How Did It Get To Be So Late?

“How did it get so late so soon?
It’s night before it’s afternoon.
December is here before it’s June.
My goodness how the time has flewn.
How did it get so late so soon?”
~ Dr. Seuss

The Calendar says “December.” I knew it was coming; even wished it so. But it arrived so quickly.

The valley fog has set in.

We had our first real rain.

The leaves have nearly finished falling; the beds are all raised; the bulbs – nearly 500 of them – are all planted.

The Dahlias are lifted and stored for the winter. And the best indications of the season’s close are my aching knees, the tired bees…

and the stack of garden magazines by my bedside for inspiration. For gardeners – winter is for imagining. Sometimes, our plans are larger than our reality. And sometimes, not.

Last October, the front entry was a barren stretch of dirt.

The weeds had been killed off. The ground covered with cardboard, leaf mulch, and dirt mixed with compost to “cook” for the better part of a season. Some tiny starts were installed late in the fall so their roots might grow strong before spring (Ceanothus, Lavatera, Smoke Tree, Lupine, Iris, Crepe Myrtle, Barberry, and Iceberg roses).

This was the design that I thought might take two or three years to reach maturity.

In the spring, I added Lavender, Asters and Miscanthus grass divides. And one season later, the bed exceeded all of my expectations.

The bed has created a perfect surround for the remembrance tree that our president and her father crafted with the original tags of dogs who have come through our doors on their journeys home.

In the garden, I have learned the benefits of patience. If you can clear a bed, fill it with good soil and nutrients, and let it rest for a season, the reward may be more than you imagined.

So it was with Ariel and Mason.

These two very special senior citizens – a bonded pair – have been waiting a long while for their forever home. They were both of advanced age and in need of medical attention when their human passed. Destined for a shelter, their odds were not good. An area partner intervened and recognized how much they needed each other. Placing this mismatched pair would take some time…something we could, thankfully, provide to them. We thought we found the right place once, but a little misunderstanding about the purpose of chickens put a quick end to that.

Still, they kept the faith and waited patiently. This week, they went home with a longtime volunteer. We could not have picked a better human for them if we had imagined one all winter long.

Happy lives to you two. We sure are going to miss you around here!

Kind hearts are the gardens

Rescue is hard work. Incredibly rewarding…but very hard work. Rescue is not for the faint of heart. Not all can be saved, not all endings are happy. But every day we put one foot in front of the other to walk this path together and do the best we can – because the ones who depend on us, cannot.


Rescue relies on people so passionate that they give of themselves, their time, and their hearts with nothing expected in return except the joy of seeing an animal saved and going home.

Passion can sometimes be messy. We chase perfection, because so much hangs in the balance – the protection of each other, the dogs – and of each others’ hearts. But when it comes to living creatures – human or canine – perfection is near impossible to achieve.

“Nothing that is complete breathes.” ~ Antonio Porchia

That’s where patience and kindness come in. And forgiveness. Of each other and ourselves for our human flaws and inevitable failures.

Each of us is as unique as the parts that make up this passion vine flower…


put us all together – and we can achieve beautiful things.


“Kind hearts are the gardens,
Kind thoughts are the roots,
Kind words are the blossoms,
Kind deeds are the fruits.”
~19th century rhyme


Kindness. Patience. Forgiveness. These are the required tools of rescue.

“There is one word which may serve as a rule of practice for all one’s life — reciprocity.” ~ Confucius