Don's Little Buddy Sage

by Don
(San Diego)

My friend Sage is gone.

He breathed his last breath while lying in my arms…his last heartbeat I felt on my palm.

He was 16 years old…by some accounts, that’s more than a hundred. It may have been too long for him, but not nearly enough for me. His pain is ended, but ours has just begun.

He endured much to live so long…blindness, arthritis – but I believe he endured them happily to be by my side as much as he was able. In the end, I had to decide for him…In those last minutes I would have given anything for someone to give me an excuse to pick him up and take him home again. And right this minute, I would give my right arm to hear Karen say I needed to come pick up his poop from the living room floor.

He was only twelve pounds after a big dinner, but he filled every corner of my home…Even now, as I look around my living room, his absence is everywhere. It is a small home, but feels like an empty stadium.

My dear brother Paul reminds me that we humans spend our whole lives learning to love and give unconditionally – but puppies know how at birth.

He is right…Sage loved me. Really loved me. He took genuine pleasure in my mere presence, sang out loud joyfully when I returned from work. He asked nothing of me in return for his devotion…ever. He never saw in me the glaring defects I have always struggled to overcome. He never judged or was angry with me.

Even when I was too tired to give him my full attention, he was content to sit at my feet or lay by my side, and in his last year he would struggle with his crippling pain and lack of control to stand and stagger over just to be close to me. Greater love hath NO MAN.

"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog.
You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart.
You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion."

I don't know who penned this, but it is in my heart.

I hope I was somehow worthy of Sage, although I can’t imagine how that’s possible.

Some people believe in a heaven…a paradisical afterlife where the deserving go after death. Well, if there is, people will find they are on a very long waiting list behind dogs.

I wish Sage were here – I know he would make me feel better…without saying a word.

Comments for Don's Little Buddy Sage

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Run Free Higgins/Play With Sage
by: Anonymous

Don, what a wonderful tribute to an unconditional friend. Thank you for sharing this - I know you understand that after only a week, my house seems so empty.

I miss his chin bouncing on my bed at 0500, letting me know that it is time for his morning constitutional and a small breakfast. I surely do miss his laying on my feet at night when we shared special time together.

I swear there were times when he watched TV with me when I was viewing my favorites, golf (?). He used to love to chase the balls when I practiced in the park.

Thank you again for letting me share just a small fraction of the love I had and have for Higgins.

by: Darren

I can so feel your sadness over the loss of your beloved Sage. I had to set my Sadie free from her suffering on August 27 after 15 & 1/2 years. It was the saddest day of my life.

I hope we can one day celebrate the joy and love our pet family members brought us and are reunited with them.

by: Anonymous

What a beautiful tribute to Sage. You have a gift for writing and for making the reader feel what you are saying. The pain is so very, very difficult after such a loss as Sage. Be good to yourself.

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