Some hearts just have a seemingly endless capacity for giving.

Last Sunday, during the Volunteer Appreciation Picnic, a mom and dad and their three children, found their way to Homeward Bound. Their children, Viktoria, Irina and Ivan had teamed up with their friends Cassidy, Jade, Quentin and Ava to make these beautiful bracelets.

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Inspired by their parents’ promise to match their efforts, they sold the bracelets up and down the beach to raise money for a food donation to benefit rescued dogs. They raised $68; $136 matched. They called ahead to determine what type of food we feed our pups, made their purchase, and arrived on Sunday, September 8th to deliver it in person.

When they arrived, they saw nearly 100 volunteers sharing and celebrating at our picnic; they saw our eight acres of large yards for dog walking, running and playing; they visited the kennels and learned about our mission. Their love of Goldens is long-standing. Ten months ago, they lost a beloved Golden companion, leaving ten year old Sailor as the only dog in the house.

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Their compassion runs deep. All three children are from Russia. They rarely say “adopted” – they simply say “when you came home”.

Their bond to the dogs was immediate. On Thursday, they returned. Their interest was in meeting dogs that others had overlooked. Ollie had been with us a very long time. He had a history of skin issues, and ear infections that had left him deaf. Still, he’s a playful boy, a great companion, and a favorite of all of the volunteers. He was so deserving of a wonderful home.

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Ollie practically ran from his kennel and wrapped himself around Stephen and Christine’s legs. Sometimes, we don’t adopt dogs; they adopt us. Later that day, they sent photos of Ollie greeting the children at school. The subject line: ‘Love at first sight’.

Ivan-Ollie Viktoria-Ollie Irina-Ollie

And they were not done.

This past weekend the family returned with Ollie and Sailor to meet Mariposa. She’s a special, tiny girl – a year old but looks like a puppy. Her early life was not easy, and she will need lots of TLC and love.

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We’re pretty sure she found the right place.

What do you say to people who extend their hearts so freely to those in need and inspire the same in their children? We say “thank you” – for allowing us to celebrate Ollie and Mariposa’s “when you came home” days. Happy life to all.