for our little sunflowers – and for Chief.

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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.

18 thoughts on “Chief’s Gratitude”

    1. We believe there is a person for every dog, and I choose to believe there are lots more good people in this world than there are people who would leave a dog like Chief.

  1. I am also confident that Chief’s special person is out there. He’s lucky that he has a second chance to find that person.

  2. Another awful story that turns out so much better. There is definitely a loving person to take Chief into their heart. So happy for you Chief. Hope very soon that person finds you and takes you home.

  3. In your spare time, could you start a blog with a photo and a positive quote that you send out daily? Why? Because my day is always better after reading one of your posts. Thank you. And, fingers crossed that the rain slows down for planting but most of all that Chief find his special people. 🙂

  4. I’m so grateful for the continued rain. My garden and yours are reaping (literally) what they sow. As for Chief, what a heartbreak. I will never understand that level of cruelty and callousness. We adopted our first cat in California under similar fashion: my dad witnessed his people toss him out of the car. Our shiny black kitty spent several days listless in front of the fireplace, but he came around and all was forgotten. Thanks for being there.

  5. What a handsome boy Chief is; I just want to gather him in my arms and give him endless hugs. I can’t wait to hearing more when he finds his forever home. And the flowers are gorgeous – enjoy the treasure of rain 🙂

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