Brendan Nicholls
January 1994-October 26, 2008

The day we met Brendan, we were asked to choose between two Basset Hound brothers, one year old, living in a BHRSC foster home. The other boy was all over me, slobbery and affectionate. Brendan kept his distance but was acutely aware of everything that was going on. I knew that the other boy would be easy to love, and so we took home Brendan. He walked through the front door and spotted Amy, our lab/golden retriever mix; and he latched onto her like she was his Mom.

Amy took to napping with her head under the couch just to get a break. When Amy went out the doggie door, Brendan rushed the doggie door; this resulted in a regular need to replace the flap, which didn't really accommodate two dogs at the same time. At Amy's side, Brendan learned to act like a tall dog. He was always energetic and maintained his weight. He thought he could do tall dog things. On one vacation at the Mojave River, he followed Amy as she jumped off the bank into the river; Amy swam and we hauled Brendan out by his harness. Brendan always loved tall dogs; he frequently lost his heart to a Great Dane or an English Sheepdog at the dog park.

A month after Brendan came to live here, his brother Calhoune was returned to rescue for eating the furniture; we adopted Calhoune, and the brothers were reunited. It was a joyous, but short-lived, reunion. As they matured they developed an animosity that increased in intensity and lasted for as long as they were together. Our house was divided into the Brendan side and the backyard and the Calhoune side and the side yard. Amy was allowed on either side, when we opened the French doors that divided the house. Calhoune left for the Rainbow Bridge at the young age of nine. Calhoune's page

Brendan enjoyed his adventures with Amy. When Amy left for the Rainbow Bridge, we applied to adopt a tall dog through Golden Retriever Rescue. After approval, we were invited to an adoption event to meet the available dogs. We picked out a beautiful golden, but Brendan didn't like her. The next month, we had a 40 mile drive to the adoption event; and there, Brendan picked out Hailey. He loved his girl, and always kept her face clean and let her go first.

Brendan was all Basset. He had a great nose and even tried tracking. At home, I'd hide something in another room, out of sight, and on command Brendan would find it. We traveled frequently to the eastern Sierras, where Brendan saw his first rabbit (tail up and CHARGE!!) and his first snow. Brendan liked to be warm and comfortable and didn't really take to snow. I remember spending 15 minutes getting him dressed in a warm sweater and booties before letting him out onto the snowy porch. Hailey charged across the deck and down the steps and bounced into the snow. Brendan walked across the deck, down the steps, peed at the bottom of the steps, turned around and headed back towards the fireplace. And he was a great napper, having won the napping contest at Basset Spring Games.

Brendan always liked his comforts; he liked to be up on the couch and on the bed at night; he had steps to help him up. And as he aged and the steps became difficult, he'd put his front feet on the steps, give me "the look" and wait for me to help him up. He was regal, and never lost his dignity. He was named after King Brendan of Ireland because of his freckled, fair-haired complexion.

I like to picture Brendan and Calhoune at the Rainbow Bridge, reunited and ecstatically happy to see each other again. Good journey, Brendie...

Love, Mom & Dad