Of thorns

“Life is thickly sown with thorns, and I know no other remedy that to pass quickly through them. The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm us.” ~ Voltaire

We passed through more than a few thorns this weekend – literally and figuratively – beginning with the dreaded foxtails!


Foxtails are nasty pointed grass clusters that lodge themselves into pets’ eyes, ears, noses, toes and fur, among other places. In long-haired dogs (we have more than a few of these!) foxtails can be hidden by fur between the toes or on the body and, if left unattended, can poke the dog’s skin and eventually cause a large abscess requiring surgical removal.


Foxtails are barbed in such a way that they can only move in a “forward” direction. Since a dog’s body is incapable of degrading or decomposing them, they can wreck havoc. They grow in abundance in California – and on an eight acre dog sanctuary located in the country, you can imagine the threat. So this weekend we called on our dog walkers and gardeners for a “weed-a-thon” rising early to tackle the trails, benches, and other areas well traveled by the dogs. It’s not exactly my favorite kind of gardening…but it must be done.


Candy was kept company by her beautiful Shane;


and if the company of dogs is not incentive enough, donuts always do the trick!


Sundays, Kathryn holds Reactive Dog Training Class. This class is for dogs that don’t play nicely with others; some of them are our rescues, others are from community members seeking help.


A dog can’t be forced to like other dogs. But you can help them cope with their fears or anxiety by teaching them alternate behaviors. Our trainers have had amazing success with turning these thorny issues into good canine behaviors. I’ll share more on an upcoming post.


This poor pup was literally covered in thorns.


We are just beginning to write his story of true rescue; it deserves a post all its own. I will bring it to you soon. In between all, we managed to get a little gardening in!


After a week of unseasonably hot temperatures, the weather has cooled, and the garden is breathing a sigh of relief.


It weathered the heat well, and brings forth new treasures each week like this Jerusalem Sage…




Maria’s first sunflowers…


and of course, Roses – thorns and all.


With the promise of two stories to come, have a great week and I’ll hope to see you back here soon!