Thursday, March 15, 2012


I was talking to Joyce McRorie at last weekend's retirement day when she mentioned that her greyhound Crystal had died in her sleep two weeks previous. I know very little about her ailments other than she was a "mess". She nearly overcame them. But I do know that her plight touched many who knew her, and they pulled for her to recover. As my vague memory recalls, her illnesses were never quite fully diagnosed.

At the previous retirement day last month, as I was walking past the front of the McRorie's house, I remember seeing her hobbling to the front door with Joyce. And at the retirement day before that one, I remember her lying down on a moving blanket that was laid out under a canopy where newly arrived and bathed greyhounds would be toweled dry later.

I had my 50mm lens on; I opened the aperture up and tried to focus on the eyes. I knew I was going to overexpose her white fur but I didn't care.


She was wearing a coat to keep her warm.


It was a cool December morning, but she was quite toasty in her spot of sunshine:


Later, Crystal was moved back inside the house before the dog hauler arrived with the newest retirees from Caliente. Joyce told me that on Crystal's final night she seemed well earlier that day but later that evening she was just a little out-of-sorts.

A final photo of her on the blanket:


(Shot with the Nikon D300 using the 50mm lens; aperture-priority, with aperture set to f/2 for the top picture, f/2.8 for the rest; spot-metered for the top picture, matrix-metered for the rest; auto white balance; normal JPG.)


  1. How very sad! She reminds me a bit of Lilac, with the thin frail look. She was such a beautiful girl! Those eyes are just so stunning and unique, too. I think you captured something really special this time!

  2. These are some beautiful shots of a beautiful dog.

  3. I don't think I've ever seen a dog looking so drawn and fragile in the face, but there is so much dignity and knowledge in her eyes. How wonderful that Crystal died in her sleep. We wish that for all our 4 legged family, and human family when it comes to that! Very compelling, memorable photos.

  4. You did a really good job on portraying her fragility.

  5. These are beautiful photos, Steve. I would treasure them.

  6. Beautiful photos. God speed Crystal.

  7. i hadn't intended on trying to capture her frailty but...i really was awed by her eyes. in the last picture i desaturated it a lot for a different look and feel, but i still wanted to retain some of her eye color.