Launching Pad

My author friend met through this blog, Stanley Horowitz, has just completed his new book. Titled “Can You Read the Tea Leaves of Autumn: The Poetic Wisdom of the Four Seasons,” he shared a copy with me. I’m not sure of his plans for it, but I hope he finds a way to publish it. The book is a continuation of the theme established in his now famous quote with his keen and poetic observations of each month of the year. The final chapter is “The Poetic Wisdom of a Good Life,” written by a man who says he has been blessed with good friends – life’s perfect gift.

I turned instantly to April, and found this: “April is the launching pad of gardens.” And now the garden has brought those words to life.

The roses are in first bloom,

the trees (save one which is worrying me greatly) are in full leaf,

and the garden is exploding with purple,





and white.

Through the winter and early spring when people are kind enough to compliment the garden, I say “just wait.” Well the wait is over and it simply takes my breath away.

Now “just wait” until these little sticks on their own launching pad turn into summer Dahlias!

We launched a few more pups into new chapters as well, saying “happy life” to Gridley,



and Norman this weekend.

Rusty went to a family that has been adopting from us since 2000, and Norman to a wonderful gentleman who posts a “happy life” comment on every going home photo we put up on Facebook. He was looking forward to his own photo when the time was right – and he hoped that he could help one of the dogs who came to us from China. He got his wish on both fronts today. Knowing the conditions from which those dogs are rescued, he is looking forward to giving Norman the life he deserves (in other words, he will be spoiled rotten!).

We also said goodbye to our dear Old Bud.

Found by a good Samaritan on New Year’s Eve, he went unclaimed – but a number of people noted that he had been seen wandering around for some time. He was microchipped, but the phone was disconnected and the people no longer there. He was at least 12, maybe older. A matted mess who could barely walk when found. His kind person took him to the groomer and to the vet. He had an irregular heartbeat, cataracts, and weakness in his back legs. And while his body would not do as he commanded, be thought he was large and in charge and had something to say to every dog at the fence! His “only dog” attitude is why he stayed with us instead of being scooped up by one of our volunteers or fosters: everyone has dogs – an occupational hazard. But he was cared for and spoiled during the time we were able to share with him. Safe journey, sweet boy. We’ll see you at the bridge…and play nicely up there please!! You were loved.

“Dogs leave paw prints on your hearts.”

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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.

20 thoughts on “Launching Pad”

  1. The beauty of the gardens take my breath away too! Simply stunning. So happy for all the pups who have found their forever homes, but sad to hear that Old Bud has moved on to his truly forever home. No doubt his time with you was special. I hope he meets up with all my babies at the bridge. They will love each other!
    🔹 Ginger 🔹

  2. Another lovely post, showing off the garden and the wonderful reasons behind it. Thank you for loving Old Bud till the end.

    I enjoyed the Horowitz quote about April as the launching pad of gardens. That’s a good one.

    What a way to start the week: photos of a beautiful garden and happy pooches heading home with loving souls.

    1. Stanley has such a wonderful way with words. Thanks for your kind note! And did you receive my thanks for your generous gift? I sent you an email…hope you received it. What a wonderful surprise and a kind heart.

  3. I’d like to get through one of your wonderful posts without tearing up! LOL! Your garden is absolutely beautiful right now. I think each season must be exceptional in its own way, but these spring colors are exhilarating. The new happy families are a joy to meet through your photos. 🙂

    1. We’re not sad for Old Bud…we are happy that he is now free and grateful for the time we got to spend with him. Life’s seasons…and we got to share his.

  4. Thank you, thank you! You have captured my feelings about my garden. Sometimes I just stop and look, and am amazed at what I see. It always amazes me the number of humans that have no appreciation of the beauty of nature! And the pup’s stories are so touching…
    What a sad world it would be without Homeward Bound.

  5. “it simply takes my breath away” – I’m in complete agreement, Audrey! Those climbing white roses in the first photo – ah, what I wouldn’t give to stand under that arch and admire them in person! The garden is gorgeous – it seems so long in coming and then suddenly, it is overflowing and filled with color and life and well served by your photographer’s eye. So glad to hear about the pups “going home” with their new families – always good news. And safe journey to Old Bud too.

    1. I wish I knew the name of that rose. It was one of a couple dozen that were gifted to us in 2015 by a woman who was selling her Napa home. She wanted them to be where they would be appreciated…and they are!!

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