Wednesday, June 15, 2011

That special "thing"

Would it be safe to say that there is some "thing" that every greyhound has? That one "thing" the greyhound has which remains in your memory and neither dims nor diminish over time? For me, with Alex, our first greyhound, it was his black eyebrows; with Nikki, it was her stand-up ears and her happy personality (oops, that's two things). With our current greyhounds-in-residence Sadie, it's her stalking me (among her many quirks), and with Katie, it's play-snapping.

With one friend's greyhound, the special "thing" about her to me was this white marking:

A close-up of her white triangle marking

When I first met my friend and her greyhound at Dewey Beach in October 2009 we were both part of a group of East coast and Midwest greyhound friends renting a vacation house at Dewey Beach. After she introduced her greyhound, Neyla, to me I could not help but notice this white, triangular marking atop Neyla's neck. I tried to get some pictures of it. I was particularly pleased at a few pictures I got of her expressions while she was pawing at a gift I received during a gift exchange we did. She got really excited over opening gifts, I was told.

I took this photo as our group went out for a morning walk on the beach. I used a long focal length to shorten the depth of field and blur the background as I focused on the marking.

We all met again at Dewey in October of the following year. Neyla and I were re-introduced. I tried to take a lot of pictures of her during that weekend. When I left Dewey my last glimpse of her was through the rear window of the car I was riding in as we drove to the airport.

That would be the last time I saw Neyla: diagnosed with osteo earlier in 2010 she was gone two months after I took the photo. As a gift of condolence to our friend we had a large canvas print made of this picture with an appropriate quotation from Mahatma Gandhi that Aimee found.

Miss you, Neyla: you were one special pup.

(Shot with the Nikon D300 using the 18-200mm zoom set at 170mm; program-mode; camera chose 1/400 at f/10; ISO 200; auto white balance; normal JPG.)


  1. I'll bet that was a gift that they really cherished, too! I think you're right, there is that one "thing" that always is associated with certain hounds in our memories.

    I just got Celebrating Greyhounds in the mail yesterday! I loved your article and pictures about taking the girls and your daughter to Yellowstone Park. I'd always thought dogs couldn't go to the park at all. Was it because you were there at an off time? Anyway, the article was great!

  2. carrie, you can see the photo with quotation here:

    thanks for your comment re: the article. i wrote and re-wrote it many times, and my wife was very helpful with proof-reading and making suggestions.

    after i'd read the park service's pet rules for yellowstone we understood that we weren't going to be able to walk around as much because sadie and katie were with us. and we were fine with that. we weren't going to ask anyone living near us to pet-sit the girls for us, nor were we going to kennel them in west yellowstone while we enjoyed ourselves touring the park. so partly because of the restrictions the photos in the article have a sameness about them.

    the NPS doesn't recommend bringing any pets to the park at any time of the year. but if you must bring them, they are very limited as to where they are allowed to go. it's for their own safety as well as the resident wildlife (e.g., there are recurring episodes of parvo and distemper affecting the yellowstone wolf populations thought to be caused by non-local domestic dogs). i remember one story years ago about a dog and his owner's friend both dying because the dog had jumped into a thermal spring and the owner's friend went in after it.

  3. That quote on the picture is beautiful! It's so perfect together!

    You did a great job on it! I didn't even get to edit that one, so it was new for me!

    I thought the photos were nice, even if you were limited on where you could go. I'm so glad we have state parks that let us in with the dogs. As much as I'd like to see Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon with the dogs, I'm happy close to home in our beautiful spots!

  4. I love the quote, I hadn't read it before. It certainly was totally perfect and so was the photo.

    Beryl's special 'thing' is how she foofs, as I call it. When she's really content she puffs out her cheeks and blows with every breath. Usually when we're having quiet cuddles:)

  5. if what beryl's "foofs" are what i'm imaginging, alex did something like that. he'd be sound asleep, and when he exhaled his cheek would balloon and let the air out of his mouth, which then caused his cheek to collapse and the cycle would repeat. sounds worthy of doing a triptych.