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Dune Aka Muttley: 14 Years Weren't Enough


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I keep trying to write a special note for the greytalk memorial board but just can't, so I'm posting my message to family and friends. Dune gave me 11 years of love, and I grieve every moment for the hole he's left behind.




I’m writing to let you know that we lost our dear friend Dune this morning (August 13). Many of you were friends of his; most of you know at least parts of his story; all of you know his crooked smile and goofy, gentlemanly demeanor.


Dune was born in 1994 to a breeder in Kansas. He raced until he was just shy of three. I first met him through a local adoption group, whose founder matched me with Dune’s exuberant, human-loving personality. I had wanted a small, dark-colored female. Dune was the largest blond male they’d had come through rescue, at 29” shoulder height and 80-some pounds . The rescue founder told me she loved that Dune, while staying in the kennels awaiting a forever home, always rolled over to ask for belly rubs when she came in, and didn’t have much interest in barking with the other inmates, though he was sociable with all breeds of dogs. As an apartment dweller in urban Kansas City with a host of dog-owning friends, this sold me.


At our first meeting, Dune took me for a race at the PetCo adoption clinic, dragging me around an empty field next door. I had to brace my feet in the sand to keep from flying after him like a ribbon in the wind. Still, something in those deep brown eyes with their gorgeous Egyptian-kohl eyeliner urged me to take him home, even though he was nothing of what I’d pictured a greyhound to be: demure, shy, sweet, mid-sized, sleek-coated. He was exuberant, boisterous, friendly, outgoing, large and with a thick ruff and rabbit-like coat that shed and shed some more in hot weather.


It took nearly a year for Dune’s personality to stabilize; he was a different dog almost every day. I coaxed him step by step, stair by stair up to my third-floor brownstone flat near the hospital that first Friday afternoon, and after he recovered from trembling fear, he raced down them with me and bounded back up as though playing a joyful game. (Though it took many months before he could be coaxed up or down the back steps, which had no backs and could be seen through.)


At first, I tried crating him, as recommended by the greyhound rescue and any responsible shelter, until he was reliably housetrained and settled. The first work day I dragged and pushed him into the enormous wire crate the adoption group had loaned me. He was standing and squeaking at me when I came home from work, squeaking with that gentle, high-pitched “squeee” he used to demand attention for all of his 14 years, in lieu of barking. We went out for a long walk, me braced for a dragging and armed with a Promise Gentle Leader head halter, just in case. Dune raced down the stairs with me, peed on the front gate, then walked slowly and regally alongside me for miles, as though he’d always had the perfect manners of an elderly companion. He reserved shows of great tongue-lolling speed for dog parks and beaches and the few lure-coursing meets we attended, which were also the only times I heard him bark uncontrollably, from the moment he spied the lure.


He never again dragged me or pulled on the lead, not after that first hair-raising turn about the adoption field, much to my – and the greyhound rescue group’s – surprise. A volunteer later told me he’d been in rescue for many months, dragging volunteers and potential adopters so horridly that no one would take him.


After his single day in the crate, he refused to enter it again. Cat-like and spry, he eluded my efforts on day 2 of our first work week, and I finally gave in and left him loose in my apartment, sure I would return to hours of cleanup and repair. Instead, I came home to a sleeping hound, nestled in the old Bambi blanket I’d folded on the living room floor. He yawned, stretched, and we went for our calm gentleman’s stroll about the neighborhood.


Dune’s wonderfully gentle soul and disarmingly trusting personality won us both friends. He learned from Ethan’s German shepherd Lady how to use his paws to hold rawhide and bones while gnawing them, instead of licking them across the floor and back again, as he’d been doing. He introduced me to Gary and Chief on one of our neighborhood walks, and Gary in turn introduced me to one of my best friends in the world, Jena, and her two cats, Missy and Steve (who then taught Dune how to live with cats when Jena Dune-sat for me). He won over my family and their Belgians Marlowe, Monte, and Merlin, and my friend Kent and my brother-in-law Delayne and his dog Murry. Much later, he won over Woody and the Harley-riding crew in San Diego, and even Steve, who believed dogs belonged outside, and never on the furniture.


Dune was hit only once in his life that I am certain of, my final Christmas in Kansas City, during a break-in and robbery of my new house. I found Dune in my closed bedroom, huddled in a tight ball in the corner of my bed, shaking, blood congealing in a long brown streak along his face and neck and chest, thick and gnarled, still oozing from a dime-sized hole above his right eye. The robbers had whacked him with a wooden bottle crate containing an expensive bottle of Scotch (under the tree on Christmas, it still bore bits of hair and blood). The K-9 police who arrived later were so angry at a dog being hit that they dusted every surface of my house for fingerprints, in the hope that someone might match in their database.


In 1998, Dune moved with me to Las Vegas, the start of a rough year for both of us, with long work hours for me and hours alone for Dune; a year that would leave both of us scorched and unsettled. On the drive to Vegas, we stopped to pee in a tiny rest area in western Kansas, and walked into a wonderland of Monarch butterflies, thousands and thousands of them on their annual migration, coating every leaf on the trees and landing lightly upon both our hides. Dune seemed to gaze at them in wonder, not once snapping at them as he did with houseflies and bees. I took it as a good sign, even though a day and a half later, when the lights of Las Vegas appeared in the bowl of a valley below us, I pulled over and cried bitter tears at leaving my friends and family and everyone I knew so far behind. Dune wriggled closer and rested his chin on my shoulder, deep in the curve of my neck, as if to remind me that I was not alone, that I still had someone with me, and it was perhaps then that I fell deeply, hopelessly in love with this creature whose soul seemed older than the Sandhills and river valleys of my childhood home in Nebraska.


Dune started sleeping in my bed in Las Vegas, cuddling against me in the cold air conditioning, both of us wondering how we’d gotten to such a soulless place, doing such soulless work, surrounded by such a soulless culture. It was here that he began his hunger strikes when I’d leave town, so firm in his refusal to eat that kennels and vets called me routinely, fearing that Dune was seriously ill or might perish before I returned. After both refusing to eat and being bitten at a kennel’s day care, I stopped using kennels and began to rely on driving him with me on vacation or the generosity of friends and in-house caretakers, which seemed to have been Dune’s plan all along. Satisfied with this arrangement, he soon settled into a happy stream of housevisits from Ray and Lesley; Christyn; Trip & Jen and Max-the-poodle; Lisa, Dan, Maddie, Max and Libby; Pam and Biff and their three-legged rescue, Dolce; Melissa and her pack of Baxter, Madison and Kiley; Steve and Vicki and the golden Scout; John the vet tech and Devo the whippet; Dave and Anne and Misha; occasional walks from Nancy and visits with Hula; and eventually his final walk around Fiesta Island with Nancy, Sunshine, Hula and Scout. He even spent a glorious summer with us in Cape Cod with and Steve and Andrea.


San Diego has been our home since 1999, and it’s been good to us both. Dune survived a series of graceless self-inflicted or dog-park mishaps—late last night as we snuggled in bed one last time, I cataloged the scars on his body, the ones I knew the origins of, and filled an entire notebook page—to land happily in the house on Mission Bay with Chris, who grew to love him deeply and who indulged Dune’s greatest pleasures: sunbathing on the porch and Tums before bed. After Chris retired, Dune never spent much time alone and enjoyed leisurely afternoon sniff-fests around the block, morning sunbathes on the front stoop, and joyous weekend romps on Fiesta Island. As age and injury stiffened his spine, his walks slowed and shortened and eventually he no longer could run off leash. But even then, he exuded dignity and waves of joy in the little things: The smell of a particular small patch of grass, the scritch of a good itching, the pleasure of an ear rub or chest pet, the tender bits of leftover fish from our dinner each night. And of course, one of his greatest joys: Monday Night Football.


MNF was the happiest time for Dune; he loved nothing more than a house full of people, the noise and ruckus of laughter, and the unlimited well of petting that such a gathering tapped. There was also the prospect of snacking. Despite years of denying Dune human food and never feeding him while the humans were eating, he quickly discovered that many of us would break down during MNF, and grilled halibut and steak could be his for the asking. Though the results often cleared the room, he reveled in the procuring, and eventually even Chris and I gave up trying to change his elderly ways. Dune was lucky enough to enjoy seven seasons of MNF friendship, and for that, I am truly grateful.


I realized yesterday that I have never in the past 11 years been alone. I have been without friends or boyfriends, without a home of my own while transferring jobs, without work, without money, without food. But I have not once been alone. Dune was a far better friend than I could ever be, and my heart will likely never heal. God rest your aching bones and gentle soul, dear hound. You were the best that ever lived.

Dash (Mega Batboy), & forever missing Kipper (RD's Kiper, 2006-2015) & Souldog Dune (Pazzo Otis, 1994-2008)
"..cherish him and give him place with yourself for the rest of his but too short life. It is his one drawback. He should live as long as his owner."
James Matheson, The Greyhound: Breeding, Coursing, Racing, etc., 1929

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I am so sorry, I think that is probably the best remembrance I have read in a long time. I know you will miss your best friend but you will always have the memories of you and him together. :grouphug

Edited by kamsmom

~Beth, with a crazy mixed crew of misfits.
~ Forever and Always missing and loving Steak, Carmen, Ivy, Isis, and Madi.
Don't cry because it's ended, Smile because it happened.
Before you judge me, try to keep an open mind, not everyone likes your taste.

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Guest taylorsmom

That is one of the most achingly beautiful tributes I have ever read. Thank you for sharing your love of Dune with us, I feel like I knew him from reading your words. He was a much-loved companion, and it sounds like he knew that very well. Run free, sweet Dune.

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I am so sorry for the loss of your wonderful Dune. You gave him as much as he gave you.

Thank you for sharing your memories.

Irene Ullmann w/Flying Odin and Mama Mia in Lower Delaware
Angels Brandy, John E, American Idol, Paul, Fuzzy and Shine
Handcrafted Greyhound and Custom Clocks http://www.houndtime.com
Zoom Doggies-Racing Coats for Racing Greyhounds

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Guest Mom2Shiloh

That was utterly beautiful. I am so sorry for your loss and so inspired by the depth of your understanding of and love for each other. Thank you for sharing your special boy with us. White light and blessings........

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I'm so sorry. :cry1


What a lovely memorial about a special boy.


Godspeed Dune.

Standard Poodle Daisy (12/13)
Missing Cora (RL Nevada 5/99-10/09), Piper (Cee Bar Easy 2/99-1/10), Tally (Thunder La La 9/99-3/10), Edie (Daring Reva 9/99-10/12), Dixie (Kiowa Secret Sue 11/01-1/13), Jessie (P's Real Time 11/98-3/13), token boy Graham (Zydeco Dancer 9/00-5/13), Cal (Back Already 12/99-11/13), Betsy (Back Kick Beth 11/98-12/13), Standard Poodles Minnie (1/99-1/14) + Perry (9/98-2/14), Annie (Do Marcia 9/03-10/14), Pink (Miss Pinky Baker 1/02-6/15), Poppy (Cmon Err Not 8/05-1/16), Kat (Jax Candy 5/05-5/17), Ivy (Jax Isis 10/07-7/21), Hildy (Braska Hildy 7/10-12/22), Opal (Jax Opal 7/08-4/23). Toodles (BL Toodles 7/09-4/24)

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What a beautiful tribute to your boy. He runs with the angels and I bet will always watch over you. You're in our prayers, Run free handsome boy


Missing my little Misty who took a huge piece of my heart with her on 5/2/09, and Ekko, on 6/28/12



:candle For the sick, the lost, and the homeless

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I am so sorry. Thank you for sharing your sweet and loving gentleman with us. Please remember you are not alone...put your hand to your heart and you will find your sweet Dune. :grouphug:f_red Until we meet again... :f_red


Patti-Mommy of Lady Sophia 7-28-92 - 8-3-04... LaceyLaine 8-2-94-12-5-07...

Flash Gordon 7-14-99 - 8-29-09... BrookLynne...Pavé Maria... and 18 Bridge Kids.




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So dearly beloved. I'm so sorry for your loss. Remember he will always be there in that special spot under your heart so you really aren't alone :grouphug

Edited by Jackandgrey



Jack, in my heart forever March 1999-Nov 21, 2008 My Dancing Queen Jilly with me always and forever Aug 12, 2003-Oct 15, 2010

Joshy I will love you always Aug 1, 2004-Feb 22,2013 Jonah my sweetheart May 2000 - Jan 2015

" You will never need to be alone again. I promise this. As your dog, I will sing this promise to you, and whisper it to you at night, every night, with my breath." Stanley Coren

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After your incredibly intimate tribute to Dune, I feel as though I am right there with you. Thank you for sharing those touching memories with us, I am so very sorry for your loss. f_yellow

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That was a truly beautiful tribute to your sweet Dune. You were as close as two souls could be and shared a life of love and companionship for 11 years. I know your heart is breaking now and I wish I had the words to say to help it heal. Perhaps the memories of the path you and Dune walked together will bring you comfort. He will always be a part of your heart. If only we could have them with us forever.


f_yellow f_yellow f_yellow






Hobbes - April 2, 1994 to April 9, 2008-----Tasha - May 23, 2000 to March 31, 2013

Fiona - Aug 29, 2001 to May 5, 2014-----Bailey - March 22, 2001 to Jan 20, 2015

Zeke - June 1, 2004 - Jan 26, 2016----Callie - July 14, 2006 to July 27, 2019

Forever in my heart: Chooch, Molly, Dylan & Lucy

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That was a beautiful tribute. I feel like I know Dune well. I'm so sorry :grouphug

Xavi the galgo and Peter the cat. Missing Iker the galgo ?-Feb.9/19, Treasure (USS Treasure) April 12/01-May 6/13, Phoenix (Hallo Top Son) Dec.14/99-June 4/11 and Loca (Reko Swahili) Oct.9/95 - June 1/09, Allen the boss cat, died late November, 2021, age 19.

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That is an incredible tribute to your friend. I am very sorry for your loss. Run free Dune, run free.... :gh_run

Kyle with Stewie ('Super C Ledoux, Super C Sampson x Sing It Blondie) and forever missing my three angels, Jack ('Roy Jack', Greys Flambeau x Miss Cobblepot) and Charlie ('CTR Midas Touch', Leo's Midas x Hallo Argentina) and Shelby ('Shari's Hooty', Flying Viper x Shari Carusi) running free across the bridge.

Gus an coinnich sinn a'rithist my boys and little girl.

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That was the most touching remembrance I have ever read. You couldn't have written anything else better. Both of you blessed each other and were better for it. May the joy of your memories help ease the pain in your heart.


Cindy with Miss Fancypants, Paris Bueller, Zeke, and Angus 
Dante (Dg's Boyd), Zoe (In a While), Brady (Devilish Effect), Goose (BG Shotgun), Maverick (BG ShoMe), Maggie (All Trades Jax), Sherman (LNB Herman Bad) and Indy (BYB whippet) forever in my heart
The flame that burns the brightest, burns the fastest and leaves the biggest shadow

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Guest greytfulhounds

What a beautiful remembrance of your sweet boy. :cry1 I am so very, very sorry for your loss. :bighug


Run free and whole handsome man and watch over your momma's heart from the Bridge.



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What a lovely tribute to a very special loving pup. I am deeply sorry for your loss.

Jan with precious pups Emmy (Stormin J Flag) and Simon (Nitro Si) and Abbey Field.  Missing my angels: Bailey Buffetbobleclair 11/11/98-17/12/09; Ben Task Rapid Wave 5/5/02-2/11/15; Brooke Glo's Destroyer 7/09/06-21/06/16 and Katie Crazykatiebug 12/11/06 -21/08/21. My blog about grief The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not get over the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same, nor would you want to. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

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f_yellow A beautiful tribute to your best friend. I am sorry for your loss.

From Wisconsin -- It's Nancy, Bob, Carla, June Bug and our newby Skorch.... along with Buffy. She's the little hound that meows.

With loving memorials to K.C., Barko and Major Turn -- all playing at the bridge.

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