Coyote Mercury

words, birds and whatever else by James Brush

Tag: daphne (page 1 of 5)

Every Day Is a Gift

Thanks for reminding me of that, Fred.

The day we met Daphne her name was Fancy. She was huddled in a ball at a greyhound meet-n-greet. She was the smallest grey I’ve ever seen and with very little fur, she didn’t look particularly healthy. But the little neckerchief she wore said she needed a home. That was all it took.

Two weeks later we had a new dog. She was scared of everything, and she spent most of that summer hiding under an end table and sneaking to the bedroom at night. The first day, I had to pick her up and carry her outside when she needed to go out. I did that for a few days, but one night at about three in the morning, I heard her bouncing by my side of the bed, eyes shining and ears as up as they could go.

I took her outside, and she wanted to play. We ran around the yard under the stars and chased each other. Then she did her business and went in. After that she always told me when she needed to go out. And, for the past six years, I have gotten up at least once, sometimes twice, in the middle of the night to let her out. Every night.

One of my favorite things about leaving town is knowing that I will get to sleep through the night. But now… now, I know I will miss getting up.

I will miss watching Daphne tree the midnight possums and snap June bugs from the air as they swarm around the porch lights. I will miss hearing the midnight songs of unmated mockingbirds as they trill through the spring nights. I will miss the distant sound of trains that carries across the cool autumn air. I will miss the coyotes I sometimes hear howling in the distance.

If not for her, I’d have missed these things. That’s one things animals do for us: they fill our lives with the unexpected.

Over the years, Daphne grew a beautiful blue fawn brindle coat, thus saving us from having to have a mostly hairless dog. She grew to be playful, quirky, and the laziest animal I’ve ever known, but when she wanted attention or wanted to play, she would wrestle with me like no other dog I’ve had.

I don’t think I ever saw her walk. She preferred to run everywhere she went, glomping along with a footfall surprisingly loud for such a small greyhound. She made weird noises, and only barked at night when there was wildlife in the yard that needed a good treeing.

When Zephyr died, Daphne assumed her rightful role as the alpha dog, though she was a laid back alpha. She never learned to like walks or car rides or going anywhere for that matter, but in the house and in the yard, she was boss. She even overcame her fear of strangers, running to the door when people came over.

We just let her be the dog she wanted to be, and I think it made her happy.

Last Friday, we learned she had cancer. We brought her home for a few more of those precious days. She wouldn’t run anymore, instead walking slowly. She mostly just wanted to hop up on the couch and curl up beside us, resting her head in our laps as we read or watched TV. She still ate a little, but yesterday she took a sudden turn for the worse.

I left work early because I just had a feeling I should. When I got home, I found her on her bed with Simon the cat lying near her. She obviously wasn’t feeling well, and she’d thrown up a lot. Knowing it was time, I called the vet.

R came home shortly after, and we sat with Daphne on her bed while we waited for the vet. Joey and Phoebe and Simon even joined the vigil. When it was time, she passed peacefully in her home, on her bed, surrounded by her people.

We’ll miss our big Daph terribly, but as with the others who went before, I know it won’t be long before thinking about her makes us smile rather than cry.

And somewhere, at the great greyhound meet-n-greet in the sky, Zephyr is surely sniffing her old friend’s butt and saying, “Come on. The squirrels are this way…”

Thanks to y’all who sent well wishes.

Update: Thanks, Fred, for letting Daphne roam the marbled halls of Ironicus Maximus today.


Friday Hound Blogging: Sweet Daphne

We found out today that Daphne has cancer. It’s pretty widespread, and there isn’t anything that can be done. Our vet says that this isn’t going to be painful (for her anyway) so we brought her home to spend her last few weeks eating whatever she wants – the hell with that nasty kidney diet food! – and getting lots of love while lounging on her couch.


Friday Hound & Cat Blogging: Ummm…

Hey, Simon, watch where you’re pointing that thing.

(Yes, we will go for the low joke here at Coyote Mercury.)


Friday Hound Blogging: Now? What About Now?

Using only cuteness to communicate, Daphne requests dinner and, perhaps, a lick of ale.


Friday Hound Blogging: Daphne and the Little Pups

Over the years, shy Daphne and has become more doglike. Over Thanksgiving she surprised everyone. My in-laws came and brought their two puppies, (Special Guest Pups) Henry and Lucy. Henry is the little(er) one…

While Joey watched suspiciously and stayed out of the way (it’s hard to see exactly what those little things zipping around all the way down there are) and Phoebe slept, it was Daphne who bounced around and played – yes, played – with the puppies.

She chased ‘em, she dropped at ‘em, she even grabbed a toy and attacked it to show what she’s capable of.

Daphne. Played. With a toy.

It’s hard to believe this is the same dog I once had to pick up and carry (all 55 pounds of her) to the backyard to do her business.

Greyhounds carry baggage heavier than most dogs. It’s good to see Daphne leaving more and more of it behind.


Friday Hound Blogging: Who Were Those (not) Masked Hounds?

Halloween came and went without too many trick-or-treaters. Captain Joey gave up barking halfway through the night while not-so-wicked witch Phoebe watched from the couch.

Daphne wouldn’t come out until after I took off her costume. Then, she started coming to the door. She knows when she’s being made the fool…

For some other costumed greyhounds, check out Kelso as the big bad wolf disguised as Grandma, and Long Nose as Super Greyhound.


Friday Hound Blogging: Yes, Friday.

Yes, you read that right. Weekend Hound Blogging is no more. Long live Friday Hound Blogging. I join my friends George and Fred (and every other blogger, it seems) in celebrating the hounds (and sometimes Simon) on Fridays. Weekend blogging is just not what I’m into as longtime reader(s?) of this blog have surely noticed by the dearth of Weekend Hound Blogging of late.

So, for today, Joey prowls the backyard sporting a fine combover ear.

The tree on the left was of interest to Daphne on Wednesday night. She went out around the witching hour and started barking at the tree. Three barks, which brings her lifetime bark total up to ten. She was bouncing around the base of the tree. I’m assuming she treed a possum or a raccoon, although she claims it was an Orc bearing the mark of the white hand.

And, happy adoption day to Phoebe who celebrated her second year with us on Monday by getting her nose bitten when she stepped on Daphne while Daphne was sleeping. I guess what goes around comes around, but it was nothing a bit of H2O2 couldn’t cure.


Weekend Hound Blogging:Daphne at Midnap


Weakened Hound Blogging: Home

They’re tired, but everyone is doing much better after this week’s ordeal.


Hounds Today, Hounds Tomorrow

It looks like all three dogs will survive eating the latest recalled pet food – Natural Balance Venison & Brown Rice dry dog food (their Venison & Green Pea dry cat food was also recalled, but Simon wasn’t eating that).

The pups all seem to have recovered from kidney failure thanks to the efforts of the excellent doctors at the regular vet, emergency vet, and specialty vet hospital. Phoebe and Daphne are home with a clean bill of health, and Joey will come home tomorrow. His doctor says he is being a pest and that that is a very good sign.

Hopefully, they’ll feel up to some weekend – or should I say weakened? – hound blogging.

My wife has more on her site.

The details of this little adventure be found here, here, and here.

Check out Itchmo for more on the recalls as they happen.

Thanks again to all of you who have expressed concern and best wishes for the dogs.

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