Making Perfect Matches: Gardens and Goldens

Daffodils, Irises and flowering Rosemary aren’t the only things springing up at Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue and Sanctuary. Out working on the gardens today, I couldn’t help capture these cuties. No doubt, they will find quick and happy homes.  Even sweeter were the adult dogs that were being adopted today. Weekends at Homeward Bound are often filled with adoptive families coming to take their Goldens (and Golden-related dogs) home. Such excitement! But it doesn’t happen by chance.

While Homeward Bound places hundreds of dogs with families each year, great care is taken to ensure the right match for all. Just like planning our Memorial Garden, ensuring that we pick the right plants for the clay soil, limited water and full sun conditions, every adoption at Homeward Bound includes an application, a home visit, and an understanding about the family to make the best match. I know from experience!

When our Bella was about 18 months and in need of a companion, we thought we should get another female her age. The placement team at Homeward Bound, knowing Bella and us – knew better.  We got the call to come out and meet our match. A four-month old, fun-loving boy, full of play, but happy to let bossy Bella be in charge. They romped for an hour in one of the pens that day…and they haven’t stopped yet.

So, when you consider your garden, be realistic about what kind of conditions you have, and what kind of gardener you really are (or are willing to be). And when you consider adopting, do the same, to ensure a perfect, forever match.

(P.S…the puppies in this picture are in a giant, protected pen, getting some fresh air and play outside. Don’t be worried about the wire enclosure, or the very thoughtful face on the one on the right!)

Spring in the Garden with Goldens

Spring has arrived at the Homeward Bound Memorial Gardens. Things are popping up all over, including weeds. We’ve come too far in taming this garden to surrender even an inch. Today’s mission in the garden: eradicate! Since the bed I share with Deb is still is in good shape, my efforts were focused on helping others with theirs. I’m not sure that anyone really enjoys weeding, but it was a great excuse to be in the garden, and in the company of Goldens, on a beautiful spring afternoon.

I wasn’t alone. There were volunteers everywhere walking and playing with Goldens, all enjoying the warm sunshine. It’s so nice to see them wander in and enjoy the garden with their four-legged friends. I met Jim, who has volunteered at Homeward Bound for four years. He is one of those special people who foster Goldens – and has 29 to his credit. There was a great article in the last newsletter (page 3) about how the rewards outweigh the heartache of nurturing, and giving up a Golden to its forever home.

I met this lover boy who is in need of a home. I think his name is Snooky. He is super sweet and very well-behaved, posing so nicely for a snapshot!

I was also introduced to two blind Goldens – one who is a permanent sanctuary dog. The other is staying at Homeward Bound while its mom is deployed. Their resilience and ability to adapt is inspiring. Sort of like our memorial garden…a jungle of weeds last fall, now happily pushing up spring flowers. All it takes is a little time and TLC to bring out the best in gardens and Goldens.

Counting Our Golden Blessings

Our own Bella had surgery today for a ruptured disc on the lower spine. We are grateful for to our very astute vet who believed us when we said she was not right, even though she did not consistently display the typical clinical signs. We were referred to a specialist for a full workup including MRI. The MRI clearly revealed the issue and she went immediately to surgery.  She is, thankfully, doing well, and should come home on Friday to begin many weeks of recovery, including confinement. That won’t be fun for any of us. She has a huge heart for play!

Our vet gave props to us for being willing – emotionally and financially – to do what is best for our pup. We never gave it a second thought. However, I am reminded through my experience with Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue and Sanctuary, that is not always the case. Far too often, the result is abandoned dogs – or worse.

We’re blessed that we are in a position to help her without hesitation, with savings to cover the costs, and flexible employers who understand how we feel about the four-legged family members. For those in the unimaginable position of having to surrender their ailing friends, we are grateful for rescue organizations like Homeward Bound and the amazing work they do.