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Dedicated to Bart, who had the Most Beautiful Tail

"It's very simple. Dogs and cats and other talented animals have tails; their tails, with their thousands of flourishes, provide them with a wonderfully complex language of arabesques, not only for what they think and feel and suffer, but for every mood and vibration in their feeling tone. We have no tails, and since the more lively among us need some form of expression, we make ourselves paintbrushes and pianos and violins..."

Hermann Hesse

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SAGE! (A year in pictures)

Last Christmas, this was waiting for us
under the Tree!

Well, perhaps not literally, but as of Christmas, we knew that this sweet little boy was about to come and join our family. One of the ten puppies in the "Tree Litter," this little "cream boy," started out as "Bryan," the smallest boy in the bunch!

In memory of our wonderful boy, Bart, who made his journey across The Bridge in the winter of 2008, our Christmas tree ornaments were decorated photographs of Bart's life with us, and all of his canine companions, Kenai, Denali, Elbee, and our about-to-be new little man, Sage.

Here are a couple of our ornaments, and first photographs of Sage. These pictures were taken by Sage's original "mom," Megan. Thanks for so many nice puppy pictures Megan, and for the wonderful job in whelping and caring for this litter. Sage really had three "moms" when he started out and we are very grateful to Megan, Carolyn and Mandy for making it possible for this lovely puppy to find his way to us!

This is one of the very first pictures we ever saw of our new puppy. He's four weeks old here. At this point, we didn't know he was to be the one for us yet, but I was really intrigued by the two "pink puppies" in the litter. I'd never seen a cardigan colored like this. Until Sage and his sister, Iris, came along, there was no way of knowing that both parents, Hannah and Wally carried the red recessive gene required to produce the "red dilute" coloration.

As a member of the Tree-themed litter, Sage's tree is the Redwood. In keeping with his clear red coloring and with the awesome splendor of these trees, it seemed fitting.

Sage's registered name is "Starry Nights, C-Myste, Baledwr Redwood Sunrise." This gorgeous picture of a sunrise along the California redwood coast provided inspiration and signifies the new beginning of this puppy's life.

The call name, "Sage," speaks to the fact that the redwood tree lives for centuries and is truly the wise old sage of the forest. The name also honors the paws he fills as the new man in the household. Bart was our pack leader, and was an "old soul." He was a most amazing dog who could communicate with just a look. He possessed a great depth of spirit and much wisdom. Truly he was a powerful creature on many levels; a very wise sage.

This was one of Sage's ornament pictures, seen above. Here he is six weeks old.

When Sage was born, he was a little white puppy. Obviously, this was pretty unexpected. I later learned from Megan that she was a bit panicky when Sage came out. He was puppy #2 of the ten and when she saw him she was concerned that Hannah had perhaps had too many good times with more than one suitor! we have a corgi mix here? She called Carolyn, who clarified the matter...whew! You can see here, and below, just how light he was! Follow along, as that will be changing!

Sage was also one of the smaller puppies in the litter. You can already see here that the blue male (Captain?) is noticeably larger, even though they're still very young. Special thanks to Megan and Josh for the hand feedings that kept Sage going. He was tiny, and the beginning was a little rocky! Today, Sage remains the smallest male in the litter, from all information I have. He weighs in around 27-28 pounds.

This was an exciting day. On December 29, 2008, we made the road trip, between major rain/snow storms, from the San Francisco Bay area up to Carolyn's place in southern Oregon to get our new boy. This is me, with sweet Sage, not long before our departure for home. People who saw this picture were convinced that we didn't get a corgi, but had somehow been fooled into taking this little cream spaniel-looking dog!

Of course Grandma Carolyn had to have a last snuggle with this little round-bellied fellow. She crafted his lovely duct tape crown for him to wear home.

Small in size, but big in personality, this puppy's playful nature comes through in pictures!

Our first day home with our new "son." His expressive personality was quite evident right from the start.

New Years Day, 2009. Yes, he is making noise!

Still a big puppy herself in so many ways, Denali (age 5) was thrilled to have a new little brother to play with. The adoration was mutual. Denali, who can be somewhat discriminating as to who she accepts as a playmate, showed herself to be a tolerant, gentle and nurturing big sister to Sage. He's learned a lot from her.

Now he's about 5 months old and starting to look more like a little dog than a guinea piglet! Tape off, ears up - beautiful!

Check out that big yawn, and the missing teeth! Sage left a lot of his puppy teeth just laying around the house for me to find.

Denali never left any puppy teeth around, but Sage didn't like swallowing his and I'd find them just laying around all over the place! Quite a collection!

One if his favorite spots, at the base of my desk chair. When he was really tiny, he could curl up between the spokes of the base.

As he got bigger, that wasn't quite as easy to do!

At a point it looks downright uncomfortable, but it doesn't change his plans.

From day one, he has loved all of the toys. Formerly all toys were Denali's official property. Fortunately, she has been surprisingly good about sharing.

This toy was a prize, awarded in puppy kindergarten class for being the only puppy who could stand/stay for an extended period while his owner walked circles around him!

Where's the "white" puppy! Sage's pink merle markings gradually darkened. Initially it was hard to tell if he was really a merle, or not!

Oh, there's that smile...we see it a lot! He is a goofy little character - always happy!

OK, now he definitely doesn't fit between the spokes of that chair, but he hasn't figured it out yet! This was taken yesterday, his last official day as a puppy.

Isn't he a handsome boy? He really looks like a young man now. But that sweet, snuggly puppy is still inside!

Interestingly he's started to curl his paw like this when he lays down. No, it isn't injured, it is just a posture he's started to exhibit. I've never seen a cardi do this, but Bart did it all the time - it was kind of a signature posture (see the picture at the top of the page). Of course it is a coincidence, now that Sage is truly the canine Man of the Household! (Or is it?)



Traci said...

awww - happy birthday Sage! What great pictures!!!

Kady Cannon said...

Wow, a year in pictures. That was really cute to see them all together and watch him grow: sort of like time-lapse photography.

Happy birthday!

Spons7 said...

Happy Birthday brother Sage, can't wait to see you Sunday. It will be a party to remember. Captain

Mistywowo said...

Love the pictures of Sage..he is so cute and shares my birthday :)

Mel, Corgi-keeper said...

(I found your blog through another Cardi blog, just so you aren't wondering who this random person is.)

Wow. It was nice to see Sage's progression from puppy on up. I've actually had my first Cardigan corgi, a pink named Darwin, for about six months now (he's almost nine months and was also born white) and it's fascinating to see the color similarities and differences between him and Sage.

Sage is a very handsome boy! And a happy birthday to him!

Elbeepem said...

Hi Mel,

Thanks for stopping in to see Sage's birthday photos. Darwin's little thumbnail photo is very cute.

Congratulations on your "pink boy." They sure do get a lot of attention and interesting looks when they go out, don't they?

Mel, Corgi-keeper said...

Darwin has a blog, too, if you are interested in seeing more pictures of him.

And, yes. I've lost count of how many people have come up and asked me about his color, with many asking, "Well, what's he mixed with?" It has been fun having a mystery puppy though, whose final adult color was not known when we brought him home. And from reading about Sage's personality, it sounds like he and Darwin have some characteristics in common!

Your other dogs are beautiful as well!