It’s all about you, Sage

February 27, 2011 • Local News

Sage leads the parade held in her hon[auth] or, from the sidecar of Patriot Guard co-captain Mike Murphy’s motorcycle, Saturday. (Mark Wilson Photo)

In honor of Sage, local canine war hero, the city of Roswell celebrated Sage Day Saturday alongside a fundraiser for the Sage Foundation for Dogs Who Serve.

“I always tell her that it’s not always about her,” Diane Whetsel, Sage’s human companion, said. “But today, I had to tell her ‘it’s all about you.’ She’s happy. She loves people. This was fun for her.”

Sage’s exploits are numerous and worthy of praise. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, she worked at the Pentagon. During the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, she served disasters in the Gulf Coast. She has also been on a few tours in Iraq.

“She is not a huge dog or police dog, but she has seen and been in more horrifying places [than most people] and handled it so well,” Whetsel said. “[She has been] that soft fur to cry into if a soldier needed to or— just to snuggle with.”

Sage Day began with a proclamation ceremony at the Roswell Convention and Civic Center, where Mayor Del Jurney declared Feb. 26 as Sage Day. Soon after the ceremony, the Patriot Guard Riders and Las Lunas, Las Vegas, N.M., Ruidoso, Ruidoso Downs, and Reservation police departments led a parade down Second Street that ended at Harley Davidson Champion Motorsports.

“I’ve never seen any city or community come out for one little dog like this,” Whetsel said. “This is amazing — it’s awesome.”

Whetsel hopes the Sage Foundation’s fundraising dollars will be able to help many canines that have been national and public servants.

“This is a national thing,” she said. “We want to help all of our dogs — our military working dogs, our police dogs, our search and rescue dogs, our FEMA dogs. We want to help out our departments, we want to help out all of these dogs.”

Whetsel said that it’s important for these dogs to be cared for after their service.

“We don’t want them to end up in a kennel somewhere at the end of their career,” she said. “We want them to have the best life that they can have. They deserve the best medical care — they deserve the best retirement. Just because of budgets … departments don’t have the money sometimes to do the best for the dogs.”

Saturday’s festivities ended with a canine demonstration and raffle at Champion Motorsports and a Fun Run at the Elks Lodge No. 969, where door prizes, totalling $1,200 worth of donated items, were given away.

The Sage Foundation for Dogs Who Serve raised more $6,600 on Saturday for injured and retired dogs. According to MaryAnn Murphy, organizer for Saturday’s festivities, Sage Day will be an annual event in Roswell for years to come.

“Dogs are God’s gifts to humans and they bring out the best in us,” Murphy said.

“Every time I see Sage, I just fall more in love with her. These dogs do such a service. They go places where people can’t, sometimes. They pay the price.” For information on how to donate to the Sage Foundation for Dogs Who Serve, visit

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One Response to It’s all about you, Sage

  1. Hero dog says:

    Thank you all for your support of this wonderful dog and our efforts to provide for all of our nations hero dogs the finest vet care and retirements available.
    It is an assumption by most people that these dogs owned by our police Depts, corrections Depts and military are always taken care of when they become injured, ill ot too old to work. The fact is, these dogs are considered property to most of the Departments and are subject to the same budget restraints that we are seeing across the country. If they become injured or sick, many times their treatment is determined by what the busniss office has in their budget. Many times there just are not the funds to pay for expensive treatment options and the dogs suffer. Sometimes, they may even be put to sleep due to cost issues. We at the Sage Foundation For dogs Who Serve are trying to change this one dog at a time.
    Thanks again to all that came out to support our efforts!
    A special thanks to Champion Motor Sports and Lauren Allison with her wonderful staff for selling t-shirts,tickets, wristbands and hosting the event, MaryAnn for all of her work. Board members Kathy O’Dette, JoAnn Heiss for their commitment to the foundation. Sally Pritti who sold the most tickets!
    Thank you to the Patriot Ruard Riders for escorting our little hero dog through town! You were all just the best!

    Diane and Sage

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