A Place You Called Home

We all know the story. When you drove out to the property for the first time, you said: “I am home.” Driving out to the rescue today, I saw again why you loved this piece of open country so.

The landscape rose from the fog and frost-bitten ground. The flooded rice fields – glass-like and still – were filled with geese, ducks and coots. The sun broke through and cleared a path through the mist.

Had I known the day would begin so beautifully, I would have left earlier and pulled over for photos. But the dogs were anxiously waiting to begin their day with breakfast and play.

Every inch of this landscape reminds me of you. Sadness comes washing over me in waves.

Your yellow roses…fittingly…were among the last hanger-ons in the winter garden.

While waiting to hold a true, post-pandemic memorial, we placed a giant heart of your favorite yellow roses in the park and sent it heaven-bound before Thanksgiving. I have not been able to find the words to write about it – or anything else.

The alpacas have been sent away; your vegetable garden wastes; your beautiful boy passed from cancer; and your plaque was placed. The reality sinks in.  

And yet, I hear your voice everywhere. In the garden; among the barking dogs; in the calls of birds overhead; and in the morning’s frosted silence. You are everywhere.

I can be relieved that you did not live to see what our world has come to. And still, I know, that in this darkness, you would have found the hope. If nowhere else, then in this little slice of country heaven. A place of hope and sanctuary to dogs.

A place you called home.

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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.

13 thoughts on “A Place You Called Home”

  1. Such a beautiful tribute to a beautiful soul. Your dear, dear friend will always be with you and others whom she loved and was loved by. I am sure she saw the heart from above. My deepest condolences to you, Audrey.

  2. We have missed hearing from you. Thank you for this post. HBGRR and Jody are so often in our hearts. We follow on FB to see all the good that continues in Jody’s memory. We see Skye and know that Jody is watching. We also still grieve. Poe sends love and misses Max (from HBGRR). Wish we lived closer.

    1. Thank you Corie (and Poe!). Skye will be coming home with us tomorrow to foster until…and possibly through…his surgeries. He will definitely bring joy to our household.

  3. Thank you for the beautiful words and photos, Audrey. You speak so eloquently for many of us who have been grieving silently for so long. 🙏❤️🧡💛

  4. I am so very sorry for the loss of someone so obviously special and a part of your heart. What a lovely way to remember her, and I feel like in your sharing, I caught a glimpse of a wonderful woman and friend. I’m so sorry.

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