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Wednesday, February 10, 2010


At this time of year, the dogs and I frequently hike along a ridge near our house just as the sun sets. As the sun drops below the towering peaks to our southwest, a warm crimson light engulfs the ridge.
For the past few years, I've taken photos of our dogs in that warm light that serves as a harbinger of spring for me. In February, the sun aligns perfectly with the ridge at sunset.

I first discovered the amazing glow of the sunset on the ridge in February when K was about 5 months old (2004).
Around that time, S joined our pack permanently. Two years ago, he and K posed for me on the ridge as the sun dipped below the mountains.
Then, last year, our wonderful trio managed to stay still simultaneously for a photo. Between R's rambunctious puppy demeanor and S's absent-minded professor act, keeping them all in one spot for a photo was a major accomplishment!
Yesterday, the sun set just after we crested the ridge. I stopped to photograph the labraduo, our current dog family, in the sunlight, keeping my tradition alive.
A little closer up.
And, always true to his spirit, R wanted an action photo as well.
These photos show how our pack has grown and contracted over the years. And, it starts the history only 6 years ago although we've had labs in our family for more than 20 years. Even the photos with our departed S make me smile. We were so lucky to have him in our lives. And, many of his quirks and strengths have lived on in the Labraduo.

As the elder statesdog for a few years, S helped shape the younger dogs. He taught them to always check the ground for fallen treats after a recall treat bonanza. And, he taught R that it was absolutely necessary to take a potty break immediately after drinking because S truly believed that the water went straight through him. Finally, and very importantly, he taught K not to be afraid to take potty breaks in city-like places. Without S's guidance, K would have a lot of trouble on road trips!

Most of all, he taught both K and R, by example, how to approach life with a happy and relaxed spirit. We miss S, especially acutely on our sunset hikes.


  1. Nothing better than generational training in a family of dogs.

    We don't quite get the good light in the afternoon until we're more into spring. Cannot wait.

  2. I love hearing your memories of S. I know he wasn't with you for his whole life, but the time that you shared with him seems like it was really special. What a great picture of the three of them hanging out at the ridge a couple of years ago.

    I think the tradition of taking the picture at that spot is a great one.

  3. Each member adds something more to the collective pack left to carry on -

    The last picture is very nice!

    We hope you are continuing to feel relief -

  4. Ahhhhh, so happy to see you do this:) We didn't know you when you had S - what a gorgeous pup!!! The memories are just beautiful. We would love to hear more about S.

    Those shots of the sun on the ridge are so wonderful too.

  5. Such a neat tradition. What a great way to look back at different times with your canine family.

    That last picture feels powerful to me. Maybe powerful in the way each animal can touch us, if we let them. Thanks for sharing with us.

  6. What a wonderful series of photographs and memories. Just lovely.

  7. K was one beautiful puppy! I love the photo of them all together. I still giggle when I think of my husband trying to get our four greyhounds to cooperate for a group photo. I could have been nice and helped, but it was too amusing watching the three ring circus. The fact that you pulled it off and made them look so natural is a true accomplishment. Looking at the photo, it captures things that I recall you saying about the personalities of each of them, too.

    I've heard you mention S a few times, but I'm curious about how he came to be with you, too. Do you plan on adding another blonde to the pack anytime soon?

  8. We love your header. What a perfect shot!!! All the dogs are so beautiful. It is nice to see pictures of them when they were together.

    Emma Rose and the Duchess

  9. I love your new smoochy dog header!
    Very perfect canine Valentine's Day thing, and the background, Wow!

    They make such a pretty contrast together, and I also loved the R snoozing picture yesterday.

    Cheers and hugs,
    Jo and Stella

  10. Your post is beautiful written. Wonderful dog memories. They are special, each and every one in their own way. (And you are too.)

  11. Sweet pictures and memories.No wonder we share our homes with an animal that has so much of our DNA. They somehow manage to give back so much more than they receive.

  12. Amazing how many places I go that trigger a fond memory of one of The Herd before. I started the website and blog as a memory to dear sweet Nikita and now have such a record of some of the memories of the current Herd as well - with the bonus of discovering how cool the dog blogging world is.

    Love the K Puppy picture!

    P.S. - Regarding your question, it depends on who was performing on the CD? Maybe you simply have a music critic on your hands in R. Grins.

  13. lovely....and love the header!
    such a cute puppy....and to see the pictures of handsome....
    hope today is a good day for you!!

  14. Dear KB

    The light in your photographs today certainly is special! If you look at the photo of Max in the dwindling, afternoon sunlight on our post today you will understand that we are experiencing the exact same thing...the change of seasons but in extremely different parts of the world!
    You are approaching Spring, we are approaching winter! I find that period of time, when the northern hemisphere and the southern are almost at the same point, strangely profound.

    THanks for the beautiful photos!

    THe other thing I want to say...whilst you are experiencing "Shadows" and "light" (previous post) as well as inappropriate comments on your youtube videos and the difficulty of recovering from your surgery, you are quite vulnerable. Try and ignore those harsh comments, try to put the shadows behind you and try to focus on the light... it's always available.

    Take care and lots of healing love sent to you and your pack.

    C in SA

  15. Wonderful looking dogs and a greater header photo.

  16. A beautiful series of photos. Amazing all the thoughts, smells, feelings and other memories that can be packed in to each single photograph.

  17. Hi KB, I'm in Breck, enjoying blue sky and sunshine. How I love your new Header - just perfect to welcome people to your blog! That glowing twilight is wonderful for your doggy portraits. In the first shot of K and R, it looks like she's telling him, "Hold your sit-stay!"


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