remembering brinkley


i’ve honestly not been able to write this post…and having said that, this won’t even be the full story as something about blogging about it makes it seem even more real.

about a month ago i noticed brinkley was breathing a little rapidly. i primarily noticed this in the evenings when we’d be settling in for the night. he’s slept on a pillow beside my side of the bed for years & i noticed he had quit doing that ( will explain why he quit in the next post). both of which i thought was weird. but nothing else was different. just occasionally i’d notice the rapid breathing.

i packed up later that week & took the bookends down to the gulf coast to photograph a few family sessions. we rolled in around 2am saturday morning…i climbed into bed exhausted & in my driving clothes. i never do that! woke up the next morning & asked dan how the last few days had gone. well, he told me, i didn’t want to tell you because i knew you’d pack up & drive home early…but brinkley hasn’t wanted to eat his last four meals. i dialed the vet immediately & knew something was wrong.

still in the same clothes from the day before we drove him nervously to the vet.

what happened next completely broke my heart….

X-rays showed brinkley’s lungs were full of tumors. we found out a few days later that it was metastatic tumors, advanced stage. we were given a few weeks to a couple months with him.

my mind knows these sweet animals don’t have the same life expectancy as adults. my mind knows that our sweet fella was 10 years old. but my heart wanted him to live with me, sleeping beside me, hanging out with me-in every single room-all day long…forever.

i’ll share a little more about those next few weeks in another blog post as this is all my heart can handle today…between that & moving in our emi my heart has been hurting and trying to get used to the “new” normal around here

we said goodbye to what i’m certain was the best dog in all the evers a week ago friday…

needless to say, i’ll be remembering brinkley forever…while technically he was a rescue dog, i am certain that for the last 8 years his sweet, loyal self rescued me…

( i shared much about him throughout those last couple weeks of his life on my instagram account… #brinkley & #rememberingbrinkley )



August 17, 2015 - 8:53 am

Crystal - been there…my heart breaks for you…i am so sorry.

August 17, 2015 - 8:55 am

Lisa Mothersead - You’re all in my thoughts and prayers. Good luck to your daughter. I’ve been through it twice with my two. It’ll be fine.

August 17, 2015 - 8:56 am

Rebecca B. - My heart goes out to you and your family. God bless.

August 17, 2015 - 9:42 am

Kat Hamilton - Paige, my heart hurts for you. I know how much you miss your sweet boy. He was the best! Love you! xo

August 17, 2015 - 10:23 am

Sandie Bailey - Paige all your words touch so many people. I have a rescue also and it touches my heart. Such a sweet sentiment for Brinkley. Sad for your loss

August 17, 2015 - 10:47 am

JuliaW - So very, very sorry for the loss of your sweet baby. May you find peace and many blessings of remembrance as you go forward.

August 17, 2015 - 11:11 am

Stacey - Paige, I’m so sorry for you and your family to lose Brinkley. It’s so hard. We went through a very similar scenario with our Katie who was a Lab. You’ll never stop missing that sweet part of your family.I’ll be thinking of you.

August 17, 2015 - 11:45 am

Kimberly Dial - Oh Paige, I’m so sorry. I know exactly how you feel. We lost our sweet Golden years ago at the age of 12. Even now, more than 10 years later, I still cry at the thought of our sweet Brandy girl. Thinking of & praying for you.

August 17, 2015 - 11:56 am

jodi - paige….my heart just breaks for you. we have been there several times, but we had one sweet girl that stole my heart; she lived to be 16.
My heart and prayers go out to you and your family. People don’t understand that our pets are our life and our family, we mourn and miss them when they are gone.
I have been thinking of you often and may God give you peace, sweet friend.

Take care…jodi

August 17, 2015 - 2:08 pm

chrissi - paige, thanks for sharing brinkley on your blog. if sweetness and loyalty can be captured in a photo, you did that. times like a million. happy dogs come from loving and caring people. you each did that daddy taught me that all dogs do really go to heaven and i believe it♥
so cheers to brinkley and to the ones he loved. he did so well.

August 17, 2015 - 3:35 pm

Maria - You’ve got me crying. Oh, I’m so sorry.

And I know moving Emily out wasn’t easy either. And sending Caroline to high school. And Savannah to a “real job.” And Dan’s cancer. And…I am sure there is more you haven’t shared.

You have had quite a year of change.

Good grief, I wish I could give you a huge hug, bring you a bouquet of summer flowers, and make you a huge margarita.

I am praying for you.

August 17, 2015 - 4:36 pm

Tricia Carter - Been through it and I honestly feel your heart break as if it was mine all over again – been exactly 8 years and 1 day ago since I lost my beloved best friend.

August 17, 2015 - 4:37 pm

KittyLuvr - Confession, I am not a dog lover….but I grew to love Brinkley over the years I have followed your blog and yes I cried when I read he was so sick…and even more last Friday. Thank you for showing how wonderful a dog can be….my prayers are with your family during this time of transition. We dropped my youngest at college this week for her senior year and the house is eerily quiet…so my mama heart is trying to hold it to together while I pray for our sweet Peru loving daughters….

August 17, 2015 - 7:35 pm

Becky - It’s difficult to lose a pet that’s been part of the family for so long. My heart goes out to you.

August 17, 2015 - 8:03 pm

Jill - I still can’t believe he is gone. {{hugs to you}} -xo~Jill

August 17, 2015 - 8:40 pm

Susan - I am so, so sorry about Brinkley. A good friend of mine just put her lab down last week as well. I did it 2 1/2 years ago with our sweet girl Roxy. I know the hole in your heart, I know that empty spot next to you in every room. It’s a terrible feeling. I know you know loss all to well. It’s such a helpless place to be. I wish you peace and comfort in this time of losing your family member, because thats what pets are. Never feel ashamed to grieve that loss like you would a human.

Lots of cyper hugs to you and your family.

August 17, 2015 - 9:45 pm

Maureen Hayes - My heart breaks for you and for your family on the loss of Brinkley. Our pets are truly family and I know how much you are hurting right now. Please know you are in my prayers.

August 17, 2015 - 11:39 pm

teresa - Paige and family, I am so very sorry. Brinkley was a blessing to you and you to him. We’ve only ever adopted and at one point had three rescued Goldens for years… I still get a lump in my throat when I think of them as they’ve all three since gone to Rainbow Bridge. I loved them so very much. Brinkley was a beautiful soul. My heart goes out to you. I’ve been there and it hurts….it hurts badly.

August 18, 2015 - 3:26 am

Melanie - Paige and family, it breaks my heart to hear of your pain. Our furry kids are too precious to lose, but I know that one day we will be with them again.

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….

Author unknown…

August 18, 2015 - 10:34 am

Jan Fusco - From the moment I read the title of this post, the tears started flowing. I am such an animal lover, especially dogs. I always enjoyed Brinkley in your photo shots. I know you will miss him terribly. Such unconditional love our pets give us. I’m feeling your loss.

August 18, 2015 - 9:35 pm

Curious Thinker - Hello, been following your blog for a while now, just wanted to say I’m sorry about your loss. I also lost one of my two cats this past May due to health problems and although, now I have adopted a new one, I still miss my other cat. I pray in time you will heal. God Bless.

August 19, 2015 - 6:06 pm

Katie - awww Paige, reading this makes my heart ache for you~ hugs

August 19, 2015 - 7:16 pm

Sharon Wideman - I am so sorry for your family’s loss. Many prayers.

August 19, 2015 - 7:54 pm

Andrea - I’m so sorry. When you described Brinkley’s breathing I just knew what you were going to say. My Lily died 4 years ago from cancer that was in her lungs, liver and everywhere. Lil was a one year old beagle mix that we got from the local shelter. Lil was with us for 11 year and it for just last week we got another

August 19, 2015 - 8:18 pm

Katherine @ Grass Stains - Paige, of course my heart breaks for you and your entire family. Losing a pet is one of the toughest things … of course they’re not human, but they are the next closest thing we have, are they not? I remember how terrified you were back when he got away from you, I don’t know, three or four years ago? On that busy street when he was attacked by a dog? And I could just feel how upset you were and how much you loved him then. He couldn’t have been loved any more than he was, by any family better than yours. And he knew it. 🙂 God bless the Knudsens.

August 20, 2015 - 7:09 am

Shannan - Just last week I lost my beloved cat Lucky, he was 8 and a half and the most beautiful boy. I still hear him wanting to come inside and sometimes I think I can still feel him sitting on my lap. Sincere condolences on the loss of Brinkley.

September 14, 2015 - 4:20 pm

Esme - Losing a pet is so difficult. They love us and we love them. I know there is nothing one can say that will make you feel better. I hope you reach that place where you can think of him without crying.

September 18, 2015 - 8:14 pm

meet our rescue pup~ duke » simple thoughts from Paige Knudsen Photography - […] few weeks ago i shared a little bit about our last days with brinkley. all day today i’ve thought about posting and each time i sit down to write a little i get […]

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