The Prettiest Bloom

Fall just seems to have melted into winter. A month ago, the garden was in stunning bloom.

Now only a few cold hardy, fog-loving plants have found their bloom – refusing to surrender.

Maria’s garden art signals winter is upon us.

Soon, all will be quiet and grey – but spring bulbs are just a couple of months away. You can’t beat gardening in Northern California. Please pray for rain – it looks to be a long, brown summer.

Someone else bloomed today. Ahsoka was our latest foster. Someone thought they had purchased another of those pint-sized “English Cream” designer Golden Retrievers. After a few weeks of puppyhood, they surrendered with two comments:

“It’s harder than having a newborn baby.” And…”She’s growing REALLY fast.”

One: yes puppies are harder than newborn babies. Both wake in the night, but one will potty on the floor instead of diapers. And one is mobile with razor sharp puppy teeth. It will be a long time before the other is ready for its reign of terror.

As for growing REALLY fast…that might have something to do with the fact that she is mixed with Great Pyrenees! She’s a stunning beauty who will quickly grow to 70+ pounds!

She was much better off with us than in the crate they kept her in day and night. She came to stay for a couple of weeks and had her first taste of freedom. She and our Skye instantly bonded and he helped her with big dog socialization. They are BFFs.

But its best for puppies to learn from other puppies where the lessons are gentler. So newly adopted Ahsoka – now Lucy – attended her first day of puppy school today.

Shy in new situations, she hung with humans and sought out teacher for reassurance at first.

But good friends are hard to resist.

She quickly got the hang of it and was soon joined in all the fun.

It’s rare that we get to see our foster puppies grow up – but Ahsoka/Lucy was adopted by a fellow volunteer, so we – and Skye – will enjoy seeing her blossom and come into her own.

She’s a very special flower in the winter garden.

Published by


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.

11 thoughts on “The Prettiest Bloom”

  1. I’ve been able to adopt some of my fosters to pet sitting clients over the years. It is so much fun to be able to watch everyone grow up.

  2. I wanted to share a story about the dog we got from Homeward bound. It would be a great story for your blog. We adopted Jack formerly Zack 3 years ago. One day he looked sad so I said “Jack do you need a hug?” He got up came to where I was lying on my back on the bed and lied right on top of me, put his two paws around my neck, gave me two kisses(and he’s not a kisser) and then released all his weight on me. It was like he’d been trained to do this as a ptsd comfort dog. Since I have ptsd that works out. Also, discovered he can dance on his back legs in circles for treats. Amazing what your rescue dog knows. We are his 3rd owner. He’s a terrible barker, but we promised him we will see him through. We love this dog.


  3. What a beautiful girl, so glad she found her true family. Even the garden looks lovely in November – by then, our gardens in PA are brown and dormant. I always love your stories, Audrey, so inspiring.

    And also, I’m so wary of “designer dogs”. Great Pyrenees and Golden Retriever? Whoa. A relative bought a puppy bred from Bernese Mountain dog and standard poodle – she was convinced that it was a good mix but I could see the problems ahead. So now she has a dog with the lively energy of a poodle and the size of a Bernese – so sweet natured but uncontrollably wild. In her dog’s exuberance on a walk this week, my relative was dragged through the mud and broke her wrist and ankle – no one’s fault but the breeder who so thoughtlessly crossed these lines. Still, the pup is sweet and will stay in the home, with more training to come. I think it will eventually be a happy outcome but not without a lot of work.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s