The Bridge

Mojo was the last dog of 2014. Dog number 410. Something tells me he won’t be with us long. 🙂

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Hunter is the first dog of 2015. He was literally pulled from a Los Angeles shelter after closing on New Year’s Eve. Special elves opened the gates to help set him free and into the waiting arms (and van) of Barry – one of the many angels who help ferry dogs on their journeys home. Hunter (on the left) spent his New Year’s night in foster style waiting for transport. He has yet to arrive on site…hmmm. Another failed foster? Or transport adoption/abduction in the works? It wouldn’t be the first!

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Maria, one of our devoted gardeners, is an experienced foster “mom” herself. For the past two and a half years, she provided permanent foster to handsome Beau.

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Our permanent fosterers are special angels. They take the dog as their own, while the dog legally remains Homeward Bound’s. The rescue continues to provide all of the medical care the dog needs throughout its life. It is the perfect arrangement for special needs or very senior dogs. Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue alleviates concerns about medical expenses, making it easier for families to say “yes” to a dog in need.

Beau was both a special needs and senior dog. When he went to live with Maria at the age of 11, he already had failing hind legs.

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Regardless, Beau went everywhere Maria went, even traveling in a special cart when walks became too much.

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When Maria was out of the country on one of her many world travels, her sons and devoted caregivers, Aly and Drew, stayed with him. But his favorite place to be was right beside Maria in the garden.

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He was never alone – and utterly adored. When his time finally came, Maria was determined not to have another dog too soon. And then she met Yule.

When our beloved companions leave us, some people wonder how you could open your heart again. We ask: how could you not? The loss of a dog never leaves us. But love has a way of making hearts grow larger.

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“Our feet still go around the place the food dish used to be.
And, sometime, coming home at night, we miss them terribly.
And although time may bring new friends and a new food dish to fill,
That one place in our hearts belongs to them…and always will.” ~ Linda Barnes

I showed you how Yule melted into Maria’s hands when he first arrived a couple of weeks ago. He’s a shy boy – and a young one at only two years of age. He’s also a little hard to read in a rescue environment.

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Today was Yule’s special day. Maria is wearing her foster hat again.

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Whether he ends up staying with her forever, or only for a while, her time with him is a gift. It allows Yule to gain confidence in the security of a home environment, and it provides an opportunity for us to learn much more about him. If he is not Maria’s forever dog, our odds of making a perfect match are better for their time together.

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Beau will never be forgotten. Rather, he is honored by Maria as she makes room in her heart – and home – for Yule.

“I am the bridge between what was and what can be. I am the pathway to a new life.” ~ Diane Morgan, A Poem to My Foster Dog