My Little Man

He is my sugar-faced little man. It seems like just yesterday, he was my little boy.

Serious and uncomfortable with the camera,

it all melts away for Daddy.

Our Bella picked him out as a puppy and raised him right.

They were inseparable.

There has never been a human or animal he did not befriend.

In his grief at her passing, he chose a wild child named Yogi.

He does his best to keep our hooligan in line. No matter their size difference, Jackson always wins. Or Yogi always lets him.

He tolerates the foster puppies that Yogi welcomes with joy. And yet, they gravitate to him like a cranky old grandfather.

He is treated with deference.

He is cat-like. Independent. Solitary. Never a hugger. For years, he would find his own quiet spot in the house and always slept at the foot of the bed. Away.

Now, at 11, he is different. He wants to be near. I find him sleeping on the pillows by morning.
He welcomes kisses.
He insists on greeting everyone with a toy and dares you to chase him.
We always let him win.

His ridiculous gaping smiles…

have turned to hilarious toothless grins.

He snores. He imposes his will with relentless stares. And he is sweet beyond words.

He is my sugar-faced little man.

And I hope he is with us forever and ever.

Spring Will Come: Red-y or Not

I am trying desperately to keep up with the advancing spring…in January! Crocuses, hyacinth, narcissus…even ceanothus and mid-season tulips are pressing up.

We only had two days of mild frost this “winter.” The roses were still blooming when we did our annual pruning.

There is no stopping the youthful march of spring now – either in the garden or in the dogs’ Senior Yard.

Affectionately referred to as Sugar Shack Acres, this is where dogs that are unable or unlikely to be adopted due to their extreme special needs live in their own little house and large shaded yard, surrounded by love. Since 2012, Red has reigned over this sanctuary section of our rescue.

At the age of seven, Red and his cohort of feral friends roaming a property in Oregon were rounded up by cowboys, put in a barn, and adopted out to an unprepared public. Turning a feral dog into a family dog is not for the faint of heart – especially a dog that has lived wild for seven years. Accounts are that most of the dogs found their way back to the wild. The woman who adopted Red quickly understood what she had gotten herself into and surrendered him to us where he would be safe.

It took a long time for Red to feel comfortable. There is still a part of him that is very much wild. If given the opportunity, he would still run. But now – at the age of 15 – he has found peace and contentment (and cookies!) in the company of like-minded dogs.

Like winter, they had settled into a gentle quiet. And then…

Over the past month, a series of boisterous youngsters sprang up like spring bulbs to disturb his tranquility. First, Brie – a one-year-old girl with an old lady problem (ectopic ureter).

Then, Laila – a ten-month-old hydrocephalus (water on the brain) girl. She is blind – but that doesn’t slow her down one bit.

And now CoCo – full of spunk and play, hanging out while she waits for her forever family to take her home.

They have recharged the visiting Ladybug….

and then exhausted her.

While Red and his fellow seniors, Violet,


and Tana must be wondering…who let the pups in!

It’s inevitable Red;

spring will come whether you are ready or not – so embrace it and enjoy!

Princess Gracie

My name is Gracie. I am the grande dame of the E. & D. household. Technically, I am the middle dog. I arrived last January. Molly was here first. Been her since she was a young pup. She had pups herself before E. found her. I guess that’s why she never entirely grew up.

While I may not have the seniority of tenure – I certainly do of age. At 14, I am top dog – even among the humans – if you count dog years.

I used to be a Princess. That’s what they called me. And that’s how they treated me. I do believe I am royalty. My people had to give me up, though they loved me very much. I got adopted – because I’m so adorable. Then my new human died. I went to live with his brother, but he had to go to a new home for seniors, which meant I had to find one, too. So I came back to Homeward Bound.

That’s when I met E. She has a thing for girls of a certain age (Molly excepted). There was Goldie aka Andi, and Bailey, and Daisy, and Bunny before me. And somewhere in the middle, there was Molly. I don’t know what spell she cast over E. to get her to believe she was one of us sugar-faces. She sure wasn’t at the time. And let me tell you, even though she is ten now, she still wreaks havoc all over the place.

I guess that’s why E. brought Lexie home. ‘Cause she’s a runner. She runs like a crazy, undignified girl with Molly.

She runs, period. That’s why she got herself surrendered at the age of 10. She just would not stay put. Lexie has been a bit of a challenge for E., let me tell you. And they are both a pain in the-you-know-what for me.

I’ve lived a rich long life. I’ve shared my love with a lot of humans. And I love life as much as anyone.

But certain things don’t work the same way when you turn 14. Like my back legs, for one.

And these girls just won’t quit!

I think I’m entitled to a little peace and quiet, don’t you?

Maybe I’ll leave the front door open and see how far Lexi and Molly will really run! Did I say that out loud? Oops.

The Divine Miss Blanche


In December, I shared a post about the senior dogs who live in what we lovingly refer to as Sugar Shack Acres. These are dogs that are unlikely to be adopted due to age, illness, or both. They enjoy the company of other dogs and live happily in their own house and yard where they can be closely looked after and receive their doting visitors daily.

Blanche was one of our much-loved residents – and a favorite of Santa’s I might add.


This morning, we lost her. While I try to keep sad news at bay, she touched the hearts of so many – and a chronicle of the dogs would not be complete without celebrating her here. Rather than speak for her, however, I’ll share the words of Tatia – one of her devotees – who delivered the news to our volunteers tonight.

“Homeward Bound’s senior sanctuary has lost beloved Miss Blanche. Blanchie was somewhere between 10 and 100, and in spite of battling cancer and severe arthritis, she was the happiest old lady you could meet.


She loved her people and she loved her cookies, and she loved clean fresh beds, and naps and pets. She welcomed new dogs in with equal grace and the occasional snark (NO one stepped on Blanche!), and kept all the roughhousers in check. She also had laryngeal paralysis which made her breathing sound raspy, especially when she got excited – which she did over each visitor who came to see her, and the prospect of a cookie.


None of her ailments got her down though: Blanche passed due to a sudden onset of bloat, and she was let go quickly and peacefully so as not to suffer. She was so loved by the HB volunteers, and gave it right back, times ten. HB was her home and we were blessed to get to have her. Rest in peace Blanchie girl, you are already missed.”


Fly free sweet girl. We were blessed to know you.