And then there was one…

This is Ebenezer.  He is a basset hound.  A 13 year-old basset hound.  He is a quirky dog.  As I write this he is currently moaning as he gets a toenail at just the right spot on his ear.  I guess it feels pretty good….    Up until two Fridays ago Ebenezer shared our house with Sage.  Sage was almost 14; apparently it was tumors in her lung that led to her death.

This is Sage.  She was a golden retriever.  She came to us the same time as our daughter was born, almost 9 years ago.  We became her surrogates as my parents were discovering the joys of retirement…traveling wherever the winds blew them (sometimes literally when they would go sailing).

Sage was a beautiful dog–probably as most retriever parents can attest.  It took her a little time to adjust to the rambunctious three year-old boy who invaded her space with suddenness and noise.  But she did.  In fact, as we grew from one to two to three, she barely blinked an eye when her tail was accidentally stepped on, or when she was quite intentionally tackled.  The only time she showed her displeasure was when she wasn’t free to be near us.  If she was in the backyard and we were in the driveway, she’d let us know.  And while her companion Ebenezer would gladly saunter away given such freedom, Sage would lie down with a ‘humph,” happy as a…well, happy as a dog near its loved ones.

Sage’s body was laid to rest in our backyard, along with some of her favorite things: a tennis ball, a dog bone, and a little stuffed Big Bird that she carried around from time to time.  Our children wrote her notes and they’re in there too; tokens of love and articles of thanksgiving for a beautiful life lived in faithfulness.

When we moved into our house there were our two cats, Kitty and Anni.  Then came Eb.  Then son #1.  Then Sage and daughter.  And for a while we were the “two family”: two partners, two children, two cats, and two dogs.  But as with all things in life, changes occur, and we were so happy with the arrival of son #2.

Not long after his arrival we lost Kitty.  Then Anni.  Now Sage.  Ebbie remains, and in the not-so-distant future we will be saying goodbye to him as well.  But in the meantime we’ll hug him, and cherish him, we’ll laugh at his antics, and we’ll take him for … oooo, I’d better not say the word, otherwise he’ll get all excited! … you know, a synonym for “strolls.”

And we’ll prepare for the day when the nest will empty of our chicks.  But that too is far enough off; and who knows, maybe the animal menagerie will see a new day???



  1. September 24, 2008 at 11:20 am

    Sorry to hear about sweet Sage, but no surprise to hear that the Miller-Brandt crew handled all of lives curved with grace and dignity. See you in a few weeks.

  2. Kerri said,

    September 24, 2008 at 8:25 pm

    beautiful Frances… prayers for all of you.

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