Sage & Duke

My brother Sage turned 29 this past May and asked me to take pictures of him with his favorite dog, Duke. It was a strange request, but I'm assuming he took my offer of a free photo session in lieu of a Rosa's gift card (which certainly would have  been the alternative!). In order to appreciate this post, you really need to know the backstory of good 'ole Duke. Sage bought Duke about 9 years ago when he moved back to Texas Tech and instantly fell in love with the adrenaline seeking canine. Duke lived in Sage's modest backyard but made a bad habit of constantly jumping the fence and running away. Therefore, Sage took this as an opportunity to send Duke off to "boarding school" at my parents' 60 acre pecan orchard, which has no fence. After running more than 10 miles away from home, on multiple occasions, Duke quickly lost his "free roaming" privileges and was sentenced to a large dog kennel (akin to a jail cell with plush bedding). He was treated like a king and got to run twice a day, every day. Sage took him on hunting trips, and even sent him to a prestigious dog training school. He came home and we were all full of hope that he had left his childish ways behind him.

Later on, as a "teenager" Duke found himself on probation and still living in his kennel. My mom went to let him out one day only to find him missing. Stunned at how this crazy Houdini could possible escape the Thames rendition of a much friendlier Alcatraz, my mom rigged a spy cam to catch the canine in his mischievous act. Sure enough, the amateur surveillance tape revealed Duke jumping onto the top of his dog house, shimmying up the chain linked fence, squeezing his way through the wired roof, and catapulting himself onto the canopy of surrounding trees for a smooth landing. After sealing off Duke's man-cave, my mom felt certain he was going no where. Now smarter, she bought a neon orange locator collar with a remote control, so that when he was out, and did run off we could beep him back home. Nevertheless, Duke ran off two more times: Once in the poring rain at 2:00 AM only to be found by one of Sage's friends from high school; the other at the Tipton Pet Hotel, where he adopted the name "Bob" and an immaculate indoor suite (literally with cable TV for his viewing pleasure).

The stories go on.... including one rattle snake bite and two encounters with very pissed off porcupines (all three of which happened on Sundays when our vet was closed). Needless to say, the dog is a more entertaining version of "Marley", and he has won the hearts of all of us who have tried to keep him alive over these past 9 years. Now he's older (and I wish I could say wiser), yet he is still into his same old tricks.

This was just two weeks ago- his most recent disaster... don't worry, we got him squared away with pain medicine and antibiotics!

Enjoy these images of Duke- we may eventually turn his story into the next best seller!!

life's a flash, capture accordingly.