A Last Walk With Styxx

This week, Gail and I bid farewell to Styxx, our much beloved greyhound/lurcher.

Styxx came into our lives on December 14, 2013 after a journey that started in Ohio and Michigan and ended at his forever home that cold winter night in Winnipeg. So began the adventures of we three comrades, bonded by unending loyalty and affection. Adventures that would see us wandering through our city, across Manitoba, and as far west as Vancouver. We shared salmon pasta at home, shawarma and fries on Garbage Hill and pickerel in Gimli. He supervised wine tasting in the Okanagan and cider-sipping in Saskatoon. 

And, of course, he was the subject of many, many photographs.

A calendar every year. An annual Twelve Days Of Styxx feature on this very blog every Christmas. And a book: Walking Styxx, a month of psychogeographic walks with a greyhound. In the forward I wrote:

Styxx, shortened from his original name Firestyxx, is a greyhound. Or, more correctly he is a lurcher, the less romantic name for a greyhound mixed with a little bit of some other breed and used to race on “unofficial” dog tracks in the rural backwaters of states such as Ohio and Michigan. He has an unknown past and his age is pure guesswork (likely eight). But Styxx is every bit a greyhound, 80 pounds of muscle bound into a graceful Art Deco form. 

He was a strong, fit and elegant walker. A true flâneur. He would sniff incessantly at times, glide along forest paths with aplomb and occasionally, without warning, shift into a full running gait, dragging his leashed minder behind. Choosing a walking route was a mutual, non-verbal negotiation, a slight tug from us and a counter-move from Styxx determining an agreed-upon direction.

That initial energy of a young dog couldn’t last forever. Over the years, as he aged and as various ailments came into play, our adventures adopted to his needs. A degenerative spinal condition was the most serious, the thing that finally took him down last week. But the walks continued, just a bit shorter and slower. He was always eager to get out for his daily walks, wildly tossing his head in anticipation as Gail or I put on boots and parkas. The bonds between we three comrades just deepened. Making the end so very hard.

Styxx was not just a dog. He wasn’t our child. He was that rare thing, a silent sage on four legs sharing an unending compassion for pure, uncomplicated life with his dearest companions.   

The Forks, Winnipeg, January 12, 2014
The Forks, Winnipeg, January 24, 2014
At a greyhound run, March 9, 2014
Styxx and David at Assiniboine Park, April 25, 2014
Gail and Styxx, October 14, 2014
In summer, we would take Styxx to outdoor hockey rinks where he could be let off-leash to run. 22 second video, October 25, 2014.
Kenora, Ontario, March 12, 2015
On the road to Vancouver, June 18, 2015
The Paper Hound Bookstore, Vancouver, June 19, 2015
Katherine, Gail and Styxx in Gastown, Vancouver, June 19, 2015
Styxx takes in a fine sunset by Omand’s Creek, Winnipeg, January 18, 2017
Styxx, advertising his new book “Walking Styxx” July 12, 2017
On the beach, Gimli, May 21, 2018
Home is where the hearth is, Winnipeg, March 7, 2019
Gimli beach, July 6, 2019
Row of historic grain elevators, Inglis, Manitoba, August 8, 2019
Yurting at Camp Morton Provincial Park, August 20, 2019
Another Styxx birthday, Winnipeg, July 5, 2020
Assiniboine Forest, Winnipeg, October 21, 2020
A stroll through the farmers’ market, Regina, August 7, 2021
Snacking at Flatlander/Crossmount Cider Company, Saskatoon, August 11, 2021
Lounging in the Bessborough Hotel, Saskatoon, August 12, 2021
Grund, Manitoba, September 29, 2021
The Forks, December 14, 2021
One final adventure, Lakeview Hotel, Gimli, May 10, 2022

13 thoughts on “A Last Walk With Styxx

  1. Laura MacDonald May 26, 2022 / 2:50 pm

    May Styxx be running like the wind! Our thoughts are with you.

    Like

  2. Karen Carvell May 23, 2022 / 4:43 pm

    David and Gail – So sorry to hear of Styxx’s passing. I will miss seeing all of his adventures on the blog, his calendar and Christmas card too. I will miss our visits on the deck – he was the best. I know how hard it can be. Thinking of you both.

    Like

  3. Cathy campbell May 23, 2022 / 9:06 am

    I send you big hugs. Styx was a beautiful dog, companion and friend! Hope you are still writing Gail.

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    • David Firman May 23, 2022 / 11:22 am

      Thanks Cathy. Gail has been quite tied up with other things this spring but, in the coming weeks, you should see her book reviews in the Free Press.

      Like

  4. Mary Putt May 23, 2022 / 8:48 am

    Dear David and Gail, I have followed Styx’s walks over the past year or two. They have brought me many smiles. I’m Neal Putt’s ‘little’ sister–and my husband and I have been walked by Italian greyhounds–ridiculous little cousins of Styx– for the last 35 years. Losing our IGs has been so painful–even when, like Styx, their lives have been full and long. I am sorry for you and Gail –please know that your photos of Styx brought happiness to others. Sincerely, Mary

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    • David Firman May 23, 2022 / 11:19 am

      Thank you Mary. Greyhounds, no mater what variety, are wonderful companions.

      Like

  5. Blair Philpott May 23, 2022 / 8:25 am

    I am so sorry to hear of your loss, David and Gail. Styxx had such a wonderful, adventure filled life with you.

    Like

    • David Firman May 23, 2022 / 11:16 am

      Thanks Blair. We had planned a number of adventures this summer. We will miss his presence.

      Like

  6. Neal May 22, 2022 / 10:54 pm

    Thank you, Styxx, David and Gail.

    n.

    (Still planning Wpg, July 18-26, still not sure about Gimli …)

    Like

    • David Firman May 23, 2022 / 11:12 am

      Thanks Neal.

      (We are hopeful that there won’t be ice on Gimli beach by July 18!)

      Like

  7. Ted McLachlan May 22, 2022 / 7:56 pm

    So sorry to hear of Styxx’s passing. Such a loyal friend.

    Like

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