We had to say goodbye to our little Sage last night. Sage was diagnosed with congestive heart failure last Fall and while we did everything we could to keep him comfortable, he let us know it was time. We are heartbroken. He was the last of our pack of 3 and such a special little guy. He was my guy. My shadow, my constant companion, everything good wrapped up as the cutest little dog with the most adorable spotted feet. He never left my side. He must have thought that was his job. I called him my velcro dog. I couldn’t have loved him more – for his loyalty, his funny antics, his sweet demeanor and his calming presence in my life. I will miss him so very much.

I’ll always be grateful to my cousin who told us about this little black dog running loose in the area where she lived in South Fork, CO. We decided to take him, sight unseen. And, I’ll never forget getting home after Tom picked him up and seeing him for the first time. I was so excited! I knew he was a least part Border Collie (I’d always wanted one) mixed with Aussie. He was so darn cute! I couldn’t imagine no one wanting him, but again, I was grateful that he became a part of our family. Of course we didn’t know his exact age, but we got him around Halloween, so we gave him that birthdate. We think he was 12 1/2. It’s never long enough, but we shared a full and happy life with him during those years.

Sharing some of the many memories we made with our little Sagey.

brihtenkaylensageThe original pack of 3. L-R: Brihten, Sage and Kaylen (laying down). We called Brihten the King, Kaylen the Queen and Sage the Court Jester. He was the clown and so much fun!

P1100035Me with Kaylen, Sage and Brihten.

p6060079cTom with Sage, Brihten and Kaylen.

DSC_6491 Sage and Brihten.

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DSC_0734Sage loved the water and chasing sticks, balls, whatever he could go after. He was intense and full of energy. We called him our little “Wild Thing.” He eventually settled down, but it took several years (thank goodness for other dogs to play with), but I always admired his passion and exuberance. Settling down did not mean slowing down. He was always energetic and ready to play.

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DSC_0960 The Border Collie stalking posture.

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DSC_2464a One of my all time favorite photos of Tom with a bouncing Sagey following behind on one of our walks.

dsc_3272a Taken on one of our winter wild horse adventures. Sage always wanted to be wherever I was.

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dsc_9801a-sAfter we lost Brihten, Sage was pretty mopey as the only dog, so we adopted Malakai as his new buddy. They got along great together.

DSC_4750aPlaying games as they run along with Tom.

DSC_4917a Such a happy little guy!

DSC_4927 Hiking a trail above Redstone, CO

DSC_5017 Sage would stay or sit for a few “family” photos, but then he was off like a shot to catch up with me. Loved that about him.

DSC_5093My adorable little Sage.

DSC_5658 Snow was another thing Sage loved.

DSC_5845 Rolling in it.

DSC_5949 Running in it.

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DSC_6718-s Sage was good with everyone and came with me on almost every visit with Mom. Mom enjoyed my little guy.

dsc_8520Hiking around on the wild horse range. He never chased anything and was a dream traveler. Until his hearing started to go, he never even needed a leash. He then started picking up on hand signals. He was incredibly smart.

DSCN0517a This was taken on our Christmas trip to Piceance Creek last year. Sage loved going anywhere with us.

dscn2858a-copy1 Taken in Sand Wash Basin on another winter wild horse trip. Sage always by my side.

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P1060867-s Malakai and Sage play wrestling on the bed. They were buddies. Never had one fight between them.

P1070004a-s Sage used to go to work with me. He liked greeting folks. I so loved having him there with me.

P1070022a-s Hitting my boss Geoff up for some treats. He trained Geoff well.

Pam-use-sMe with Malakai and Sage a couple of years ago.

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This photo always makes me laugh. Such a face!

Sage3 Sage was so photogenic. He was a favorite subject of mine.

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Sage4-sSuch intensity.

Sage5 When he was a little guy – on one of our camping trips.

Sage5-s Sage did everything with such gusto!

Sage6Super Sage! He was so athletic. He lived for jumping after and chasing balls.

Sage-LanieAbsolutely good with everyone, including my great niece Ilyana (Lanie).

Sage-Lanie2Sage with Lanie hoping for a taste of sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving last year. So cute!

SageOfficeSage had his own little space in my office. I loved having him with me at work. It will be so different now.

XmasSageSage was a good sport about Christmas and Halloween.

DSC_4913aI’ll so miss those sweet, sweet nose bumps Sagey. I’ll miss everything about you.

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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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Always in the water when we took him hiking.

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

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Another portrait – Brihten, Kaylen and Sage.

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

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The boys retrieving tennis balls together in the mountains.

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

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

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

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

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Tom hiking with Sage, Brihten and Kaylen.

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

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

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A 2006 Christmas portrait.

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I so loved his expressively, sweet face.

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And he gave the sweetest kisses ever!

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

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Brihten and Tom up on Weston Pass (Colorado).

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

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

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

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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.

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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.

Happy Halloween, 2011!

October 30, 2011

Wishing you a safe and Happy Halloween!

Little Sage (Sagey).

Brihten.

And cranky kitty Taz (Tazmanian Devil).

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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.

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