The Seeds of Today and Yesterday


“Memory is the power to gather roses in winter.” ~ Author Unknown


Gardens don’t have memories. They die back in winter and come forth in spring to show the results of our hard work – or the havoc the birds and nature have sown.


But surely, they have souls.


Each year the garden is reincarnated; reborn. Taking on a remarkably similar, but changed version of its former self. It’s journey – a combination of planning and happenstance.


A blogger I admire – Will, of Will and Eko “Marking our Territory” fame – wrote a beautiful tribute this week to his brother’s dog, Dutch, titled “On Losing a Dog.” If you haven’t read it; you should. He captures so perfectly the grief we feel when our most accepting companions leave us. But there was one line I could not shake. He wrote: “A dog has no journey of their own, no thoughts of past or future, so they give themselves fully to us in a way no person ever could.”

Will is right that a dog’s journey is largely controlled by others, but the dogs we rescue at Homeward Bound most definitely have pasts – and memories of them. Some are very hard to let go. We have seen dogs that mourn the loss of their human or canine sibling; others that have been traumatized or mistreated. One of our newest arrivals, Missy, is clearly thinking only of her past. Surrendered for a minor transgression, she does not understand why she has gone from family dog to homeless dog, or why she was left in a place she finds so overwhelming. Shaking, tail tucked, her body language says “I’m afraid.”


As soon as she sees the vet, we will hope to have her in foster. Gorgeous, she should have no problem finding a home. We will guide her on a new journey – with a secure and loving future. And she will, no doubt, give herself fully and gratefully to a person who will make her feel safe and loved.


“All the flowers of all the tomorrows are in the seeds of today and yesterday.” ~ Chinese proverb


Welcome Relief


9:09 PM. 94-degrees.

Today is supposed to mark the end of a seven-day stretch of 100+ temperatures in the Sacramento Valley. By some miracle, we are supposed to get to a high of only 95 tomorrow. Someone, please grab my parka!

The flowers in the Homeward Bound Memorial Garden are more than ready for some relief.


Pups too. This is Bailey. She’s hot.


This lucky dog has found his relief; not just a shady spot, but a long-awaited home.


Tom came all the way from Taiwan and has been with us awhile. He’s another dog with sight impairments,


but he has no problem following his ball, does he?


He is going home with Kevin next week. A former adopter, a veteran, a man with an obvious passion for this well-deserving dog.


Kevin says he knew the minute he saw Tom that he was the one. He has visited with him constantly while waiting for a family commitment to conclude before Tom can go home.


They both obviously look forward to that day. We look forward to a breeze,


and a much-needed break from this sweltering heat!


Here’s hoping for our promised 95-degrees and a 12 mph breeze. Wind chill of 92 anyone? We’ll take it!

Dog Days (Before Summer!)

Saturday, it was 111-degrees in the Homeward Bound Memorial Garden by 2PM. The birds were seeking water…


and shade.


The Coreopsis was wilting…


Even the flowers were sweating! Kidding…but they would if they could!


White looks magnificent and cooling when it’s hotter than hades.


Kondos had the right idea. He makes a kiddie pool look dignified and cool.


We keep these little pools in each yard exactly for days like Saturday. When it is even too hot to trek the dogs to the big swimming pool, we bring the water to them before returning them to the air conditioning to nap away the afternoon. The pools are dual purpose; they double Steve’s Scuba Training Center. He taught Scrubs how to scuba by slyly placing his cookies at the bottom of the pool. We think he’s a natural!


The Delta Breeze mercifully kicked in Saturday night, and today we enjoyed a cool breeze while we worked, letting out a collective….ahhh.

Drink from a hose not a bowl

Have a great week all!

Of thorns

“Life is thickly sown with thorns, and I know no other remedy that to pass quickly through them. The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm us.” ~ Voltaire

We passed through more than a few thorns this weekend – literally and figuratively – beginning with the dreaded foxtails!


Foxtails are nasty pointed grass clusters that lodge themselves into pets’ eyes, ears, noses, toes and fur, among other places. In long-haired dogs (we have more than a few of these!) foxtails can be hidden by fur between the toes or on the body and, if left unattended, can poke the dog’s skin and eventually cause a large abscess requiring surgical removal.


Foxtails are barbed in such a way that they can only move in a “forward” direction. Since a dog’s body is incapable of degrading or decomposing them, they can wreck havoc. They grow in abundance in California – and on an eight acre dog sanctuary located in the country, you can imagine the threat. So this weekend we called on our dog walkers and gardeners for a “weed-a-thon” rising early to tackle the trails, benches, and other areas well traveled by the dogs. It’s not exactly my favorite kind of gardening…but it must be done.


Candy was kept company by her beautiful Shane;


and if the company of dogs is not incentive enough, donuts always do the trick!


Sundays, Kathryn holds Reactive Dog Training Class. This class is for dogs that don’t play nicely with others; some of them are our rescues, others are from community members seeking help.


A dog can’t be forced to like other dogs. But you can help them cope with their fears or anxiety by teaching them alternate behaviors. Our trainers have had amazing success with turning these thorny issues into good canine behaviors. I’ll share more on an upcoming post.


This poor pup was literally covered in thorns.


We are just beginning to write his story of true rescue; it deserves a post all its own. I will bring it to you soon. In between all, we managed to get a little gardening in!


After a week of unseasonably hot temperatures, the weather has cooled, and the garden is breathing a sigh of relief.


It weathered the heat well, and brings forth new treasures each week like this Jerusalem Sage…




Maria’s first sunflowers…


and of course, Roses – thorns and all.


With the promise of two stories to come, have a great week and I’ll hope to see you back here soon!