A Heart That Sees

When our entry beds were sketched and planted, it took imagination to see what they would become.


But in that dirt were the seeds of this towering symphony of purple, white, and silver.


“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.” ~ Antoin de St Exupery, The Little Prince

Victor came to us in the fall of 2014 from an area shelter. Surrendered at the age of 10, he was a hot mess of chronic ear infections and flea allergy dermatitis. He had literally scratched and rubbed his coat away from the constant itching.


Most people would have a hard time seeing past his scabs to his sweet personality and the potential he had inside. Barbara, however, sees with her heart and not her eyes. She took Victor home knowing his challenges. Add to the list, Vestibular Disease, which struck about a month later. The disease causes sudden loss of balance and disorientation that might be mistaken for stroke. While symptoms often resolve in a couple of weeks, it can result in permanent head wobbling or tilt. Welcome to Victor’s 45-degree world!


When he came for a visit yesterday, I did not even recognize this furry, fluffy boy. Only the angle of his gaze would give it away.

A garden teaches us to see potential beyond what is visible to the eye. With imagination, work, and love, its shape takes form and its true personality comes to life.

“At the heart of gardening there is a belief in the miraculous.” ~ Mirabel Osler

Victor’s miracle was as simple as one woman with a heart that sees.


Some Assembly Required

Gardens don’t just appear. They require constant tending and editing. With lots of effort, what begins as a blank canvas of earth and weeds, takes shape over time.


Sometimes, the progress seems imperceptible and the wait is hard to bear. There are always occasional setbacks and different approaches have to be attempted before it all comes together. Until one day – you look about you, marveling at what it has all become.


Daisy went home today. A five-year old girl who is never without her toys or sweet disposition – but she comes with occasional seizures. The seizures can be intimidating at first – but manageable once you learn what is needed.


She is a quiet, gentle, loving girl who just requires a little tending to. Another girl was recently returned to us. Despite our best intentions, we did not make a perfect match. It turns out that the family was really expecting a perfectly trained, well-behaved dog under two years of age. This pup is not a wild child by any means – but she does require someone who is committed to bringing out the best in her.


We have lots of perfectly trained, well-behaved dogs – but they tend to be older and have come to us because someone – who has put great love and care into the raising of their dog – has had a life change so significant that the dog had to be surrendered. We do get young dogs – but frequently as a result of insufficient initial shaping, tending and care. Adorable puppies can become unruly dogs without guidance.

“Gardening requires lots of water — most of it in the form of perspiration.” ~ Lou Erickson

Dogs – like gardens – or any creature/human, are a reflection of the effort we put in to them. Some assembly is definitely required. It’s hard work – with results that delight.


As I look around the Memorial Garden – drenched in rain and then in sun – I cannot believe that we are only entering our third season.


So transformed is it – from an unruly acre of weeds and a jungle of blackberries. The same is possible for our returned girl. Next time, maybe we’ll find her a gardener.