Counting Our Blessings

I thought by leaving before daylight, that I would miss the worst of the wind and rain. I was mistaken. California’s latest deluge – round five – poured down on me as I hurried past wind battered trees and leaning power poles. Weekends bring early morning puppy duty and Mama Snickerdoodle and her rapidly growing brood were waiting. Adorable, right?

Unless you are the mom they constantly seek out!

Eyes and ears are open now and the kids are cruising everywhere. It will be at least two weeks before the yard drains enough to allow them outside. Right now, they would be swimming. Just imagine the poop show we’re in for!

Mother Nature has thrown everything at us…water, wind, hail, and snow in the mountains. We have been incredibly fortunate here compared to the rest of the state. At the low-lying rescue, there is water everywhere, but our buildings have stayed mostly dry. Our pond has become a lake. The chair in this photo is actually attached to a dock. It’s under there somewhere.

We have lost a number of trees, the saddest of which is this huge pine.

And the dogs return a muddy mess every time they go out. They much prefer the puddles and mud to being cooped up all day, but the laundry and baths…oh my!

South of our home, a levee failed in numerous places flooding out three small towns. But most of our region has been spared – especially compared to those on the coast. Receiving three times our rainfall, they are underwater and losing homes and roads to mudslides. We wished for rain. We got it.

The historic park near us has taken a pounding. William Land Park was established more than one hundred years ago. The 238 acre parcel was originally used as “flood spill” – a polite name for sewage overflow. Maybe that’s why the trees grew so well there. These storms have taken a toll. More than 50 trees have been toppled in the park – many of them a century old. Across the city, the estimate is more than 1,000 – dropped to the ground in high winds and saturated soil that is simply too much for the roots to hold on after three years of drought.

It will take months to clear all, leaving a changed landscape.

The good news for our region is that Folsom Lake – our reservoir – has quickly refilled. Our system of improved levees, weirs, and the Yolo Bypass have held…and thanks to the dedicated crews that walk and inspect them every day. The mountains are snow-capped – potentially signaling a decent snow melt this year. The agricultural land around our rescue will absorb this standing water, sending it back to the aquifer…which means hope for the Memorial Garden this summer. And the local egrets are happy! Take your blessings where you can find them.

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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.

11 thoughts on “Counting Our Blessings”

  1. It’s hard seeing so many downed trees. Like you, we’ve been relatively unscathed in the South Bay in terms of flooding, but lots of power outages, surface flooding, etc. Your pups are adorable, and so lucky to have you and your shelter. If only we could get rain in moderation, but alas it’s not the California way.

    1. We all dream of living on the coast…and then…! The California way…truly. We were without power for three days at the rescue…thankfully all the dog buildings are on generator…but just imagine the laundry piles! Sunshine on the horizon. 🙂

  2. Feast or famine…not fun. I’m glad there are some bright spots – filling reservoirs and such. But what a mess it will be to clean up, and I can’t imagine washing all the dogs after their romps all the time. May things quiet down soon.

  3. Oh my, that’s a lot of clean up, and I can relate because we had one huge pine come down which I’m still working on a couple of days a week. Those pups rock the cute scale, that egret is gorgeous, but you and your fellow volunteers sure don’t need those muddy paws and confined puppy messes. Yes, “Take your blessings where you can find them.” I hope the rain and destruction stops soon.

  4. I’m so glad you are back. We still haven’t found a dog since we lost Maggie in June, and are sad without one. Hope HB finds the right one for us again. Would love to have one of those puppies. Thank you for your wonderful posts. Carol

    1. Hi Carol, I hope you are calling weekly to check on newly available dogs that fit the description of the dog you are seeking. Thursdays and Fridays are best. Do leave a message. A human will return your call. ❤

  5. Thank you for what you – and all the others – do out at HB! Snickerdoodle and her babies are so beautiful! I wish them all wonderful homes.

  6. We in Southern California have had our storm damage, but generally not nearly as much rain as you’ve experienced. I cannot imagine trying to care for all the beautiful pups when it rains for days on end. I struggled with walking ONE! I am so sorry about your beautiful trees, but conversely so happy to see the reservoirs full. I hope the sunshine helps you catch your breath and move on with the wonderful work you do. Loved the photos of Snickerdoodle and babies!

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