Let the Strong Survive?

Yes. I heard him correctly. A cavalier statement until your child, spouse, or parent fall ill. And yourself? Will you promise not to reach out for help if you need it yourself? Is your attitude limited to the current situation – or does it carry over to cancer, heart disease, childbirth, and more? I am concerned for a world where this kind of thought takes hold.

These are times that test our humanity. And I am grateful to be surrounded by people who regard the aged, sick, and vulnerable with concern and compassion – for humans and animals alike. Without them, there would be no Remington.

A giant of a Golden boy who had been hit by a car. His fractured leg was minor compared to the enormous loss of skin and threat of infection.

His was a case no other rescue would or could take on. But Remington was welcomed by us where his enormously expensive twice-daily, wound-honey bandage changes saved his leg and his life.

At the three-month marker, he is halfway through his healing process –

and finally approved for walks and off-leash time in the yard.

His gratitude and capacity for love are as great as his size. A world without Remington would have been a loss for all.

There would be no Kobe. A big, goofy, Labrador Retriever with a mast cell tumor on his foot.

Hospice would have been one route, but because the metastasizing cancer was still limited to his leg, we opted for amputation to give Kobe a chance at a long, happy life.

His new family cannot imagine life without him.

There would be no Orbit.

This boy came to us recently with a broken jaw. Shelters are overrun now under even more pressure from this damned virus. They do not have the resources to house, much less treat, dogs like Orbit. He stood no chance there. Thankfully, he came to us and underwent surgery to repair his jaw. It will take eight weeks of special care to make him whole again, but the affection he displays is worth every bit of effort. Some waiting family will be grateful that he was saved.

And we would not have known and loved Violet.

Violet lived with us in sanctuary for over a year at the request of her human who could no longer care for himself or her. At the age of 13, with countless maladies, should he have left her behind to fend for herself or dumped her at a shelter to die alone? She – and he – found peace in our care. And when the time came to say ‘goodbye’ – we were by her side. A promise kept.

A garden ruled by your philosophy would be overrun by strong-arm weeds. Gardens thrive through nurturing and care of the hardy and the delicate.

You’re strong. Great. Save yourself. By opening your heart, reaching out, and showing compassion for others because without our humanity – we are nothing.

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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.

12 thoughts on “Let the Strong Survive?”

  1. It was, indeed, a wretched comment, and I was glad to see so much backlash. These are going to be tough days for all for a long while to come I think, and we are all going to have many opportunities to practice compassion and patience and kindness.

  2. Yes you heard him correctly. So did I. A disgusting, inhumane statement if I ever heard one. Thank God there are rescue groups like yours, and the one who took in our Radar and countless others. Some day this virus will be behind us and maybe humanity will return to some empty hearts.

  3. What a perfect response to a ugly comment. When many good souls come together to save a life, help heal those that may be lost and offer a new beginnings, this is what strength is made of, this is what helps everyone survive. This is love. Bless HBGRR, all the volunteers and all the Golden souls. May you all stay safe. Corie & Poe.

  4. Very nice response Ogee. John Donne also addressed this 400 years ago, but not with your heart warming photos..

    For Whom the Bell Tolls

    No man is an island,
    Entire of itself.
    Each is a piece of the continent,
    A part of the main.
    If a clod be washed away by the sea,
    Europe is the less.
    As well as if a promontory were.
    As well as if a manor of thine own
    Or of thine friend’s were.
    Each man’s death diminishes me,
    For I am involved in mankind.
    Therefore, send not to know
    For whom the bell tolls,
    It tolls for thee.

  5. Thank you for your beautiful response. Your lovely words and photos seem to capture just how I am feeling right now. And the garden…it is magnificent. Guess what I did today? Pruned my roses. Thank goodness for you and Homeward Bound💕🐾🌸

  6. I am not aware of the comment you refer to, but I love your response to it! Thank you! I’m so sorry to hear about sweet violet – such a beautiful girl. But very glad to hear the good stories of the pups doing so well! Especially Remington, who I was able to meet in person and who I remember as having the softest head in the world. I fell in love! ❤

  7. Audrey, such an eloquent response rounded out with the beauty of these pups and the gardens. We are looking straight into some dark hearts these days and the only way to respond is to call it out and yet remain full of love and compassion, truly a challenge. Thank you for the inspiration.

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