July 5, 2016 Pagosa Springs, Colorado

View from Above Wolf Pass
View from Above Wolf Pass

Wolf Pass, Colorado, Goodbye to Jenny

View from Above Wolf Pass
View from Above Wolf Pass

It is only a 10 mile drive to the top of Wolf Pass from where I am staying at the West Fork Campground, about 14 miles north of Pagosa Springs. And when it gets a little too warm at the campsite, that is where I go to cool down and wait for the evening temperatures to drop back to a comfortable level.

Above Wolf Pass
Above Wolf Pass
Above Wolf Pass
Above Wolf Pass

By the time one reaches the summit, the temperature has usually dropped by 20 to even 30 degrees and there is always a strong breeze up here. From sweating down below to pulling on the sweatshirt up here.

Above Wolf Pass
Above Wolf Pass ( Note the Beetle Kill )

The views are stunning but the extensive amount of bark beetle kill is just awful to see, and unfortunately is probably a view into the future when most of these coniferous forests will all be devastated like this.

View from Above Wolf Pass
View from Above Wolf Pass

The beetle kill at this altitude, about 10,000 feet, is probably around 60 % of the forest.

Beetle Kill Near Wolf Pass
Beetle Kill Near Wolf Pass
Marmot Den
Marmot Den

Wildlife and Wildflowers

Marmot Den
Marmot Den

I was shooting some wildflowers on one of the steep roadside banks going up to the overlook above Wolf Pass, when this marmot stuck his head out of his den to see what I was doing in his neck of the woods.

Marmot Sunbathing
Marmot Sunbathing

Figuring I wasn’t much of a threat, he made his way out of the den and up the rocks to get a little late day sun.

Colorado Wildflowers
Colorado Wildflowers

I have read that the wildflower displays the Colorado mountains are famous for occur in mid July and beyond, exact timing, most likely, depending on elevation.

Wildflowers
Wildflowers
Wildflowers
Wildflowers

But up here at Wolf Pass, the show has at least started.

Wildflowers
Wildflowers
Wildflowers
Wildflowers
Wildflowers
Wildflowers

I won’t even begin to try and identify these individual flowers, not my field of expertise, but I can appreciate their beauty without knowing their names.

Wildflowers
Wildflowers
Wildflowers
Wildflowers
Wildflowers
Wildflowers
Wildflowers
Wildflowers
Mulie Twins
Mulie Twins

These guys were tiny, couldn’t have been more than a few days old.

Wait for me, Mom
Wait for me, Mom
Sam Checking Out Wildflowers
Sam Checking Out Wildflowers

Jenny’s Last Outing

Jenny and Sam Above Wolf Pass
Jenny and Sam Above Wolf Pass

On July 6th, I left Pagosa Springs with an enormous hole in my heart, traveling for the first time on this full-timing gig with only Sam ( Samantha ) for my companion.

Jenny and Sam Above Wolf Pass
Jenny and Sam Above Wolf Pass

Jenny, my constant companion for almost 16 years, is no more. She has been suffering from some kind of seizures for the past two weeks, her breathing has become very shallow and it was quickly becoming obvious that her end was near. I clipped her long coat just a few days before these shots at Wolf Pass were taken when the heat was making it very hard on her. She and Sam have been all but connected at the hip for 10 years, but Sam has almost always been right at her side the last several days as she obviously knew something was not right.

Jenny and Sam Above Wolf Pass
Jenny and Sam Above Wolf Pass

Sam even became something of an alert dog as she could sense when Jenny was going into one of her seizures and would jump out of their bed and let me know what was coming just seconds before the seizure would hit. I was hoping that such a wonderful little dog like Jenny would be blessed with a quick and painless end, but for whatever reason, that was not to be.

By July 4th, her breathing was becoming very shallow and rapid, and she was now being hit with a couple seizures a day, so I had to help her out and made an appointment for her to be put to sleep at the veterinary clinic just outside of Pagosa Springs. They were very kind and did a wonderful job of ending Jenny’s suffering, even coming out to the car, so she wouldn’t have to experience the normal dread she went through anytime we approached a vet’s clinic for annual checkups and shots.

Jenny
Jenny

Jenny made it to 15 Years and 9 months, a fairly long life for a small dog, and I can proudly say, I know she had as good a life as any little dog could possibly expect to experience. The look on her face in the image above expressed this inexplicable adoration she had for me. Though certainly friendly, she would barely acknowledge other people, or dogs, and seemed to focus all of her attention on me, why, as I said, I just don’t know.

At Home on the Couch
At Home on the Couch

In our previous life, she had the run of a 6000 SF house and art gallery/frame shop, plus a large yard  to chase squirrels in.

Keeping Me Company in the Workshop
Keeping Me Company in the Workshop

She always had a canine companion and for the last ten years, that was Samantha, seen above in their daytime space behind my work station in the frame shop.

Checking Out New Territory
Checking Out New Territory

Three years ago, the three of us hit the road for this full-timing life, and she was able to experience a lot of North America, exploring lots of new territory.

Jenny Checking Out the Texas Wildflowers
Jenny Checking Out the Texas Wildflowers

…. smelling the wildflowers in Texas

Windblown in the Desert
Windblown in the Desert

….getting windblown in the desert

Jenny In Amish Country
Jenny In Amish Country

…perched on a picnic table watching Amish buggies go by in Pennsylvania.

Photographer's Assistants
Photographer’s Assistants

Accompanying this photographer to too many locations to possibly recall, always there to help me pull gear from the back of the Prius.

At the Beach
At the Beach

And, God, how she loved the beach ( I guess that probably goes for all dogs ). Just run forever, never seeming to tire whenever we hit the sand.

Watching the World Go By
Watching the World Go By

Here watching the world go by from one of her favorite perches when we were wintering on the Port Aransas Beach.

In the past, and unfortunately I have gone through this process many times, I have usually replaced a dog with a new pup fairly quickly because I don’t like to leave the remaining dog without canine companionship, and training a new puppy usually takes my mind off the recently lost pet. This time, I don’t know what I am going to do yet. The sorrow is little deeper than ever before, perhaps a reflection of my own age, but more likely because of the special place this little dog held in my heart.

Rest in peace, Jenny.

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26 thoughts on “July 5, 2016 Pagosa Springs, Colorado”

  1. Bob, there are of course no words that can mend a broken heart. Only time will do that. But just know that I am so very sorry for your loss and take what condolence you can find in the fact that you gave Jenny the best life any dog could dream of. Take care.

  2. So sorry to read of your loss of Jenny. I too have always had more than one dog. I’ve loved them all dearly and don’t have “favorites” but sometimes there is just a deeper connection and devotion. Thank you for sharing the lovely pictures of her and Sam.

  3. It is so very difficult to lose a beloved animal companion. Sam will help you choose, not a replacement, but a sweet new friend with her/his own personality. And you both have wonderful memories of Jenny.

  4. So sorry to hear about Jenny. She (and Sam) were alot of fun to have around Salineno this past winter. I know the bond you three had together was very strong and this has to be hard on both you and Sam. You know the trouble we were having months after we lost Jake, and I know you will go through that too. Your tribute to her is beautiful and we’re thinking of you (and Sam).

    Merle and Lois

    1. Thanks and hope all is well with you two. If you haven’t already done so, be sure to click on the “Winter in Salineno” Image Gallery on the right hand side of the blog. Sam says Hi to Shammy!

  5. So sorry for your loss. What a great tribute to your sweet girl and what a wonderful adventure life you gave her. I love your photography. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Like so many of your followers, I can barely see to type. Please accept my condolences on the loss of your beautiful inimitable friend. You were blessed to have her. Having lost dearly beloved feline friends, I know how horribly difficult this must be for you. I’m sure you will make the right decision.

    1. I was blessed to have an animal that was so much fun to have around and hopefully it will happen again. Jenny replaced Pearl, and at the time of Pearl’s passing, I assumed I would never have another dog as nice as her, so one never knows.

    1. People that knew us over the years often commented on how unusual it was to have Jenny politely greet them and then immediately return to where she could keep an eye on me, while Sam would follow them out of the room, or follow them home if they paid adequate attention to her.

  7. I’m so sorry to hear of the loss of your beloved Jenny. It is so hard to lose our pets. My condolences to you. I’ve been following and enjoying your blog for quite a while, however stealthily. Take good care.

  8. Bob, you have my sincere sympathy on the loss of your Jenny. Animals are family and the grief process is the same. Sometimes, I feel, the loss of an animal is the hardest loss of all. Surrounding you and Sam with comforting memories.
    Diane

  9. Beautiful tribute to Jenny, Bob. She was such a good girl, and lucky that she was able to have such great adventures with her two best friends. Sending you a big virtual hug…

  10. Bob, your tribute to your Jenny is so touching, I am sobbing as I read it and see the wonderful memories captured in the photos. There are no words to say except I grieve along with you and I know from experience how heartbreaking it is to lose a member of our family. I hope you find comfort in all the good memories.
    Debra

  11. Real sorry to here about Jenny. I think I qualify as a lover of all dogs, but every once in awhile there is a one that is super special.

    1. You would know, having been through this more times than I. I am a little afraid she is going to be hard to replace, if that is even possible, but Sam needs some company, and probably soon. She hasn’t touched her food bowl now in three days, surviving only on a couple of doggie treats daily. I hesitate giving her the treats hoping she will resume eating her normal chow, but she just seems totally uninterested in eating.

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