Coyote Mercury

words, birds and whatever else by James Brush

Friday Hound Blogging: Walking, Becoming

Joey, Wolf and Phoebe.

They’re tired from walking, probably. Tired enough that Joey isn’t growling at Phoebe for touching him while he tries to sleep. It seems we’ve all come a long way and I’m not just talking about walking.

We started taking the dogs with us on some of our long walks up and down the neighborhood trails lately. This is new for the pups. R and I walk the trails, but in the past the dogs have typically been too afraid to proceed too far into the teeth of whatever dragons lie on the county regional trail that our neighborhood trails connect to. There could be monsters. Greyhound-eating monsters.

For years we’ve accepted their trepidation and stuck with short walks around the block, but a few weeks ago—to our delighted surprise—Joey and Phoebe were willing to accompany us for several miles and they did this with no tail-tucking or application of the greyhound brakes. This is a far cry from the time I had to carry all 65 pounds of Phoebe half a mile home because she got spooked by a leaf blowing across the street.

We’ve taken them on more walks since, and they’ve been eager to go and enjoyed being out and about. I realized we’d been letting them be the pups they were when we got them and we’d somehow forgotten to recognize how much they’ve run away from being scared (and scarred) ex-racers to becoming just normal dogs. As normal as a lazy stubborn skinny needle-nosed speed pup can be anyway.

Sometimes it seems those changes, those moments of becoming, happen so gradually those closest can miss their occurrences, allowing ourselves to get stuck in the way we’re used to knowing the world. Fortunately for us, we’ve realized how willing they are to adventure out of their normal walks because there’s just something primal and wonderful about a good long walk with a dog whose enthusiasm and simple awareness of the world makes time spent outdoors that much sweeter, something I haven’t experienced since my days hiking with Zephyr.

It’s good to have walkin’ dogs again even if it does make them lazier than ever before. Something I hadn’t previously thought possible.



  1. How wonderful that they are ready for new adventures. I had no idea that greyhounds were so skittish until I heard about it from other friends and family members who also have rescue greyhounds. My husband’s cousin has a sweet greyhound named Willow, and we’ve seen her really come out of her shell in the last year or so. I’m so glad that rescue operations exist for these pups. Many more happy walks to all of you!

    • Thanks, Heather. They’re great dogs, and they aren’t all skittish. We’ve chosen to adopt the ones that need a little extra love to get used to being in a home.

  2. Like the universe, the limits of greyhound laziness is expanding and thus as long as there’s a couch there’s the potential for passing out on it.Therefore, there is no word in greyhound for too lazy, even when you’re too lazy to untangle yourself from your couchmate. We have a friend who calls poses like that “greyhound spaghetti.”


    • I love the greyhound spaghetti term, though it’s unusual here. Joey usually likes his space. You’re right about the laziness. The new (bigger) couch has given them more space to practice their nap skills.

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