A Very Special Going Home


“What day is it?”
“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
“My favorite day,” said Pooh. ~ A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

My favorite days are Saturdays and Sundays, when I can spend gardening time in the Homeward Bound Memorial Garden –


and visiting with the dogs. Meet new arrivals Benjamin…


and Zachary.


But our favorite days at the rescue are Going Home days. To catch you up … Joe went home to Russ’ healing care.


Jack hit the jackpot and found three gorgeous girls to love.


Trevor is a ladies man as well and stole the heart of former adopters.

Trevor Going Home_DSC_2820

Cooper is an official foster-failure. His adoption papers were completed this weekend, and his dad was on site for our Volunteer Orientation so he could help other pups on their journeys home.


And “Not-a-Golden” Bella was all smiles as she headed out with her new mom.

Bella Going Home_DSC_3376

But one Going Home this weekend was extra special. I recently shared a post about long-time volunteers Chris and Steve moving to Colorado. They have always taken on our “special cases” – the dogs who remain unpredictable despite dedication and extensive training. Beautiful Sammie was one of those dogs … “who me?”


Her rap sheet meant that she could only be adopted to volunteers who understood her special challenges and needs. Otherwise, she would find sanctuary here with us. Chris and Steve made a commitment to add her to their family; making it a reality took more time they would have liked. She would have visits in their RV on the weekends, but their home was too small to accommodate all of their pups while ensuring everyone’s safety and security. A promise, however, is a promise.

After an arduous trip in an RV filled with special needs dogs, not to mention a harrowing dog medical emergency along the way, Steve made a return flight to Sacramento. On Saturday, he took Sammie for one last walk down the kennel …


into the bath …


with a stop at the garden for pictures and farewells …

Sammy Going Home_DSC_3158Sammy_Going Home_DSC_3152

and then – wait – what? A car? It was as if she instantly grasped its meaning. This was a Going Home car. Sammie’s Going Home car. At last.


“But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep…” ~ Robert Frost

As I write, Steve and Sammie are completing the last leg of their two-day journey to their new home. There, she will have space enough to meet her needs and allow her to live out her life as a loved, family dog.

Promise made. Promise kept.


Happy life, Sammie girl.

With appreciation to photographer, Rob Kessel for his Sammie photos.