If the Tables Were Turned

We recently took in two little ones…surrendered shortly after they were purchased (for a pretty penny, I might add), because their people decided they either weren’t dog people, or that a puppy was too much work. One approached us about surrender; we were so grateful that they wanted the best for their little boy. The other was talked out of selling the puppy on Craigslist. Thankfully, they agreed.

In both cases, we were just happy to be able to get them to families who understood the commitment that comes with adoption – or purchase – of a dog of any age.

We have an extensive application process and contract, but it got me to wondering what the dogs would put in a canine contract for people if the tables were turned. It might go something like this:

You realize that I am not a shiny penny or an impulsive decision. You have thought through the choice to add someone to your family, and the time and expense that goes with it.

You promise not to treat me like that fancy bike you got that sits in the garage. I am not a toy to be played with for two weeks and forgotten.

You know that neither one of us is perfect. We all come with some baggage. I will try to leave mine behind if you will do the same and we can make a fresh start together.

I promise to be patient with you when you leave things out that could get me in trouble, and you promise to be patient with me when I chew them up. We will both agree that it is better and safer not to do either.

You know that training is a lifelong commitment – and that it is not just for me. You are half the equation. If you do your part, I will do mine.

If you have little humans, you will remember to watch out for them AND for me and you will help to raise us together with respect and kindness.

You realize that I am not a cat. No offense. But I am not happy living a solitary life. I need human contact and friends to be a well-rounded canine.

If you got me as a puppy or youngster, you recognize that I WILL grow up. And you will promise to still love me when I am old and grey or, heaven forbid, sick, injured or disabled – and need you most.

You commit that if – for any reason – you can no longer keep me, that you will not dump me at a shelter, turn me out, or sell me to the highest bidder. You will take as much care in finding me a good, safe and loving home or reputable rescue as I take in being your loyal, trusting companion.

If you agree to the above, by all means…please bring me home. I would like to be yours. All others need not apply. Thank you.

Time Passes

“Time passes too fast.

Like a hummingbird flying by,

it’s just a blur to my eyes.” ~ Amanda Leigh

Winter became spring and spring became summer since I last wrote. I don’t know where the time has gone.

Leaving my freelance work for something more secure seemed like a wise course during the pandemic – but it turns out to be a decision I regret and am trying to rectify.

I have lost not only my flexibility, but my personal time for the things I love. If the last year and a half has taught us anything, it is that life is too short to not find time for the things we love.

Since I last wrote…

Skye King has been through two successful surgeries to correct his severe hip dysplasia. After five months of fostering, we made him an official member of the family. It took 40+ fosters, but we are finally “foster failures.”

Skye’s proven skills at puppy fostering helped to seal the deal. For the past two months, he has helped us rehab little Aiden who was found by the side of the road with a broken leg at barely four months of age.

Aiden found his forever home yesterday. He was a very hard one to part with. Our home is quiet once again but not for long, I suspect.

Jody’s garden has been completely rehabilitated as well. The raised beds were cleared and planted – now overflowing with fresh vegetables. The weeds were tamed and the orchard has flourished and produced. The fruits are still small but show promise for future years.

The Memorial Garden has bloomed continuously with the change of seasons. First bloom was spectacular…

followed by vibrant summer colors, apricots, overloaded apple trees, and grapes.

Some very annoying Grackles have taken up residence.

I used to admire them for their beautiful iridescent feathers – but no more. They are aggressive bullies and have chased away all the sparrows, robins and hummingbirds to guard their multiple nests. I’ll have to figure out a way to roll out the “unwelcome” mat!

Our new “normal” is dry, hot, and filled with the threat of wildfire. We had our first scare earlier in the month with a grass fire marching right up to our gates.

It is mid-June and we are just shy of our 200th dog of the year. The wave we anticipated has arrived and we are inundated in post-pandemic one-year-olds without training or socialization and seniors in need of medical attention. As people go back to work and the adventures they have missed, it seems that the companions who saw them through are now a burden. We are tracking at a +30% increase for the year.

Maize, meanwhile, was our 10,000th dog. An adorable impulse purchase by a senior couple who had forgotten what it takes to raise a puppy right.

10,000 rescued dogs. A promise made; a promise kept. Jody is smiling from on high.

Look Up

My preference for a packed garden has led to some thuggery.

I spent the day cutting back prized but overgrown California fuschias, cerinthe major (honeywort), and even California poppies to allow the verbascum, sea holly, and blazing star see the light of day.

It’s a happy garden that grows so vigorously that it needs to be edited in May!

Sometimes, gardeners get tunnel vision; all we see are the weeds and work.
The same with rescue; the sad stories and hard days can overwhelm.

To be sure, the usual culprits are there in the garden: Bermuda grass and wild morning glory in particular.
But I say ‘look up.’

In rescue, you learn that you cannot dwell on the obstacles and setbacks. You have to look forward to the good that can be done. While our hearts still ache for the loss of our little Rose to Parvo, we have been celebrating the recovery of Lilac. She stayed with us for a bit to ensure that she would go home strong and healthy –

and so she could make up some lost socialization time during her period of isolation.

Post-darkness, she is a gift of sunlight and happiness.

Look up dear gardener – at the magnificent roses, the tall Verbena that towers, and the Daylilies in bloom.

Look up to the brilliant Yarrow, Matijila poppies, and Jupiter’s Beard.

Look forward to the Delta sunflowers, the Dahilias, Agastache, Penstemon, Bee Balm, Rudbeckia, Zinnias, and Salvias. They will be here before you know it.

The weeds, like troubles, will always be there. But it is the good and beauty that deserves our focus.

Happy life, sweet girl.

Among the Flowers

A virus lurked among the flowers.

Not of the pandemic kind. Or even the botanical kind. But of the completely preventable kind that ravages young puppies.

They arrived from a breeder that had been hospitalized. Seven puppies of selling age:
Heather, Iris, Lilac,

Pansy, Poppy, Tulip and Rose.

And two mama dogs. Clover and Dahlia.

Beautiful, fragile flowers. How fragile, we would quickly discover.

At four or five years of age (no one actually tracked her age), Dahlia’s body was wrecked beyond repair. What they noted as a possible thyroid issue was a bladder so enlarged it took up most of her abdominal cavity.

None of the puppies had received their first vaccinations. Unbeknown to us, they had already been exposed to the parvovirus. Within a few days, symptoms began to appear in one – and then another.

Quarantine procedures were initiated. The two were taken to the vet for intensive care. One battled and won. The littlest, dear Rose, was lost. The other five, thankfully, remained well.

It was a devastating time full of rage and grief for the destruction that did not need to be if people would only choose responsible breeders.

Cleared by the vet, Clover and five puppies have found their way home. One baby remains with us until she too receives the all-clear. But she is healthy and strong and is making her understandable displeasure with her isolation known.

In the midst of it, little Zoey arrived.

At 15 weeks, she was surrendered for being “viscous and aggressive.” We know it simply as puppy zoomies. Her first family was clearly inexperienced and unprepared. But we’re so grateful that they recognized they were not up to the task. It gave us the opportunity to get Zoey on the right path to a happy, well-adjusted life. Destruction avoided.

To keep her safe, she came to stay with us where she and our Yogi engaged in epic play. All this girl needed was someone who understands that bursts of puppy energy need to be channeled into positive play and that a tired, well-worn-out puppy is a good puppy.

Her new family with their huge yard, love of adventures, and their high-energy, Border Collie-mix boy, are a perfect fit.

Wins and losses. The work of rescue. We lean in, fortify each other, and put one foot in front of another doing all we can for those who cannot do for themselves.

And in the garden, we will plant special flowers in honor of Dahlia and little Rose so they will know that here, they were loved – and will always be remembered.

Just Set Him Loose

Just set him loose.

That’s what a local shelter told a woman who was trying to surrender a stray, six-month puppy after failing to find tags, a microchip, or its home after posting for over a week.

In the time of COVID-19, if a dog is dangerous, obviously sick, or injured, the shelter will accept – and euthanize it. If it is healthy and safe, and the person is unable to keep it, they (unbelievably) advise setting it loose. In this case, the woman already had well over the legal limit of dogs. A six-month-old, unneutered boy was one too many.

Thankfully, she could not bring herself to do this. Thankfully, we were there.

He arrived on Easter weekend. The team named him Jellybean. I have no doubt that he will be scooped up shortly after he is seen by our vet and neutered. He is absolutely adorable. Someone loved this dog once. Someone spent time housetraining him and teaching him to bring back, leave, and sit. But no one claimed him.

On their website, the shelter states that their mission is “to SAVE LIVES!” I guess the disclaimer should read “in good times.” These are the times that test our commitment and resolve. I hope they don’t ask me for a donation again.

He went from scared to joyful in the span of a half hour with the help of a kind volunteer.

Then, Jellybean and I spent most of the day in the garden.

He is an excellent helper. Attentive,

playful,

and content to be tethered close by as I work.

He does not like the kennel, and looked on as Ivan was adopted…with envy, I think.

Don’t worry little man. This will be you too…soon.

In My Dream

In my dream, I hear the sounds of thunder. Growling, gnarling, teeth gnashing in a battle to ensure each has their own. Looting and hoarding. Sounds of terror and squeals of alarm. Intimidation and threats. Bodies slammed to the ground.

Awakened. The sounds continue; the smell is unbearable.
Is this our end?
No. It is puppies at play!

Ferocious cubs. Testing out their tiny voices and might on the early path to doghood.

Four Great Pyrenees puppies to be exact.

They invaded our home when their devoted mom had finally had enough of them. When she packed their bags, they were cute little fluff balls. Now they are growing like little monsters – consuming their enclosure – desperate to get out and play.

This is Adele’s litter.

Born in a field. Found by a good Samaritan. Frighteningly, taken to a shelter where the threats that lurk are as great as the elements and predators: diseases.

We whisked them away.

Jody, our leader, kept mama and her babies isolated and closely guarded for their first fragile weeks – protected against dogs and humans with their germy cargo. Life-saving protections.

They thrived.

They exceeded mom’s patience.

And they pushed the cuteness scale off the charts – along with their weights.

They are endlessly poopy, smelly, bundles of fur – so fat, they waddle and are easily tipped by the big dogs.

They are all being treated for icky poo…leaving a trail of sticky footprints wherever they wander…and a mountain of laundry.

Chaos reigns in our home.

My husband loves them dearly but has made clear: four puppies with liquid poo – too much for future reference! (As if!)

Soon, they will be well and ready to go home – and it will be quiet again.

For now, they are a welcome if exhausting diversion from the days’ news and a reminder of all that is still sweet, joyful, and filled with hilarity and tomorrow’s hopes.

And we could all use a little of that right now.

Getting Our Feet Under Us

Mother Nature has been taunting us. Sending daytime temps soaring, then blowing in a light freeze. To boot – a bone-dry, record-breaking February. Not a drop of rain.

As I undertake the annual editing of Asters, I’m glad that I moved summer-blooming perennials in the fall. Apparently, there is an old gardener saying that this helps them get their feet under them.

Someone else needed some help getting her feet under her. Her name is Babe. And she stole my heart.

Babe was destined for China’s dog meat market. Having been used to raise puppies for three years, she was loaded onto a truck with dozens of other dogs and shipped off. Brave activists literally stop these trucks on the highway in confrontations that can get ugly. While eating dogs is not illegal in China, the (barbaric) slaughter of animals without health certificates is. Still, officials look the other way and let these warriors of heart fight it out themselves. Thankfully, Babe’s rescuers were successful. She and many more were pulled from the truck and taken to a shelter where they were quarantined and tested, receiving required vaccinations and health certificates as they waited for a chance at a real life.

Dogs like Babe don’t get adopted in China. It is illegal to keep a dog her size in the city, and there is a bias against anything “used.”

She is a timid girl. Submissive and frightened in new environments. All of this was a lot for her. She arrived in early January with a group of dog and spent another two weeks in communal quarantine where I was one of her caregivers.

At the beginning, she had to be lifted out of her kennel to the yard. She is extremely thin, but her frame is large and heavy.

Over the course of the two weeks, she went from crawling and cowering to full-on play with the group.

When she left the safety of her quarantine for the kennels, it was a setback for her. So she was moved to the senior yard where she lived and thrived in the company of other dogs.

Babe reminds me of our Boris…another one from China.

We weren’t sure he would make it that first morning after his late night arrival. Finding the right home made all the difference. He came by for a photo shoot recently; the transformation is hard to believe.

This is what love will do.

Babe needed a home like Boris’. A loving, patient and quiet home – providing time and stability so she could get her feet under her and learn the ways of a loved family dog.

We found that for Babe recently. And the family says she is blossoming – just like Boris and the plants I moved last fall.

Shedding the Past

The garden was thick with fog this morning – too wet to do any real work in the ground. So I set about removing the last of the apples from our little orchard.

This used to be the work of a dog named Bones.

With lumps and bumps and infected ears that left him deaf, he was left tied to a tree and abandoned. When he was finally found, he was literally skin and bones. Rescued and made well again, he was a favorite of our volunteers.

Despite his poor treatment, he was full of trust and love for all people.

He visited the garden daily, but his favorite was fall when the apples were ripe. He would pick them off the tree as he passed –

a joy that continued long after he was adopted until he passed recently. His people wrote to share the news. “Every day, he had a short walk and enjoyed an apple. He had an apple the day he died. Bones loved everybody and everybody loved him. He brought so much joy to our lives, thank you for letting us adopt him. He will be missed every day, he made such an impact on our lives.”

Photo Courtesy: Rob Kessel

Now Frida, the garden cat, keeps watch over me and the apple trees.

Dogs have an amazing capacity to shed their past and move on. On Thanksgiving, I went to the garden and rescue planning to spend a few hours getting the tulip bulbs planted and doting on the seniors. I wanted to get a photo, as well, for the kennel card of the dog that arrived the previous night: Duke.

A pet can offer true benefits to a person living with dementia: companionship, reduced anxiety and agitation, an excuse to get exercise, and increased socialization among them. But when the person lives alone and can no longer cope, it’s important for others to step in. Duke came to us when his human dad could no longer cope. Sadly, it took a human emergency for someone to come to his aid.

This boy was literally covered in mats the size of small animals from his neck to his tail. The weight of them, and his curled toenails, made it nearly impossible for him to walk. His tail had disappeared in a long, flat, felted mess to the ground. The pain of these things tugging at him and bending under him must have been terrible. And the filth and stink: oh my.

Before he could be bathed, he had to be freed. With clippers in hand, we set about the task.

It can be risky to put a dog you don’t know through such an ordeal but Duke sat patiently as we uncovered the body beneath and clipped away the petrified nails. He didn’t show that he needed a pause so we kept going. Did we read something into his look? It seemed like he was grateful.

After the ordeal, we took him to a yard to relieve himself. The boy that could not walk suddenly ran and danced – with joy.

A bath removed years of dirt and smell and made him shine.

Amazingly, our vet found nothing that quality food, regular exercise, and good grooming wouldn’t cure. He will get lots of that now as he is in a loving home.

Duke has a new job now: bringing joy and laughter to a home that had been filled with sadness over the departure of too many beloved dogs.

This decline did not happen overnight – to the man or his dog. It is the toll of human aging that we see too often. Duke shed his past and has moved on. His Thanksgiving began when he took the first gleeful step toward a much happier future. Hopefully, his person has found his way forward too.

Needless to say, the tulips did not get planted that day.

Noelle: Our Christmas Joy

A Good Samaritan saw her stray and shivering in the rain and mud. She was frightened, emaciated, and would not come. Animal control was called. A catch pole was used; something that can be terrifying to dogs but life-saving when there is no other option.

She was covered in mats and filth, and it was obvious that she had recently had puppies. There was no sign of them. It’s unclear if she was turned out after weaning them, or had simply wandered off. She is a Great Pyrenees mix. Working Pyrenees tend to be treated like livestock: valued for their natural instincts as protectors of their land or flock, but not valued like family. No one came looking for her.

In the shelter, she would not have stood a chance. Our area coordinator scooped her up and she was transported to Homeward Bound. It seems like every year around the holidays, we are gifted with a very special dog in need. Noelle was our Christmas blessing.

Her large mats were removed. She was bathed. She was seen by our vet. And then she received a professional shave to give her the fresh start she needed and deserved.

We expected that she would be with us for a little while. While her demeanor is affectionate, sweet, and surprisingly trusting given what she has endured, we know that it can be difficult to see through a rail-thin body and shaved coat to the dog within.

We were wrong.

Brad grew up with Homeward Bound through his mother’s work with us. He has a huge heart for dogs in need. He and his wife, Karissa, recently lost their Golden girl. They had been coming to meet dogs but had not yet made a heart-connection. They knew it would be clear when the right match came along. And it was.

They fell head-over-heals in love. She needed them. And they needed her. The first thing they told her: “Someone didn’t love you enough.” That is solved. Noelle is home, and now, she is our shared Christmas joy.

Dogs like Noelle find hope for second chances and forever homes through Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue & Sanctuary. If you can help, please make a gift in honor or in memory of your special someone on our virtual Giving Tree. Your donation supports hundreds of dogs like Noelle on their journeys to safety and home each year. Either way, visit the tree and scroll down to read the heartfelt messages – delivered in the true spirit of the season.

Wishing you safety, health, happiness, and forever homes. Love, Ogee.

Rocket Scientist

As I turned the corner at the rescue into the front parking lot, I came upon an elderly man looking a bit lost. It was well before adoption hours. He looked frail and sad. I asked if I could help. He said he had just let his dog go. It turns out that he had lost her a week earlier; he had just returned from picking up her ashes.

She was 11-year-old Emily, a beautiful Golden Retriever. He had her from a pup. He noticed that she was not wanting to get up one morning; she turned down her favorite treat. He rushed her to the local vet; they told him to rush her to the specialist. The specialist said that Emily might be taken immediately to U.C. Davis in hopes of finding a canine heart surgeon there, but that the operation would be hard on a senior girl—and the odds not good. Her heart was enlarged; she was bleeding internally; fluid was pooling around her heart as quickly as they could drain it. It was a painful but clear decision – perhaps influenced by the man’s own battle. With cancer. A fight he believed he was losing. They let Emily go peacefully. Her ashes were in a beautiful, inscribed wooden box in his truck. Her paw print immortalized with it.

He wasn’t looking to adopt. He thought his own time on this earth was short. He was just in pain and wanting some Golden love. Someone sent him to a shelter, but he found that overwhelming and heartbreaking. A friend told him about Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue & Sanctuary.

“I’m here as a total stranger, just hoping to be able to pet a few dogs and share a moment with them,” he said.

We don’t typically allow the public to interact with the dogs unless they have gone through our foster or adoption vetting process. But everyone understood his need; we have all been there. You feel them, still, in your heart but the absence of their physical presence is difficult to bear.

We allowed him to sit and love on some sweet Goldens – no one too rambunctious. One beautiful girl sensed his need and buried her head in his lap; that was enough to send the tears gushing. He shared photos and stories and asked about the dogs: how they come to be with us, how we find them homes, how anyone could ever give up their beloved companion.

I gave him a tour and told him our story – about our founders, their inspiration, their vision, and how it had come to life through the dedication of hundreds of volunteers. As we walked, I shared the stories of the dogs we passed; we watched the youngsters in training class; we greeted the seniors at the fence.

He told me about a dream he had. His legs were strong and whole again. She was by his side. They walked familiar trails. Coming to a gate that looked like Heaven, they asked for entry. He was told he could pass through, but not Emily. They turned away and walked on, realizing they were in the wrong place. They came to another gate. This time they were both welcomed. Inside were trees, rivers, fields, and blue sky. They knew where they were…together…at last. And then he woke up and saw his frail, ravaged body – and his heart sank.

Maybe Emily went ahead because she knew it would be too hard for him to leave her behind.

He cried. We hugged. He said he would like to help. He made an incredibly generous donation in Emily’s memory which is reflected on our virtual Giving Tree.

As he was departing, he asked me if I had ever met a rocket scientist. I thought it was a setup. But he said, “Well, now you have.” He had helped to design the heat shield for the space shuttle. When Congress failed to fund the development of an emergency vehicle to return our astronauts from a planned space station, he was part of a group that went to Russia to negotiate the use of their Soyuz vehicle in exchange for shared ownership of what became the International Space Station. I looked him up. It’s true.

Bonds created through the love of dogs. You never know who you will meet. Maybe even a rocket scientist with a broken, golden heart.

The Lab Lift

Behind human failing—due to health or incapacity—you can often find animal suffering. This was the case behind a recent large-scale rescue.

In Oregon, a backyard breeder struggled to care for his wife with dementia. I don’t know if the situation was ever better than we found it but things had obviously gotten out of control long ago. When he passed, there was no one to care for the dogs or the other animals on the property. A plea for help went out. Our team responded, arranging for extra transport to bring all 19 beautiful Labrador Retrievers to safety.

It was the largest single intake of adult dogs in our history (I believe) and a monumental task for our volunteers and our devoted vet, Dr. Codde.

All but two had been kept in outdoor kennels without protection from the elements. They weren’t abused – but they were neglected. It was impossible to know how many litters some of the girls had birthed and weaned.

They had probably never seen a vet or had a dental, much less a bath. The food clearly went to expecting girls. The rest were rail thin and all were full of worms, fleas, and filthy ears.

They had never known collars or leashes and were terrified at first not knowing our intentions. As Labs do, they showed remarkable resilience. With one exception, they were well-socialized to other dogs. Maybe it was the cookies and food, but they pretty quickly figured out that humans were okay to be around, too.

Baths and vet exams took all day long. Deworming, dentals, skin treatments, pedicures, and spay and neuters were in store. Minnie appears to have had the most litters. We had to remove her teeth and we found mammary cancer. We removed that too, but it has metastasized and will return at some point.

Georgia’s ear was so badly diseased that we had to perform a TECA (Total Ear Canal Ablation) – removing the ear canal. She is recovering well.

The rest are now all in good health. Twelve are officially adopted and have adjusted beautifully.

Four are home as foster-to-adopt given their extreme shyness and their lack of experience living in a home. One, North, is waiting for his forever people to come and find him.

Here’s the thing. The neighbors had to know. Anyone who purchased a puppy had to know. How this was allowed to go on for so long is beyond us. How these dogs could be AKC-registered shows an appalling lack of oversight or concern by that organization.

Soap box time. This situation could have been reported and ended long ago providing help for the humans and the dogs. Neighbors could have intervened. Had anyone purchasing one of the hundreds of puppies produced by these dogs followed one simple step, the dogs’ circumstance might have been discovered.

When you purchase a puppy, please require that you be invited to meet the mother and puppies at the breeder’s home. See where and how the dogs are kept…inside! Learn how they are cared for and how the puppies are raised. Nothing short of raising these dogs as part of the family will do. For the breeding dogs, it ensures safety, health, and care. For the puppies, it means vital socialization and a healthy start to life.

All responsible breeders abide by and support this practice. Anyone who does not is likely running a puppy mill operation. Your support of them perpetuates dogs’ misery for years on end.

These 19 Labs will all have wonderful second chapters. Even Minnie.

Who knows what became of those who came before them.

Education saves lives. Please help others to understand the importance of this one simple practice. Need more information? Here is our guide to choosing a responsible breeder.

And here’s a look at their first experience with freedom.

Time Flies on Restless Pinions

Somehow it became December. Don’t ask me how.

The garden does not seem to know, but the neighbors’ Christmas lights are up and the rain they said would not come has arrived.

Muddy dogs are a sure giveaway.

It feels like we moved seamlessly from summer to winter. I would say that it has been unseasonably warm but I think we should stop saying that with climate change now increasingly knocking on our door. The garden is still full of color and wonder. Nature snuck in the beauties of fall.

One beauty was missed here. There were plans for a guest blog to remember a very special person and devoted volunteer. The words never came—perhaps too hard to find—leaving the impression that her memory belonged to only a few. That’s not the case. She was loved and is remembered for her good and tender soul, and for her devotion to the dogs. Be among your fellow angels, Debbie, and watch over us all.

My husband and I are on foster puppy number fifteen of the year. Perhaps that is where the year went.

Her name is Daisy.

She is perfect but someone didn’t think so. Purchased too young, they must have missed her hairy eyeball. When they realized it, she was thankfully was surrendered to us. We suspect we know where she came from originally and would not want to see her back there. She is home with me and my husband at Camp Yogi in preparation for becoming a one-eyed pirate.

It suits her since she belches and snores like a drunken sailor. And she has a forever mom anxiously awaiting her arrival who, too, thinks she is absolutely perfect.

There is so much to catch you up on. I will try to be better and get there amazing stories to you in the next few weeks. We can start with Heidi.

Out of the corner of their eye, passersby saw her in a ditch as they sped by. A neighborhood alert went out and a good Samaritan went out looking for her. Spotted hiding in a huge blackberry bramble, she was too scared to come to him. She ate and drank the food and water he left. He repeated this act for five days hoping to earn her trust. It was ridiculously hot. Failing all efforts, and sensing that her time was running out, he purchased a coyote trap. Two days later (with the help of bacon) she was caught. He whisked her to Homeward Bound where we were standing by. She was transported immediately to the vet where she was stabilized and underwent surgery for a broken leg and injured pelvis. After months of rehab, emotional and physical, this is Heidi now.

Their application said they needed a mellow, trained dog – relatively young. Behind the front desk, they met mellow, trained, lovable, affectionate, hilarious, and dog-cat-bunny-people-loving, sugar-faced, Rosie – 12 years old. They fell head over heels in love and took her home. You never know where your heart will lead you.

Weston had been dumped and was roaming and foraging in a remote, rural area. People put out food, but he was scared and uncatchable until a rescue team responded. He arrived covered in mats, malnourished, with skin, eye, and ear infections.

This is Weston today. He is in foster with hopes of an adoption. Paws crossed.

Monk is also 12.

When his owners left him at the vet and moved away, this adorable boy came to us. We removed as much of his cancer as we could. It may eventually come back but the reality is that old age will likely come knocking sooner.

Regan (in teal) is an amazing young girl who collects and delivers gifts for the dogs on her birthdays. This year, she left with a gift of her own and, in the process, gave a very special one to our deserving boy. Regan fell instantly in love; mom and dad said ‘yes,’ and Monk now has a forever home.

The seasons seem to pass so quickly now.

Maybe it is my age, or the time marked by so many memorable rescues.

“Time flies on restless pinions — constant never.” ~Friedrich Schiller

I will work to get caught up. There are stories to share, much-needed inspiring tales (and tails), and they should be remembered here.