Farewell to Fall

November served up a last magnificent fall weekend at the Homeward Bound Memorial Garden.

When the sun is t-shirt warm, the garden is still showing off, but the shadows grow long by mid-afternoon, it is a perfect time to get in the last fall plantings in the Sacramento Valley.

Before the December rain and cold arrive, Ina added grasses to the front-facing California Natives garden –

while the rest of us focused on getting our spring bulbs planted. “Autumn is a season followed immediately by looking forward to Spring.” – Anonymous

Susan and Jeff planted Crocus, Daffodil, Freesia and Ixia in the tree circle gardens.

By this time next year, these will be shade gardens; the canopy has grown so quickly!

We received a generous donation of bulbs and divisions (thank you, Marguerite!)

I added more than 20 Naked Lady bulbs to the Willow Garden, along with Crocosmia. To the Perennial and Hummingbird gardens, I added Crocus, Hyacinth, Tulips, Narcissus, Freesia, Anemone, Ranunculus, Ixia and Allium.

Paired with the existing Iris Garden and bed of blooming Daffodils, we should have a riot of spring and early summer color throughout the garden beds. Peggy and Steve were out to tend to the Iris bed and change out the fall decorations for those of the season.

Their message to Santa; a touching reminder of their passion for rescue.

While most enjoyed a long holiday weekend of feasting and football, our dedicated volunteers spent their Thanksgiving weekend at the ranch, walking, bathing, feeding, training and playing with the pups as the kennels are full. This is Rob’s new foster, Brittany. Blind in one eye, but as beautiful as ever.

Scout is a favorite pint-sized Golden mix, who is incapable of taking a bad picture!

Tucker is a new arrival, and thinks sunning in the garden after a bath is a perfect way to spend an afternoon.

And this is Mama Bear. Not a golden at all,

but a true black beauty and sweetheart.

Champ was out for a stroll,

as was one of our favorites – Bogey. Blind in both eyes, but that doesn’t stop him. He loves people, walks, and playing “find-it” for kibble in the field. There is nothing wrong with his sniffer!

But the best part of any weekend are the adoptions. Today, Pancho found his home with this young couple from San Francisco. We’ll miss him in the garden, but so happy he has a new family to call his own.

Shelby: The Flower Within

“Weeds are flowers, too, once you get to know them.”
― A.A. Milne

When things pop up in places we don’t expect, we call them weeds. “Weeds are bad; flowers are good” – or so we say. Not because weeds don’t possess beauty,

but because we have not uncovered it yet.

If you can move beyond the thorns,

you often uncover the beautiful flower.

Shelby was labeled a bit of a weed.

She had all kinds of thorny behaviors that popped up where they weren’t expected or wanted. She was a girl with a record when she arrived at Homeward Bound.

Yet, Chris – one of the organization’s dedicated volunteer trainers– saw a flower in her.

Shelby can’t tell us all that created her thorny side, but she made clear when she arrived that she was not to be touched, groomed, or trusted.

She had given up on people; but Chris would not give up on her.

Over the course of nearly a year they worked together. “Shake” for a treat turned into permission to touch her paws.

That led to petting, and eventually even to brushing.

Distances between dog greetings gradually closed, until Shelby could find herself walking with other pups.

“Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another” – Walter Elliott

Small victories; occasional set-backs; a stubborn belief in the flower within.

There’s still work to be done. For dogs like Shelby, the work is never really over. But if all goes well, Shelby will soon be leaving for her forever home with Chris and family.

A weed no more; a flower in its place.

Jack’s Plea

Jack here. I’ve hijacked the Gardens for Goldens blog, because we have to have a serious talk.

I was out in the Homeward Bound Memorial Garden today, and I saw all kinds of big changes and planning for the future underway. Maria and Ina adding a new Crape Myrtle to the White Garden…

Rock borders being set in anticipation of mulched paths…

And that Ina is getting ready to turn this weed mess into another of her amazing Cottage Gardens!

Heck, I even ran into this gorgeous girl, Shelby. Looks like she is going to be rescued by that really nice lady trainer, Chris, if she plays her cards right (more on her story soon).

Now I have nothing against Shelby. Heck, she’s been here quite awhile.
But so have Hootie,




that cute couple Mosh and Marie,

and that handsome guy, Scrubs.

See, that’s the problem. If dogs like these who really look like Goldens have been here awhile, what are my chances???

I have been here longer than all of them. OK, so I had a couple of issues (don’t we all), but I have worked really hard on them and they are SO much better now. Check me out. I have more schooling than most college grads. I even have a video.

Don’t get me wrong. The people and pups here are swell. But it’s not the same as a home of your own. So while you’re making all those dang garden plans – how about coming up with a plan for me?!?

I’m cuter than any of those old bugs and flowers that you take a gazillion pictures of…and I can still play with you in the winter!

So let’s go Gardeners. I was here when this place was nothing but weeds. And now look at it!

I know what miracles you can pull off. Let’s find me a home, please! I mean, please???

Maybe sometime before it’s really time for the Halloween decorations that Peggy and Steve put out today?

Remember…”Dogs Leave Paw Prints On Our Hearts.”

And I’m one of them that will for certain! Thanks for listening. I now return you to your bugs and bees.