Tend the Garden

Charlie came to us from the streets of China at age one. Just a puppy, really. He was adopted and returned months later for being an overly exuberant adolescent. With time and training, he would have grown into a well-behaved and loved family member instead of finding himself homeless again. (He is homeless no more.)

A garden that is not tended can easily fall back into disrepair.
All hard work and effort will be lost – swallowed up in nature’s challenge: survival of the fittest.

You have to cherish and care for the things you love.
You have to protect the things you value.
Not just dogs and gardens – but ideals and principles.

Dogs don’t raise themselves. They learn boundaries and how to live well with humans from us.

Gardens don’t tend themselves. Without attention, they return to their wild and lawless ways.

And our democratic values, freedoms and national treasures don’t defend themselves – they depend upon our vigilance to ensure their survival.

Apathy and inaction are the enemy. I don’t care which side of the aisle you are on – there are certain ideals and norms that must bind us if we are to succeed in this great experiment. And even as I write this, I wonder if it is still possible.

I attended the memorial service of my neighbor recently – the human father of a special dog named Rush. You may remember his story.

As I listened to the tales recounted, I learned that this man I knew only as a good neighbor was a fifth generation Californian, a former cowboy, a Horatio Alger story, a community pillar, and to my surprise – a staunch conservative. We would have had real differences of opinion in our politics – had we ever discussed them. But we did not. The things that united us were greater than those divides: concern for family and community, a belief that people should look out for each other, and – of course – our love of dogs. Common values. Common decency. Common bonds.

I know that our country has been tested over time. We have made many mistakes and suffered dark times. But we have endured and, hopefully, learned from our failings. From this, I find strength. I also know that this endurance did not come from standing on the sidelines, but from standing up for the things we revere: truth, decency, civility, and compromise.

A good man passed yesterday. A leader named McCain. Someone I frequently disagreed with, but someone who embodied our values and stood up for them. In fact, I found myself writing to thank him on numerous occasions when he dared to stand for those ideals.

The enemy is not without; it is within.
“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

Tend the garden.

Teach and love the dog.

Guard the principles we share.

Love in a Mist

There are near daily tests for the rescuer woman: her will to heal against theirs to surrender.
Most battles are won, but not all; the rescuer does not always get to be the savior.
The beloved dog who so kindly shared his home, heart, and rescuer mom has gone.

Sometimes, it feels like the universe conspires against us –
When it is simply saying, “I’m calling you home.”
It is not compelled to explain its timing or purpose –
Any more than the flower defends when it sets and seeds.
Like the Love in a Mist – our physical presence appears protected –
shielded –

But, in the end, it is as fleeting as dew.
You soak up the bloom for as long as you are able –
And come to learn that even in its passing – it sows the seeds of more.
More beauty.

More seasons.

More ways to meet – differently – in whispers and shadows and mist – but again.

Carried with us – always.

“If I had a single flower for every time I think of you, I could walk forever in my garden.” ~ Claudia Adrienne Grandi

One Family Here

Our garden is a haven for hummingbirds.
An all-day diner offering a smorgasbord of favorite foods…



Obedient Plant

and more.

There is no need to squabble –

mosquitos, gnats, flies, and aphids abound when a protein craving strikes.
Trees provide cover and shade and safe nesting sites.

Convenient way stations provide an opportunity to eat while sitting! Now that’s energy saving.

It doesn’t take all that much to help creatures thrive.
A place to heal,

to grow,

and thrive –

in safety,


and love.

“God made all the creatures and gave them our love and our fear,
To give sign, we and they are His children, one family here.”
~ Robert Browning

The Sun Is Red

The sun is red.
The skies are grey with ash and smoke.
An eerie orange tint colors the fields.

Everyone is hunkered down…

watching –


and holding their breath.

Praying for those affected by the fires – and the brave, weary firefighters who stand between the blazing monsters and so many more.
Climate change coming?

It’s here.

Cooper at Camp Yogi

Our most recent houseguest was a repeat caller named Cooper. He is one of Daisy’s litter. He stayed with us about a month ago while his people were away – right after his sister, Colleen’s stay until her people were ready to bring her home. This is a photo of the two of them before they found their furever homes.

My husband mocks me for taking the puppy pen down…he thinks it might as well just stay up permanently. He’s probably right. (Cooper at three months.)

Cooper’s people had a family reunion to attend, and since he got along so well during his first visit – and is still young and impressionable – it seemed like the best place for him to hang out for a week or so. His people call it Camp Yogi – named for our three-year-old, puppy-loving Yogi. (Cooper at four months.)

Camp Yogi is full of play, adventure, swimming, and a few lessons as well.

He has his Golden mom’s coloring (and heart) – and his German Shepherd/Dobie dad’s size! Shy and quiet as a puppy, Cooper’s playfulness is growing almost as quickly as his size! At three months:

At four months:

Cooper was Yogi’s shadow – following him everywhere.

He dispensed cauliflower ears and slobber to Yogi – and Yogi wore that puppy into exhaustion. Or was it the other way around?

Puppies are good for Yogi.
Yogi is good for puppies.
And Camp Yogi is fun for everyone!