Whelping puppies with Susan Trow of Caretta’s Deerhounds

Mont Tremblant, Quebec

The last two months have been a whirlwhind of activity for those in the deerhound community, for as with many species spring is a time of birth and renewal. This past year has been marked by the loss of so many loved and special deerhounds; it then seems to me to be that much more poignant to welcome into the world a new litter of puppies. So many hopes and loves about to unfold in the lives of those lucky enough to be part of their short lives. On Good Friday I climbed into my car and set off for my dear friend Susan Trow’s home just outside of  Mont Tremblant 130 kilometres (81 mi) north-west of Montreal. Mont Tremblant is a ski resort town in the beautiful Laurentian mountains of Quebec. I arrived well in advance of the great event (the delivery of Legacy’s puppies). I thought it would be best to settle in and have a good night’s sleep before the whelping began. Susan & I visited and talked and talked and refined preparations for the whelping. It was a surprise to us all when Sat. came and went without puppies;  Legacy had little sleep as she geared herself up for the birth.

This much anticipated breeding of  Susan’s fabulous courser  Ch Atzberg Legacy of Caretta FCh SC & Aus. Ch. Nelungaloo Shot at Fame a.k.a. “Ben”  (lives in Tarcutta Australia) joins in a global sharing of bloodlines, Australian, Austrian/ Scottish and Canadian. Legacy’s “legacy” may be a future dog of the best of all bloodlines- always the hope of breeders looking to the future of the breed.

The hopes for the birth of the puppies is all wrapped up in just hoping for Mom and puppies to make it through the delivery alive and well; all future dreams are shelved and put out of your mind. Sun morning saw Susan and Legacy groggily started the day with Legacy obviously uncomfortable but not yet ready. Thankfully I had slept wonderfully well in Susan’s bed and was excited and anxious for the whelping to begin. Finally at about 10 am Legacy got down to business, as with other puppy birth’s I’ve witnessed a first time Dam is apprehensive & looks to her people for reassurance. To say Legacy was shocked when a puppy was born is putting it mildly, finally after about the 3rd or 4th puppy the Mom begins to relax a little as instinct kicks in & she begins mothering in earnest. By the time all was said and done there were 5 boys and 2 girls Extremely cute and adorable as you would expect. Then the real work begins weeks and weeks of interrupted sleep, keeping Mom and babies clean, warm and comfortable; and dealing with crises small and large. Only time will tell if a new champion has been born, that seems not too important to Susan or I as we hold and caress a tiny little black bundle of joy.

So my newest adventure as M.Ex.( Midwoof Extraordinaire ) as Barb Heidenreich titled me has left me exhausted and happy, looking forward to home and my deerie Cailean.

And before you know it they’ve morphed from fat little sausages into the most beautiful endearing creatures in the world.


Addendum to Heat Stroke- Tips to avoid dehydration etc.

  • Deerhound crash site

    Buy an outdoor thermometer to keep in your car, I use this as a reality check for myself- do I dare make a quick stop at the store with Cailean in the car? When the temp. is already warm the odds that it will be safe diminish exponentially.

  • an early warning sign of mild dehydration is tacky gums (gums feeling a little sticky to your finger instead of moist and slippery)learn how to check  your dogs gum colour and capillary refill time.
  • If your dog is at all ill be extra cautious about heat and hydration. Dogs most at risk for dehydration are those who suffer from underlying health conditions such as cancer, kidney disorders, or infectious diseases. Pregnant or nursing dogs may be prone to dehydration, as well as diabetic and elderly dogs.
  • a rapid resting hear rate over 140 beats per min. may be an indication of dehydration.
  •  Take note of your dog’s water intake.  If you suspect your dog is not drinking enough check the urine colour it should not be dark yellow. Make sure your dog has free access to clean water at all times, change it frequently. Wash your dog’s water bowl daily to prevent the growth of bacteria.
  • Need to increase the amount of water your dog is drinking?  Add a few drops of lemon juice or put out a little chilled unsalted broth. Add ice cubes to the water bowl. Dog tempting flavoured ice cubes ideas anyone?? Maybe a little plain yogurt flavoured with vanilla or beef bouillion, I know Stroganoff flavoured frozen yogurt. mmmmm.

Dehydration occurs when fluid loss exceeds fluid intake; conditions that may precipitate fluid loss can be both the temperature of the environment, physical exertion, food consumption, illness and lactaton. There will be times when your dog will be less able to cope with the heat than at other times, ie. a dog that has recently exercised hard, a dog who has had a fever, diarrhea or vomiting, a dog that is under stress and is drooling or panting excessively.

In any case preventing dehydration is the goal.

    • provide shade
    • unlimited access to fresh water
    • cool your dogs body (use a spray bottle or hose on the under side of your dog) do not use a wet cover which traps heat next to the body.

Deerhounds (Cailean) swim if they're hot enough

Echocardiogram Values for Scottish Deerhounds

Many deerhound fanciers have Google alerts for all things Deerhound related and will already have seen this. A very valuable piece of information to add to your deerhounds health file. This was published also on the deerhound L list by Dr. Mary Ann Rose. Many thanks to Mary Ann Rose and Dr. Betty Stephenson for bringing these values to light.


Below are the normal ranges for Scottish Deerhounds that you should share with your veterinarian and specialist.

These values were established by Dr. Philip Fox, from the cardiac clinic he did at the Vermont National Specialty in 2004. It is the only data extant for our breed, and it was never published by Dr. Fox (however Betty Stephenson did publish them in The Claymore).

Also, please do not think that “Scan in a Van” and the other mobile technologies one sees at dog shows are a substitute for an evaluation by a veterinary cardiologist. Those are for screening purposes only, and it’s definitely “Buyer Beware”–the variability of echo equipment and the skill of the person performing the echo need to be taken into consideration.

The following is a general clinical guide for echocardiographic examination based upon normal Scottish Deerhounds (avg wt, 45kg) :

Left atrium (mm) should be no larger than 50-55 mm Aorta (mm) should be no wider than 30-33 mm LA:Ao ratio should be <1.5:1 Left ventricle end diastolic dimension should be no greater than 55-60 mm Left ventricle end systolic dimension should be no greater than 40-45 mm LV Wall end- diastolic thickness should be > 8-9mm

LV Shortening fraction should generally be > 20 %, and more comonly, >25% Heart Rhythm should be sinus or sinus arrhythmia


The echocardiogram is one part of the data base that includes medical history , physical examination, ECG, and chest radiograph. Optimal diagnosis is based upon consideration of these variables.

These should be used as GENERAL guidelines and a particular normal dog, particularly a large or small animal, could fall outside of this range.


A Deerhound Welcome

As many who arrive at Fernhill for a visit can attest, more often than not you will be ushered in by the long lean grey-bearded inhabitants.

Cailean and Mojo

We recently had a houseguest for a week, a tall handsome dude with a charming manner and sweet disposition. This handsome guy goes by the moniker of Fernhill’s Ardtalamcu Mojave Man.

Mojave (Mojo) was under a considerable amount of stress at home so we offered a respite for the poor blighter. He wasn’t eating, wasn’t sleeping, wailing all day long imagine our dismay!  It was even worse for Mama & Papa Deerie, two girls in heat Mojo crying like a baby & little sleep for the whole house. Maybe I exaggerate but not much! We hoped that Cailean would provide a sufficient distraction and we might be able to coax the guy (who was so love-sick he was wasting away) to start eating again.

Mission #1 Distraction- Success! The first night my son & I took the two dogs to a nearby school playground with a soccer field. It was drizzly and dark unfamiliar territory for Mojo. We decided to drop the leash and see what he would do. Well! Surprise he stood as still as a statue, with Cailean gambolling around in circles, snickering and prancing like a Lipizzaner stallion beside herself with joy to have a playmate.  Unable to galvanize Mojo into movement Cailean took matters into her own paws as it were, picked the leash up off the ground and started tugging on it, low and behold he moved. The next thing we know she’s got the leash firmly in her mouth and takes off running down the soccer field, she gets to the end & in trying to turn Mojie drops the leash. What did he do, he stopped and waited for her to pick it up and away they went again running towards us. One of those priceless moments you will never forget, that is just too funny, too amazing to be true and yet is. The rest of the week was quite nice, other than a little squeak now and then and lots and lots of cuddles for the slightly needy boy dog.  Apart from discovering that he didn’t mind carpeted stairs (so he could come upstairs and kiss me awake 7 hours promptly after going to bed) the most fun Mojo had was making a platonic girlfriend at the leash free park. A grey and black spotted Great Dane named Cookie. After a little cautious play Cookie quickly decided she liked Mojo and started grooming his face very tenderly.

Mission #2 Eating  -I can’t for sure claim total success with the food, we did manage to get him to eat about every 4 hours, although never in large quantities. Mojo had whole wheat bread with butter, Organic yogurt, cottage cheese,  Sardines, raw ground beef. Mostly raw chicken frames with veggie soup, egg yolks, fish oil and kibble. Ground beef cooked with rice, sweet potatoes and romaine lettuce. Cheese, cheese and cheese. All in all I think we got him over the worst part and took him home maybe slightly heavier.

Conclusion: Cailean and Mojo are like chalk and cheese although they really like each other Cailean is too much too much for Mojo, finding a companion for my busy Mis Biz will take some careful doing.

One morning I came down stairs to sun streaming in the window and Cailean & Mojo on Cailean’s favourite perch, part of a sectional sofa in our living room. Careful not to disturb the very cute picture they made I snuck off for the camera. I hurriedly snapped a bunch of photos none of which turned out too well with the way too bright light coming in the window. I include them here because while not very good they are cute; more especially since they are not pack mates and deerhounds don’t usually lay together as adults.

ASFA Lure Coursing Ranking for 2009

Top 20 Deerhounds

I know I am not alone anticipating the 2010 Lure Coursing Season with excitement.  If you’ve never tried Lure Coursing with your hound and are curious check out some of the videos on Youtube or better yet, plan to go and watch an event. It will be very exciting for the whole family whether or not you’ve a dog of your own. You are not alone if you are not familiar with Lure coursing. To lure course dogs chase a lure (artificial) meant to mimic the motions of a rabbit.  A typical course is between 600 and 1000 yards (548 to 914 meters) long. In Europe the course length can be over 1000 meters, and may incorporate some obstacles or jumps. The course must have a minimum number of turns in order to simulate prey (the jack-rabbit or hare) changing direction in a chase.  Stories of abuse at the Greyhound track makes some people think that dog racing is cruel- Lure Coursing is nothing like track racing, peoples beloved pets travel to compete in a park location where they can run freely or not depending on the dogs desire. Some of the sighthounds that travel to Lure Course are so excited they must be kept out of sight and sound of the field. The desire to run full-out chasing a plastic lure is just toooooo much fun!!! I know you will all join me in congratulating all of the participants and volunteers that make Lure Coursing possible. Dedicating many weekends to travelling great distances for Lure Coursing events is not for everyone, standing shivering in inclement weather is a testament to the competitive spirit; you would however be hard pressed to find a more convivial bunch of people where the love of the dogs and the fun for all is paramount. Special Congratulations to Susan Trow my friend and her very keen Atzberg’s Legacy of Caretta Fch (Field Champion) achievement of 1st is no mean feat especially considering the talent that was out racing.

Top ASFA L.C. Deerhounds

For complete results by breed go to-http://www.asfa.org/20/index.htm


A Story at Dusk

Here for your enjoyment a classic tragic love story that is so descriptive, if you close your eyes, you are there. One passage is so evocative that you can feel the dogs gaze, we who love deerhounds know we are often the object of intense soul searching looks cast on us by our beloved hounds.

A Story At Dusk by Ada Cambridge 1844-1926

An evening all aglow with summer light

And autumn colour—fairest of the year.

The wheat-fields, crowned with shocks of tawny gold,

All interspersed with rough sowthistle roots,

And interlaced with white convolvulus,

Lay, flecked with purple shadows, in the sun.

The shouts of little children, gleaning there

The scattered ears and wild blue-bottle flowers—

Mixed with the corn-crake’s crying, and the song

Of lone wood birds whose mother-cares were o’er,

And with the whispering rustle of red leaves—

Scarce stirred the stillness. And the gossamer sheen                              

Was spread on upland meadows, silver bright

In low red sunshine and soft kissing wind—

Showing where angels in the night had trailed

Their garments on the turf. Tall arrow-heads,

With flag and rush and fringing grasses, dropped

Their seeds and blossoms in the sleepy pool.

The water-lily lay on her green leaf,

White, fair, and stately; while an amorous branch

Of silver willow, drooping in the stream,

Sent soft, low-babbling ripples towards her:

And oh, the woods!—erst haunted with the song

Of nightingales and tender coo of doves—

They stood all flushed and kindling ‘neath the touch

Of death—kind death!—fair, fond, reluctant death!

A dappled mass of glory!


With russet wood-fruit thick upon the ground,

‘Mid crumpled ferns and delicate blue harebells.

The orchard-apples rolled in seedy grass—

Apples of gold, and violet-velvet plums;

And all the tangled hedgerows bore a crop

Of scarlet hips, blue sloes, and blackberries,

And orange clusters of the mountain ash.

The crimson fungus and soft mosses clung

To old decaying trunks; the summer bine

Drooped, shivering, in the glossy ivy’s grasp.

By day the blue air bore upon its wings

Wide-wandering seeds, pale drifts of thistle-down;

By night the fog crept low upon the earth,

All white and cool, and calmed its feverishness.

And veiled it over with a veil of tears.

The curlew and the plover were come back

To still, bleak shores; the little summer birds

Were gone—to Persian gardens, and the groves

Of Greece and Italy, and the palmy lands.

A Norman tower, with moss and lichen clothed,

Wherein old bells, on old worm-eaten frames

And rusty wheels, had swung for centuries,

Chiming the same soft chime—the lullaby

Of cradled rooks and blinking bats and owls;

Setting the same sweet tune, from year to year,

For generations of true hearts to sing.

A wide churchyard, with grassy slopes and nooks,

And shady corners and meandering paths;

With glimpses of dim windows and grey walls

Just caught at here and there amongst the green

Of flowering shrubs and sweet lime-avenues.

An old house standing near—a parsonage-house—

With broad thatched roof and overhanging eaves,

O’er run with banksia roses,—a low house,

With ivied windows and a latticed porch,

Shut in a tiny Paradise, all sweet

With hum of bees and scent of mignonette.

We lay our lazy length upon the grass

In that same Paradise, my friend and I.

And, as we lay, we talked of college days—

Wild, racing, hunting, steeple-chasing days;

Of river reaches, fishing-grounds, and weirs,

Bats, gloves, debates, and in-humanities:

And then of boon-companions of those days,

How lost and scattered, married, changed, and dead;

Until he flung his arm across his face,

And feigned to slumber.

He was changed, my friend;

Not like the man—the leader of his set—

The favourite of the college—that I knew.

And more than time had changed him. He had been

“A little wild,” the Lady Alice said;

“A little gay, as all young men will be

At first, before they settle down to life—

While they have money, health, and no restraint,

Nor any work to do.” Ah, yes! But this

Was mystery unexplained—that he was sad

And still and thoughtful, like an aged man;

And scarcely thirty. With a winsome flash,

The old bright heart would shine out here and there;

But aye to be o’er shadowed and hushed down,

As he had hushed it now.

His dog lay near,

With long, sharp muzzle resting on his paws,

And wistful eyes, half shut,—but watching him;

A deerhound of illustrious race, all grey

And grizzled, with soft, wrinkled, velvet ears;

A gaunt, gigantic, wolfish-looking brute,

And worth his weight in gold.

“There, there,” said he,

And raised him on his elbow, “you have looked

Enough at me; now look at some one else.”

“You could not see him, surely, with your arm

Across your face?”

“No, but I felt his eyes;

They are such sharp, wise eyes—persistent eyes—

Perpetually reproachful. Look at them;

Had ever dog such eyes?”

“Oh yes,” I thought;

But, wondering, turned my talk upon his breed.

And was he of the famed Glengarry stock?

And in what season was he entered? Where,

Pray, did he pick him up?

He moved himself

At that last question, with a little writhe

Of sudden pain or restlessness; and sighed.

And then he slowly rose, pushed back the hair

From his broad brows; and, whistling softly, said,

“Come here, old dog, and we will tell him. Come.”

“On such a day, and such a time, as this,

Old Tom and I were stalking on the hills,

Near seven years ago. Bad luck was ours;

For we had searched up corrie, glen, and burn,

From earliest daybreak—wading to the waist

Peat-rift and purple heather—all in vain!

We struck a track nigh every hour, to lose

A noble quarry by ignoble chance—

The crowing of a grouse-cock, or the flight

Of startled mallards from a reedy pool,

Or subtle, hair’s breadth veering of the wind.

And now ’twas waning sunset—rosy soft

On far grey peaks, and the green valley spread

Beneath us. We had climbed a ridge, and lay

Debating in low whispers of our plans

For night and morning. Golden eagles sailed

Above our heads; the wild ducks swam about

Amid the reeds and rushes of the pools;

A lonely heron stood on one long leg

In shallow water, watching for a meal;

And there, to windward, couching in the grass

That fringed the blue edge of a sleeping loch—

Waiting for dusk to feed and drink—there lay

A herd of deer.

“And as we looked and planned,

A mountain storm of sweeping mist and rain

Came down upon us. It passed by, and left

The burnies swollen that we had to cross;

And left us barely light enough to see

The broad, black, branching antlers, clustering still

Amid the long grass in the valley.


Said Tom, ‘there is a shealing down below,

To leeward. We might bivouac there to-night,

And come again at dawn.’

“And so we crept

Adown the glen, and stumbled in the dark

Against the doorway of the keeper’s home,

And over two big deerhounds—ancestors

Of this our old companion. There was light

And warmth, a welcome and a heather bed,

At Colin’s cottage; with a meal of eggs

And fresh trout, broiled by dainty little hands,

And sweetest milk and oatcake. There were songs

And Gaelic legends, and long talk of deer—

Mixt with a sweet, low laughter, and the whir

Of spinning-wheel.

“The dogs lay at her feet—

The feet of Colin’s daughter—with their soft

Dark velvet ears pricked up for every sound

And movement that she made. Right royal brutes,

Whereon I gazed with envy.

“‘What,’ I asked,

‘Would Colin take for these?’

“‘Eh, sir,’ said he,

And shook his head, ‘I cannot sell the dogs.

They’re priceless, they, and—Jeanie’s favourites.

But there’s a litter in the shed—five pups,

As like as peas to this one. You may choose

Amongst them, sir—take any that you like.

Get us the lantern, Jeanie. You shall show

The gentleman.’

“Ah, she was fair, that girl!

Not like the other lassies—cottage folk;

For there was subtle trace of gentle blood

Through all her beauty and in all her ways.

(The mother’s race was ‘poor and proud,’ they said).

Ay, she was fair, my darling! with her shy,

Brown, innocent face and delicate-shapen limbs.

She had the tenderest mouth you ever saw,

And grey, dark eyes, and broad, straight-pencill’d brows;

Dark hair, sun-dappled with a sheeny gold;

Dark chestnut braids that knotted up the light,

As soft as satin. You could scarcely hear

Her step, or hear the rustling of her gown,

Or the soft hovering motion of her hands

At household work. She seemed to bring a spell

Of tender calm and silence where she came.

You felt her presence—and not by its stir,

But by its restfulness. She was a sight

To be remembered—standing in the straw;

A sleepy pup soft-cradled in her arms

Like any Christian baby; standing still,

The while I handled his ungainly limbs.

And Colin blustered of the sport—of hounds,

Roe ptarmigan, and trout, and ducal deer—

Ne’er lifting up that sweet, unconscious face,

To see why I was silent. Oh, I would

You could have seen her then. She was so fair,

And oh, so young!—scarce seventeen at most—

So ignorant and so young!

“Tell them, my friend—

Your flock—the restless-hearted—they who scorn

The ordered fashion fitted to our race,

And scoff at laws they may not understand—

Tell them that they are fools. They cannot mate

With other than their kind, but woe will come

In some shape—mostly shame, but always grief

And disappointment. Ah, my love! my love!

But she was different from the common sort;

A peasant, ignorant, simple, undefiled;

The child of rugged peasant-parents, taught

In all their thoughts and ways; yet with that touch

Of tender grace about her, softening all

The rougher evidence of her lowly state—

That undefined, unconscious dignity—

That delicate instinct for the reading right

The riddles of less simple minds than hers—

That sharper, finer, subtler sense of life—

That something which does not possess a name,

Which made her beauty beautiful to me—

The long-lost legacy of forgotten knights.

“I chose amongst the five fat creeping things

This rare old dog. And Jeanie promised kind

And gentle nurture for its infant days;

And promised she would keep it till I came

Another year. And so we went to rest.

And in the morning, ere the sun was up,

We left our rifles, and went out to run

The browsing red-deer with old Colin’s hounds.

Through glen and bog, through brawling mountain streams,

Grey, lichened boulders, furze, and juniper,

And purple wilderness of moor, we toiled,

Ere yet the distant snow-peak was alight.

We chased a hart to water; saw him stand

At bay, with sweeping antlers, in the burn.

His large, wild, wistful eyes despairingly

Turned to the deeper eddies; and we saw

The choking struggle and the bitter end,

And cut his gallant throat upon the grass,

And left him. Then we followed a fresh track—

A dozen tracks—and hunted till the noon;

Shot cormorants and wild cats in the cliffs,

And snipe and blackcock on the ferny hills;

And set our floating night-lines at the loch;—

And then came back to Jeanie.

“Well, you know

What follows such commencement:—how I found

The woods and corries round about her home

Fruitful of roe and red-deer; how I found

The grouse lay thickest on adjacent moors;

Discovered ptarmigan on rocky peaks,

And rare small game on birch-besprinkled hills,

O’ershadowing that rude shealing; how the pools

Were full of wild-fowl, and the loch of trout;

How vermin harboured in the underwood,

And rocks, and reedy marshes; how I found

The sport aye best in this charmed neighbourhood.

And then I e’en must wander to the door,

To leave a bird for Colin, or to ask

A lodging for some stormy night, or see

How fared my infant deerhound.

“And I saw

The creeping dawn unfolding; saw the doubt,

And faith, and longing swaying her sweet heart;

And every flow just distancing the ebb.

I saw her try to bar the golden gates

Whence love demanded egress,—calm her eyes,

And still the tender, sensitive, tell-tale lips,

And steal away to corners; saw her face

Grow graver and more wistful, day by day;

And felt the gradual strengthening of my hold.

I did not stay to think of it—to ask

What I was doing!

“In the early time,

She used to slip away to household work

When I was there, and would not talk to me;

But when I came not, she would climb the glen

In secret, and look out, with shaded brow,

Across the valley. Ay, I caught her once—

Like some young helpless doe, amongst the fern—

I caught her, and I kissed her mouth and eyes;

And with those kisses signed and sealed our fate

For evermore. Then came our happy days—

The bright, brief, shining days without a cloud!

In ferny hollows and deep, rustling woods,

That shut us in and shut out all the world—

The far, forgotten world—we met, and kissed,

And parted, silent, in the balmy dusk.

We haunted still roe-coverts, hand in hand,

And murmured, under our breath, of love and faith,

And swore great oaths for one of us to keep.

We sat for hours, with sealèd lips, and heard

The sweet wind whispering as it passed us by—

And heard our own hearts’ music in the hush.

Ah, blessed days! ah, happy, innocent days!—

I would I had them back.

“Then came the Duke,

And Lady Alice, with her worldly grace

And artificial beauty—with the gleam

Of jewels, and the dainty shine of silk,

And perfumed softness of white lace and lawn;

With all the glamour of her courtly ways,

Her talk of art and fashion, and the world

We both belonged to. Ah, she hardened me!

I lost the sweetness of the heathery moors

And hills and quiet woodlands, in that scent

Of London clubs and royal drawing-rooms;

I lost the tender chivalry of my love,

The keen sense of its sacredness, the clear

Perception of mine honour, by degrees,

Brought face to face with customs of my kind.

I was no more a “man;” nor she, my love,

A delicate lily of womanhood—ah, no!

I was the heir of an illustrious house,

And she a simple homespun cottage-girl.

“And now I stole at rarer intervals

To those dim trysting woods; and when I came

I brought my cunning worldly wisdom—talked

Of empty forms and marriages in heaven—

To stain that simple soul, God pardon me!

And she would shiver in the stillness, scared

And shocked, with her pathetic eyes—aye proof

Against the fatal, false philosophy.

But my will was the strongest, and my love

The weakest; and she knew it.

“Well, well, well,

I need not talk of that. There came the day

Of our last parting in the ferny glen—

A bitter parting, parting from my life,

Its light and peace for ever! And I turned

To balls and billiards, politics and wine;

Was wooed by Lady Alice, and half won;

And passed a feverous winter in the world.

Ah, do not frown! You do not understand.

You never knew that hopeless thirst for peace—

That gnawing hunger, gnawing at your life;

The passion, born too late! I tell you, friend,

The ruth, and love, and longing for my child,

It broke my heart at last.

“In the hot days

Of August, I went back; I went alone.

And on old garrulous Margery—relict she

Of some departed seneschal—I rained

My eager questions. ‘Had the poaching been

As ruinous and as audacious as of old?

Were the dogs well? and had she felt the heat?

And—I supposed the keeper, Colin, still

Was somewhere on the place?’

“‘Nay, sir,’ said she,

‘But he has left the neighbourhood. He ne’er

Has held his head up since he lost his child,

Poor soul, a month ago.’

“I heard—I heard!

His child—he had but one—my little one,

Whom I had meant to marry in a week!

“‘Ah, sir, she turned out badly after all,

The girl we thought a pattern for all girls.

We know not how it happened, for she named

No names. And, sir, it preyed upon her mind,

And weakened it; and she forgot us all,

And seemed as one aye walking in her sleep

She noticed no one—no one but the dog,

A young deerhound that followed her about;

Though him she hugged and kissed in a strange way

When none was by. And Colin, he was hard

Upon the girl; and when she sat so still,

And pale and passive, while he raved and stormed,

Looking beyond him, as it were, he grew

The harder and more harsh. He did not know

That she was not herself. Men are so blind!

But when he saw her floating in the loch,

The moonlight on her face, and her long hair

All tangled in the rushes; saw the hound

Whining and crying, tugging at her plaid—

Ah, sir, it was a death-stroke!’

“This was all.

This was the end of her sweet life—the end

Of all worth having of mine own! At night

I crept across the moors to find her grave,

And kiss the wet earth covering it—and found

The deerhound lying there asleep. Ay me!

It was the bitterest darkness,—nevermore

To break out into dawn and day again!

“And Lady Alice shakes her dainty head,

Lifts her arch eyebrows, smiles, and whispers, ‘Once

He was a little wild!'”

With that he laughed;

Then suddenly flung his face upon the grass,

Crying, “Leave me for a little—let me be!”

And in the dusky stillness hugged his woe,

And wept away his passion by himself.