Brihten – Our Sweet “B”

June 20, 2013

Our hearts broke today as we said good-bye to our beloved boy Brihten. Such an active and happy fellow, his sudden decline took us by surprise, especially when there was nothing that could be done to help him but to make a decision that any of us as pet lovers knows is one of the most difficult.

Twelve years ago, Brihten picked us out when we visited Lifeline Puppy Rescue in Brighton, CO after we lost our big dog Makeetah. He brightened our lives immediately – the change he brought to us and the location of Lifeline Puppy Rescue is how he got his name. We didn’t plan on bringing a puppy home that day, but I will be forever grateful that we did.

Brihten was unlike any dog I’ve ever had – and I’ve loved them all. What an amazing boy – like a wise old man with 4 legs and fur. We had a very strong bond and he knew me better than most people. He was smart, sweet and unbelievably sensitive. It’s very hard to think about how much I’ll miss not having him here to take care of us in all the many ways that he did. He was so very, very special.

Sharing some of our many memories in photos…

(Click on the images for larger/sharper views)

Our very special boy, Brihten.


I attempted scrapbooking briefly. These were a few pages I made of Brihten as a pup.


Brihten liked water from the beginning. He loved to play in the rivers and swim in the lakes. Even a garden hose made him happy.


Brihten and Tom’s horse Sammy shared a friendship too. I loved watching them “play” together. Eventually, we separated them as a safety measure, but they would still run up and down the fenceline together and visit over the gate.


When we took little Sage in (on the left), Brihten taught him how to behave, do tricks and all about perimeter security. And they would play, play, play. Brihten even taught Sage how to howl which is what they did every time we came home. I loved the way that they would “sing” their greeting to us.


A portrait of the whole “pack.” Brihten, Kaylen (who we lost in 2009) and Sage.


Brihten loved the snow as well. I took so many photos – I loved that handsome, knowing face.


Always in the water when we took him hiking.


Playing with a huge snowball. He could always make me smile.


Another portrait – Brihten, Kaylen and Sage.


He never seemed to slow down as he aged. He was always “joyfully exuberant” (as my aunt would say).


The boys retrieving tennis balls together in the mountains.


Some older photos…Kaylen and Brihten (when he still had most of his mask). Such big smiles on their faces!


Me, Kaylen, Sage and Brihten hiking around the Wolf Creek Pass area.


Sage, Kaylen and Brihten with Tom. They went everywhere with us (including the horse ranges) and were great little travelers.


Kaylen, Sage and Brihten on one of our camping trips.


Tom hiking with Sage, Brihten and Kaylen.


Camping – Tom with Sage and me with Brihten and Kaylen.


That’s me hiking around Weston Pass with Kaylen and Brihten.


A 2006 Christmas portrait.


I so loved his expressively, sweet face.


And he gave the sweetest kisses ever!


So much a part of the family, I took tons of photos of him over the years.


Brihten and Tom up on Weston Pass (Colorado).


Putting up with my Halloween photos. He was always such a good sport – he just wanted to make me happy.


Tom with Brihten and Sage on one of our wild horse adventures.


This was a composite print I made last Christmas of both Brihten and Sage.


And one last photo of my special boy with the jingle bell he always wore. How I will miss the sound of that bell – and so much more. You’ll be forever in our hearts Sweet “B.” I love you so much and will always miss you.


Photos are for viewing purposes only. Images by Pam Nickoles Photography, along with all site content are copyright protected and owned solely by Pam Nickoles Photography. Photos and/or text may not be used, downloaded or reproduced in any form without express written permission from Pam Nickoles Photography. Feel free to share, but please respect my copyright.

27 Responses to “Brihten – Our Sweet “B””

  1. Wende Says:

    So sorry, I know how much it can hurt. What a beautiful boy.

  2. Leilani Says:

    I am very sorry for your loss. I have been down that road before and will be down that way again. It’s just so damn difficult to say that last ‘goodbye’. Take care.

  3. Angie Says:

    My heart breaks for you guys….thanks for sharing your memories of your boy

  4. Jim Westin Says:

    So sorry for your loss……..beautiful pictures……beautiful memories. (They spelled my name wrong on that Pass)

  5. Sue Leitch Says:

    What a lovely range of photos you have of Brihten – sorry for your loss but so glad that you have such wonderful memories of your time together.

  6. Linda Ha Says:

    My heart is heavy for your today. Thank you for sharing these beautiful memories of this special creature. No amount of words can substitute for that hole in your and Tom’s hearts, but please know that we grieve for you.

  7. Kathy Wharton Says:

    I am so sorry Pam! I know how much you love your doggies! Kathy


  8. Margaret Says:

    What a lovely family you have. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  9. Chris Posey Says:

    It’s so hard to lose a close family member. You’ll always remember his bright, cheery face and happy disposition. So sorry for your loss.

  10. Oh Pam, I’m so sorry to hear about Brihten. These losses can leave one gasping. By the looks of the photos you posted, Brihten certainly had a full life. I’m sure he had no regrets…other than leaving you and Tom. I always feel that former dogs help you find a new companion, to carry on in some capacity. I’m sure Brihten will be busy looking for that certain pup to help you and Tom recover from his loss and to give Sage a new friend. Hugs, Puller

  11. pnickoles Says:

    Thank you all for your comforting comments. I appreciate your thoughts very much.

  12. Arlene Says:

    Dear Pam, I know how and what you are feeling, i remember my Shepard Ozzy, like you say they know us better then we know ourselves, You and i have such beautiful memories of our lovely companions and most of all awesome photos , not that we even need something to remember them, they are like our children and so loved !!!!! and missed my Ozzy died 6 yrs ago and in ways it was like yesterday and in other ways seems so long ago, but he is in my heart and in my soul everyday , I think of him , and how happy was just to be , he brought some pleasure to everyone who met him ……… So Pam be happy your Brihten was with you , and your memories of him cannot be taken away from you by anything !!!!!!! The Brightness he leaves behind will light your soul and heart forever !!!!!!

  13. Kim Michels Says:

    He will always walk beside you. I am so sorry for your loss.

  14. Ronnie Says:

    Dear Pam, Your bond with Brihten was strong & special. “Unlike any dog you ever had.” I so know. Although we love all our companion animals, we are blessed to have certain “fur *persons” come into our lives. “Old Souls,” sent to us for a purpose. I call them angels. So very sad now, but I know you will take comfort in the gift of Brihten. His beautiful life with you. The special “knowing” you had together. Not all are fortunate to have this. I know, My Kitty, age 23, over the Bridge two years. Pam, we were & are blessed. Forever. Hugs to you & your human & fur family <3. Ronnie

  15. Kelly Militello Says:

    Brings tears to my eyes…so sorry. They are one of the most special gifts a person could receive. Lovely tribute to the sweet pup!

  16. cs Says:

    I have tears running down my face. What a blessing he was, from the very first day.


  17. Bob Smith Says:

    Pam and Tom, I never met Brihten but I could see in his handsome face how much he meant to you. He must have brought tons of joy just by looking at the pictures you posted. You are so fortunate to have had him as a member of your family. I am so sorry for your loss. I know you’ll remember him fondly and frequently.


  18. MA Patch Says:

    So sorry to hear of your loss. Sometimes it is much better when they go ‘downhill’ quickly, that way you know they didn’t suffer for too long. Brihten will be forever in your memories. Thanks for sharing you pics and story, he looked like he had a wonderful life with your family! Take Care, Marianne Date: Thu, 20 Jun 2013 23:52:37 +0000 To:

  19. Anne Says:

    I am SO sorry you lost your friend. I know exactly how you feel and it’ll hurt for a while, but they’re always worth it, even when they leave too soon. Hugs.

  20. Tai Says:

    I’m so very sorry for your loss. It’s so hard to lose our most loyal of friends. Those were beautiful pictures of him. He was lucky to have picked you that day, he found himself a great family and home

  21. Kathy Morson Says:

    What lovely pictures. Looking through these pictures must bring tear to your eyes and smiles as you remember your dog. No way is best for a loved one to go but so quickly has to hurt.

  22. Sue Manalio Says:

    Pam, I feel your pain….I am so very sorry for your loss….he was so lucky to have you as a mom.. May he rest in peace and wait for you at the rainbow bridge.. Healing thoughts and prayers to you….<3

  23. So sorry for your loss Pam. He was a heart dog. We are lucky to have those in our lives, but it makes it extra tough when they are gone. Sandy

  24. pnickoles Says:

    You are all so kind – thank you again for your comments and thoughts. Means a lot to me and Tom.

  25. Maggie Frazier Says:

    What a great life Brighton had with you & Tom. Twelve years is never enough – I know. I guess the few years is the price we pay for loving them & being with them . Over the years, there have been so many – all of them loved. But here for such a short time. And always room for one more, right?

  26. Molly and Jacob Says:

    We have been remembering brihten and
    All of the wonderful memories we shared with
    Him over the years. I think he came into our lives and hearts about 8 years ago and immediately became one of maddys best friends. She would pet sit and be gone too long. When I went over to check they would be curled up on the couch together in an tangle of arms and paws. Brihten always smiled and was so excited to see us. Once Maddy went off to college, Jacob learned what a special boy he was caring for. He played ball with him endlessly and was amazed at his catching skills. Jake says brihten is like a little kind man full of love. We are proud and honored that brihten chose us as friends. We will never forget all of the smiles and excitement he brought to our lives. We are so sorry for your loss. Love Molly and Jacob Murphy

  27. Looked like he was a happy dog and brought you many wonderful memories. The photos are beautiful and a great tribute this amazing critter.

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