Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Birthday, Dear Daniel

Last weekend, as I was recovering from the world's worst cold and we were still clearing away the previous weekend's wedding mess, my dear Daniel quietly turned 10.

I took this photo while Daniel and I were on the porch of the cabin while we were on vacation in Tennessee earlier this year.

I never intended to have two dogs.  We adopted Emma in 1999, after Murphy, our labrador, died.  For six years Emma was happy as an only dog, and I was satisfied being a one-dog family.  Then I met Daniel.

Here's Daniel, the first time I saw him.

Daniel was one of two dogs I picked up in Cary, NC, to take to a greyhound adoption group in Richmond, Va.  Neither dog was adopted, and I was to deliver them to a foster home.  I was instantly attracted to Daniel ... the little voice in my gut was telling me that this was my dog, but I refused to listen.  During the ride from North Carolina back to Virginia, the little voice was persistent.  I was a good girl, and I dropped the dogs off at the designated place, and I drove home.  But I couldn't get Daniel out of my head.

For a week, I thought about him ... wondering if he'd been adopted.  How could he NOT have been adopted ... he was such a great dog.  This was a really foreign feeling for me, because I am a VERY seasoned greyhound transporter, as a member of the Greyhound Underground Railroad.  (Click HERE to read more.)  More than 300 greyhounds have traveled with us on their way to new homes, and I have only felt this way about a dog once before.  (I couldn't even consider bringing that one home, though, because he wasn't cat safe.)

The Husband and I talked about it, and he saw how much Daniel meant to me, so he agreed to have an open mind about possibly adding another dog to the family.  I called the adoption group, and they said that no one had showed any interest in Daniel so far.  We arranged to meet at his foster home, The Husband liked him, Emma didn't care one way or the other, and we brought our new boy home.

Daniel immediately made himself at home with the humans and the other animals in the family.  As we got to know him better, we discovered that he had some quirky characteristics.  First and foremost, Daniel hates to be left alone.  Because of this, he can probably never be an only dog.  Many times, he has ridden along for one of Emma's vet appointments if there wasn't anyone to stay home with him.  He isn't destructive, he just howls and whines and paces and is miserable till his family comes back home.  (He is also afraid of hammering and balloons.)

This photo of Daniel was published in Celebrating Greyhounds calendar a few years ago.

Daniel is a collector.  When he needs something to do, he will prowl the house and collect things. 

He was taking this blanket from the family room to his bed in the other room.

Two shoes, a slipper, and a one-eyed dog toy.

He usually just makes piles of his treasures, but sometimes we find that he has chewed a shoe.  This helps remind us to keep our shoes put away where Daniel can't get to them.

Good boy ... chew on toys instead.

Daniel is a great traveler.  Two or three times a year, we used to pack up and take the dogs to various greyhound gatherings.  Two of our favorite destinations are Dewey Beach, Delaware, and Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

Daniel and Emma and me, freezing on the beach in early spring.

Emma and Daniel taking a drink during a rest stop on the way to Gettysburg.

Though Emma was happy being an only dog for so long, I'm glad that she accepted Daniel as a member of the family.

I have never met a greyhound that is as cat safe as Daniel is.  The first time I saw him, while he was on the leash in the yard at the house in Cary, NC, an outdoor cat ran right in front of him and he didn't flinch.  (Looking back, I wonder if this was what made the little voice in my gut start to work on me.)  He has never made a move toward any cat (or kitten) in the house or outside.  What a good boy!

Daniel and Alice sleeping in the sunshine.

He is curious, though.  He found this turtle in the backyard.

You may remember this photo of Daniel from last year, as he modeled the sweater I crocheted for a charity auction.

Daniel's racing name was "Forbes Nakdaniel" and he raced for two and a half years at three greyhound tracks in Florida.  (He was four and a half years old when we adopted him.)  He loves to run, and I'm not surprised that he raced for as long as he did.  To this day, he is happiest when he's running in the yard ... usually with a squeekie toy of some sort in his mouth.  His version of playing fetch is to have me throw a ball or a toy, he chases it, then he runs laps of the yard with the toy until he wears himself out.

When I think of Daniel, I see this.

My sweet boy.

But, this is the reality.  When did his face get so white?

Happy Birthday, Daniel!

You are I are PERFECT together.


  1. I think he'll always be a gorgeous boy! Happy birthday Daniel!!

  2. What a handsome boy he is. Happy Birthday, Daniel!

  3. Big old lump in my throat that you loved and trusted his personality enough to give him his forever home. I can see his soul though his eyes, what a wonderful boy!
    Happy Birthday Daniel!


  4. What a wonderful story about your Daniel. His face turning white reminds me so much of our Charm.

    Hug those greyhounds for me!

  5. Happy Birthday sweet Daniel! He always gives me big puppy love when I get to see him! I hope you made him something yummy for his birthday dinner!

    Kat :)

  6. That's such a nice post about him. What a great dog. Glad you decided to have him join the family.

  7. Dear Connie, I so enjoyed Daniel's story! He is lucky to have you. Happy Birthday, Daniel. P. x

  8. What a great story about Daniel! He's beautiful both inside and out!

  9. Aww, from one grey mom to another grey his mom, Happy Birthday Handsome!

  10. Penny and Loretta wish Daniel a very happy birtday!

  11. Oh Happy birthday Daniel doggie!
    Connie -- this SO reminds me of what happens in dog fostering and/or transporting. We've fostered dozens of Cavaliers ... but there was one we couldn't let go of. She was our girl for 12 and a half years; it is so hard to see that gray come into the muzzles.

    Wonderful story about a wonderful dog -- I love him without even meeting him!

  12. Brian and I were talking about Chauncey a few weeks ago. We were saying that he's really calmed down and not been so protective over us, and is better around people now (we adopted him at 6 months - he had been abused). When we brought him home I had a new baby and thought - this will NEVER work. He drove me crazy!! I couldn't even answer the door without him standing in front of me and growling at whoever happened to stop by. And he was SOOOO protective over the girls (which I actually liked) But he's been the BEST dog. As we were discussing all of this he wandered over and laid his head in my lap with one of those big satisfied doggie sighs - and that's when I noticed all the gray that seemed to have suddenly appeared on his head and face. I fear my brave boy is getting old and slowing down and his "calmness" this last year is due to old age, not our wonderful doggie parenting skills :)

  13. Ahhhh....time flies when we don't want it to, doesn't it, Connie? :( It's amazing how quickly those years go by when we're loved by a furbaby. Daniel has such a sweet face and sweet disposition. I love how he "collects" things! That made me laugh! Our Maizie protects her toys from Toby because she thinks he's going to drag them away. lol! Sweet post, Connie.....Happy Birthday, sweet boy! :)

    xoxo laurie

  14. What a beautiful boy! I love this post.. Happy Birthday, Daniel.

    By the way, Emma is beautiful too...

  15. How sweet! Happy birthday Daniel! I love that he is a collector.

  16. Happy Birthday Daniel! I fell in love with him. You can tell by his pictures he is just a sweetiepie. We have 7 dogs, 4 jack russells, 2 labs, and a brittany. They are all my buds, and follow me like the piedpiper around our farm. Our youngest pooch is now 7, with our labs aging at 10 and one jack russell at 12, so we have some white faces too. Daniel's is precious.

    Thanks for sharing your nice comment on my dining room. blessings, carrell

  17. Daniel is absolutely gorgeous. I'm glad he adopted you. ;)

  18. Brought tears to my eyes. Happiest of birthdays, Daniel.

    From one rescue mom to another, thank you so much for your support of these sweet dogs who want nothing more than our love.

    Havanese Rescue Inc

  19. My third attempt at a comment. You two are lucky to have each other. Happy tenth to Daniel. I loved that photo of him with the blanket and the one in the coat you made. He looked like a paid model.

  20. What a lucky
    day when you
    found each other.
    I don't know why,
    though, but this
    has me crying.
    Not fair that their
    sweet lives are
    so brief. Happy,
    happy birthday,
    xx Suzanne

  21. Oh, my gosh. I am crying. I love Daniel too!
    Happy Birthday, Big Boy :)
    xo, misha


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