Angel At The Bridge

There is a saying: “Wait for them at the bridge.”

It is usually refers to a dog waiting for its faithful human companion(s) at the Rainbow Bridge, where dogs go—just this side of heaven—to run free and play, restored, until they can cross the bridge together with their human again. In this case, it was reversed.

Cannela is the orphaned girl dog of an orphaned man.

Homeless, they lived under a bridge in Mexico – a home that offered some degree of shelter and access to water – but not much more. Whether the man met Cannela before or after Cannela met a car is unclear. The meeting was unfortunate and left Cannela with a broken back and leg.

The man was Cannela’s first guardian angel. He watched over the dog as her broken bones bonded together – not enough to recover the proper use of her hind legs, but enough that she could walk and run a little bit – and wiggle a lot with joy. A happier dog, you have never met.

Death stole the man from Cannela. The dog waited in vain at the bridge for the man’s return until a devastating fire stole the only home Cannela had known.

Somehow, she escaped to the streets. Rumor has it she was picked up and left at the dump. This, I cannot confirm. But the odds of her survival – much less happiness without her guardian angel – were not good.

Thankfully, a second angel stepped in. A rescuer who makes regular trips to the border to save dogs’ lives heard of Cannela’s plight and rushed to her aid. She brought Cannela to Homeward Bound. Thin, flea-covered, lethargic, worrisome. But just a few days of good food and care revealed her happy and adoring personality.

A thorough medical exam and x-rays revealed that nothing could be done about her fused bones. “Just love her,” Doc said. And this is when her third guardian angel stepped in.

Cannela was scooped up by one of our own.

As a permanent foster, all of Cannela’s medical needs will be met for life by Homeward Bound. All the love she needs will be supplied her new family.

Your first angel waits for you at the bridge, Cannela. You will see each other again someday. Just be prepared to share. You have many angels watching over you, now.

All good photos taken by Rob Kessel of Rob and Dog.

Update: Cannela begins swim therapy!

A Happy Tail

Among the greys and browns of our December garden are little pockets of color, life…


and many happy tails.

The roses are having their last hurrah, with a cold snap now upon us. A yellow rose symbolizes friendship. Something we have in abundance here.


People from all walks of life bonded by a common goal of saving lives and seeing dogs on their journeys home.


Pink roses represent gratitude and appreciation.


I don’t know if it shines brighter in the faces of our newly adopted dogs or their lucky humans. This is Zephyr and her new family.


Red is for love and passion.


That’s what Chris and Steve have in spades.


They devote all of their weekends and many of their nights and vacations to our dogs and mission of rescue, with a special passion for the hardest cases. With love and patience they slowly rehabilitate dogs that others might give up on.


Goldie came to Homeward Bound at the age of 18 months. She went home and came back five times – sometimes the result of her own behavior issues, and finally, because of the economy.


Last returned in 2012, she was guarded, unpredictable, and not safe enough to place up for adoption again.


Considered sanctuaried, she could stay with us forever – but for a special bond – coupled with Chris and Steve’s steadfast determination.


Since 2012, they have been building trust. Over the past year, there have been careful introductions to Chris and Steve’s other rescue dogs.


Baby steps and small victories, culminating in a very special day. Today was Goldie’s Going Home Day.


It will take care and time before she is fully integrated in to the family, but if anyone can do it – they can.


Tonight, Goldie sleeps not in a house – a home. A forever home. And that makes for one very happy tail.

(Special photo credit: Rob Kessel for many of the images here.)