A Promise for Life

There are no promises made to the plant members of the Homeward Bound Memorial Garden. We get everyone off to the right start and visit twice a week, but beyond that, they are on their own.

If they can’t cut the clay soil, low water, and valley heat and cold then we just acknowledge that it was not meant to be and part friends.

If they are bossy and bully their neighbors, they will find themselves kicked to the curb. Everyone has to place nice here or be banished.

The dogs of Homeward Bound are a completely different story.

When a dog enters our program, we make a promise to them of food, shelter, care and help in finding a forever home that is matched to their needs. For those that cannot be adopted due to special needs, we provide sanctuary. Our promise is for life. If, for any reason, the dog cannot remain in its adoptive home, we require that it be returned to Homeward Bound. None of our dogs should be passed around or, heaven forbid, left in a shelter.

And so it was that Bodie rejoined us at the age of 15. He had been adopted 14 years ago as Shadow. His human dad is also in his golden years and now needs as much help as Bodie who was unable to walk. Dad was headed to assisted living, so Bodie was welcomed back by us.

Bodie was unsure of how he got to this place again – and not too happy about it, at first. He was either unable or unwilling to stand and went to great pains to even prop himself in a sitting position. But what a smile this boy has!

A trip to the vet and a week later, Bodie is a different dog. He scored the coveted ‘office dog’ spot where he is surrounded by company all day. By the end of the week, this dog that would not move was going for walks!

He has perfected the “please take me out” look. While most dogs get one or two walks between feedings, I spotted Bodie out four times on Saturday – each time with a different walker.

He has some lumps and bumps that we will keep an eye on, but at 15, we are mainly focused on finding the perfect home where a retired boy can rest his head and be spoiled rotten. And when we do, Homeward Bound will see to his medical needs for all the days of his life.

A promise made. A promise kept.

Don’t tell the garden plants. They’ll be jealous.

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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.

9 thoughts on “A Promise for Life”

  1. I saw Bodie when I was at the office the other day and I’ve been thinking of him ever since. He’s beautiful and has absolutely the sweetest face! I’m so glad you wrote about him!! ❤ And the garden looks gorgeous!!

  2. What a sweet boy. It must have been a hard day for his owner, too, parting with his companion of so many years. I’m glad Brodie made it back to you and that he’s doing better. You do such good work. As for the garden, they’re wonderful at adapting so I’m sure all those plants and trees will be just fine.

  3. Such loving and humane commitments! How very hard it must have been for the elderly gentleman to relinquish his dear friend. What a relief to him, however, to know that you are there with a commitment to love and care for Bodie. I’m so touched! And the garden always looks so beautiful. Whatever you’re doing, or not doing, it works! 🙂

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