Home for Erika and Gwen is the United States. But as Foreign Service gypsies, they travel the world. Their most recent home is Pakistan. For our government, they have accepted posts in often dangerous places: Haiti, Iraq, Afghanistan, Russia, and more. The locals can be hostile, and, as auditors, they are not exactly welcomed by their peers, either. It’s a lonely and isolating life filled with security alerts and lockdowns, but they find the work fulfilling as their purpose is to ensure that foreign aid gets to those most in need. With frequent reassignments, they try not to make attachments. But when Lilly and Lucy crossed their paths, they simply failed to look away. We wrote about these two special dogs here.

Lilly was one when Erika met her on the streets; half-starved and missing a back paw. Lucy was an eight-month-old bag of bones when she caught Gwen’s attention, staying by the side of her mother and her latest litter of puppies. Erika and Gwen took them in, nursed them back to health, and they found a new home together. The two became inseparable.


When both Erika and Gwen learned they would be redeployed to new posts and tiny apartments without the benefit of yards, the panic set in. Against all good sense, they had fallen firmly in love with these dogs, now three and four, and there was no way they were abandoning them. The expat community is large and, like the military, they do their best to have each other’s backs. Erika and Gwen explored every avenue but were quickly running out of options.

A distant connection and recent adopter suggested Homeward Bound. As difficult as it would be to give the girls up, they knew that a permanent home was what they needed and deserved. They reached out to us, hoping that, if their dogs couldn’t pass for Goldens, they might find some golden hearts among us. Of course, we said “yes,” which is how Lilly and Lucy began the longest way “home.”

We met them at San Francisco International Airport. After an arduous two-day journey which they weathered like brave girls, they are now safely in our care at Homeward Bound.


They have seen our Doc and been assessed by our team, and are now ready to go home. They are currently in foster care with Homeward Bound’s photographer, Rob Kessel, who has created a beautiful gallery of photos. Click here to view. He reports that they are sweet, playful – but not overly rambunctious, easy to have around, and have quickly adapted to his home and his own dog.


Lucy loves to be on the sofa and give kisses, while Lilly sits quietly at his feet. Bonded as they are, our fervent hope is to place them together, but the most important goal is “home.”  Here’s a little about them:


Lilly: Age Four, mid-sized

– Born without a back paw – but that won’t stop her!
– Likes soft toys and being outside
– Gentle and sweet, but a little shy at first
– OK with most dogs once she gets to know them
– Beautiful brown eyes
– Adores Lucy


Lucy: Age Three, mid-sized

– Loves belly and butt rubs, and gives lots of kisses
– Sweet, highly trainable, outgoing and very adaptable
– Playful and enjoys being outdoors searching for squirrels and birds
– Likes other dogs
– Beautiful smile
– Loves Lilly

For Erika, Gwen, Lilly and Lucy, it has been a very long and stressful journey. For Lilly and Lucy, there is one more to go. Now that we have had a chance to get to know the girls, we want to help them find their most important home: their forever home.

Would you please help us by sharing their story and networking them to friends and co-workers? If you are interested in filling your home with love and are not a previous adopter, please submit an application on our website. If you are already an approved adopter, give us a call, or email us at: jjsgoldens@homewardboundgoldens.org.

Thank you!