Groundhog Day!

In true sporting Whippet fashion, Zoom claimed our new house as a hunting ground. He is most proud of his first catch, a female groundhog. These creatures don’t live anywhere else we have lived (prior to coming to Ohio), so he had never seen one before. I came around the corner in the back yard just in time to see him make the kill. Zoom also turned seven years old this month, and is looking as wonderful as he ever has. I just love this hound. He is the quiet ruler and king of the house.


Goodbye Willow

It’s taken me a long time to post about Willow. Willow is and was and will always be one of the most special dogs I ever had the pleasure to breed, own, or train- never mind all three. I was both shocked and devastated when she came back from OFA as borderline in one hip (other one looks good; elbows rated normal, and she’s Embark clear for everything). After much agonizing, I made the heartbreaking, but responsible, choice to rehome her. Willow went to upstate New York, where she lives with lots of children, a stay at home mom, and a great dad, too. They love her to pieces and take amazing care of her. She didn’t do well without me for a time, but she’s adjusted beautifully.

In the mean time, so much has happened in my personal life. It’s been a lot of change, but all for the better. I’ll make another post or two or three about all the good and amazing things that have been happening, but in the meantime, fair well, sweet Willow.

Preliminaries Not Good Enough?

From the OFA website, for those concerned about OFA good results on a 17 month old 45 pound, fully grown dog:

“For normal hip conformations, the reliability was 89.6% at 3-6 months, 93.8% at 7-12 months, and 95.2% at 13-18 months. These results suggest that preliminary evaluations of hip joint status in dogs are generally reliable.”

In other words, the odds Fontana would suddenly be dysplastic in a few months are basically zero.

Most countries accept results at 12 months, which is five months younger than Fontana.


A Gift on a Beautiful Spring Day

Today Andi, now known as Mandy, left for her new life in California. On the way home from the airport, I decided this beautiful spring day was too stunning to waste, and I stopped at the park to walk and train with Willow. She did amazingly well, doing over 50 retrieves, including some in the pond. As we were heading back to the car, we had the luck to see this incredible black rat snake basking in a tree above our heads. These are among my very favorite animals, and he was just what I needed to lift my mood after sending Andi on her way (and the stress that always comes along with dealing with air cargo).

There’s some confusion about exactly what species he could be:

Regardless, he’s stunning!

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Willow Got X-Rayed Today

We had a big day. In addition to getting results for Andi and Fontana, who both passed OFA preliminary testing for hips and elbows, I decided to get Willow’s hips and elbows done for her prelims also. We won’t get official results for a week or more, but the vet and I both think they look decent. My tired puppy did amazing, of course! Here are the films, if anyone is curious.