2017: A Look Back

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

New Year’s Day is not an end or a beginning; it marks another chapter of this thing we call life. Sometimes, you have to take a look back to appreciate how far you have come. I hoped to have compiled a video review by this date; so many projects – so little time. But its absence does not diminish how special the year was.

Gage and Sadie, found chained to each other in the muck, are living full and rich lives in loving homes.

January and February brought the much-needed return of rain after five years of drought – and with it, floods – and fosters.

We learned the importance of play groups in the dogs’ well-being and assessments. The training we received has changed so many futures.

Amelia was lost in the woods of Lake Tahoe – and miraculously found thanks to the efforts of our dedicated volunteers. She is transformed in her new home thanks to a very patient human mama and a canine sister leader to teach her courage and trust. Now, she travels the woods – with her sister – happy to stay by mom’s side.

Buster was our 4th of July miracle boy. The dog that could not walk – but did and does. He delights us every day.

Jakey was our special heart dog. Lost before we could fulfill his promise. But so loved.

Gunner, and Lindsey – tiny angels who were not supposed to be. Their lives were too short, but they were filled with love and joy.

There were too many special adoptions to count. These come to mind: Sparrow, Chief, Milo, Mac-aroni, Squish Buddy, Eddie, Nico, Riley, Mason & Ariel, Alfie & Chini, Copper & Kiwi, Missy, Porsche, and Mojo, too.

And the puppies…so many puppies:

Timmy, Wyatt, and Cici


The Creams

Bonnie and Clyde

Laverne and Shirley

Irish’s litter of eight

The Doodle Boys

A girl named Journey

And now…can it be…

Yup. Six adorable Chocolate Labs who arrived before Christmas.

Guardian angels watched over us.
Our friend Tatia went to work on Mosul Dam in Iraq and came home safely.

Our team leader, Judy, met another in a long series of challenges, greeting it as she greets everything – with optimism and sheer determination.

And our top dog learned to down and stay – the hard way. But all is well.

Our faces became more black, brown, and spotted – but each heart was filled with gold.

Here’s to completing second chapters for the pups who will ring in the New Year with us – and the hundreds more we will meet in 2018.

Happy New Year! Thank you for spending 2017 with me. I’m grateful for you all.

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.

9 thoughts on “2017: A Look Back”

  1. Beautiful post, and a big thank you to all the volunteers who have helped to get these dogs to their furever homes.

  2. Love this! All gold(en) for 2018 – thanks for your delightful posts all year long- no matter the season your words and photos inspire.

  3. What a year for HBGRR rescues and volunteers. Bless HBGRR for the mission that is undertaken and accomplished. And thank you for all these posts that let us (who are far away) join in the happiness and life lessons. Happy New Year to you and HBGRR.

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