The New Whippet Breed Standard!

Here’s a gem I wrote in high school in the 1990s, inspired by my beloved Rigby.

The “New” Whippet Breed Standard

General Appearance: An animal of extreme grace, unless running anywhere near something expensive. The general appearance of a whippet is that of a raised bump underneath the sheets and covers of your freshly made bed.

Eyes: The eyes are the most important feature of the breed. They can be any colour, though Whippets prefer to have dark eyes, as these are more useful for conning their servants out of the best food and softest bedding. However, Whippets can manipulate their servants in many other ways.

Nose: Cold, wet, long and shocking when it unexpectedly makes contact with the Whippet’s servant’s bare thigh.

Feet and Legs: Sharp, long and unbendable. Really good Whippet feet and legs can drive an adult man off the bed, or render him unable to breathe, with all four of the Whippet’s feet pressing into his stomach. A well-bred whippet also will impale armpits, eyes, mouths and other sensitive areas with his feet, while sleeping in his servants’s bed.

Body: The Whippet’s body is generally either blurry in motion, or flat on it’s side. It is acceptable for the Whippet to rest on his back, with his feet straight in the air – remember the legs are not to bend and allow any room or comfort for the human.

Teeth: The Whippet has very special teeth and cannot eat regular food. If you wouldn’t eat it, neither will the Whippet.

Ears: Ideally, these resemble those of a bat when the Whippet goes for car rides and the window is open. Whippets are deaf at all times, except their scheduled dinner time.

Movement: Little as possible.

Color: Whatever color your bedspread is, so will be the lump curled up underneath of it.

Temperament: Whimsical, stubborn, manipulative, lazy and all together wonderful.

Disqualifications: Failure to disobey at least twice a day, sigh loudly with disgust at least three times a day, and to take up more room in the bed than two people, shall disqualify.

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Andi Update at 8 Months

Little Andi is 8 months old now, and she’s really thriving. She’s gotten incredibly fit in the last couple of weeks, with tons of hiking and swimming and playing. Sometimes she does silly things with her ears, and I’m hoping she settles back into her angles as she matures, but I’m pretty pleased with her. Her bite is correct, pigment is stunning, and her rear and movement over all is incredibly sound. She’s tiny like her sister Willow, and she’s fast and clever. She’s bubbly and happy, and extremely oral, like her mom Flirt. Unlike her mother, she’s not one to mouth you, or totally lose her mind with joy, but she likes the whole family a lot, and she enjoys cuddles. She’s particularly fond of Courtney, and is very gentle and sweet with her. She has no separation issues, and is perfectly housebroken and well mannered. Andi is generally found with a toy in her mouth, and her smile, sparkling eyes, and blond curls win her friends everywhere she goes. Her drive to hold and carry is wonderful, but her retrieving drive (outdoors anyway) is rather poor. I’m hoping some one on one time with her, without other dogs trying to get in the way, will correct this. Certainly she has the potential for therapy work, obedience, agility, and conformation showing in UKC. Here are some recent photos of Andi from the last week or so.

 

You’re a Terrible Dog Owner

But, that’s okay, because so am I! We all do something (or many things) that some dog snob or another will hate. I’ve been told in the same day that the same animal’s nails were too short, and also too long by yet another dog person. I know pet owners who wear the fact their dogs are overweight, poorly groomed, and have talon nails as almost a sick sort of badge of honor. I know sport dog owners (guilty) who are incredibly proud of having impeccably groomed, fit animals with manicured nails. I know owners totally fine with the fact that their dog has poor manners, or even folks who seem to enjoy it. I know trainers who take immense pride in their dogs’ high level of training and impulse control. And, of course, everything in between all of those extremes exists. We can argue about food, age to alter, how to train, type with-in a breed that we prefer, which dog sport is worthy, and every other thing. However, I wish we would spend more time enjoying our dogs, possibly admitting our short comings, and recognizing that some things just are not getting worked up over. I mean, it’s hard for me to even write the above without my obviously strong opinions seeping through in my words. Passion and love for the dogs is a good thing, but not when it ends up dividing us.

One thing I did recently that brought mostly smiles, but some harsh comments, was take my dogs through the McDonald’s drive-thru. It’s laughable that anyone who knows me at all would think my animals would ever be overweight, but I got those comments, as well as that I’m going to make my dogs sick, or just that fast food is terrible for anyone. Well, sure it is. But, that doesn’t mean my dogs and I are not going to enjoy it now and then.

What’s YOUR hot button issue? I know that mine would be overweight dogs and pediatric altering. I’ll go so far as to say I won’t knowingly sell a puppy to a person that would allow either thing to happen. But, at the end of the day, barring it being damaging to the animal’s health, there’s more important things to worry about. It’s certainly not worth alienating a buyer and losing touch with the puppy. I’m also incredibly easy going about certain other things that make other people crazy, especially brand/type of food (I don’t breed dogs with allergies and weak stomachs, and I really don’t care what you feed), and training methods (I know what works, but as long as you’re not blatantly abusing the dog, I’m not going to lose sleep or start a fight over your training tool of choice. I’m more likely to get upset if you simply don’t train the dog to be a well-mannered canine citizen at all).

The point here is that we all have our hang ups, and we’re really divided as a community because of a lot of them. At the end of the day, we all go home and love our dogs, or we wouldn’t be reading or blogging or fighting about them on the internet. I’m hoping I can learn to relax even more than I have over the years, which will only bring more joy to my own life.

On that note, enjoy pictures of Zoom and Willow treasuring the fact that I’m a terrible dog owner ❤

 

April Rains Bring… Snow Flowers

I’ll be the first admit that my first winter/spring in Ohio has been exciting and a novelty to me. I was a bit sad thinking I wouldn’t see more snow for many months, but I need not have worried. We have had two exceptional episodes of snow in late March and early April. Yesterday morning’s snow was exceptionally beautiful, at least through my eyes and my camera lens. A simple weed with fresh snow on it was the first thing that really grabbed my attention, but there was so much beauty to see.

 

Flipping the Switch

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Something clicked in my sweet Willow’s retriever brain, and she has become wildly enthusiastic about the bringy-backy game. It doesn’t matter if it’s freezing cold outside; she’s ready to go and get the thing. She is eight months old now, and I couldn’t be happier with her in general. she’s beautiful, clever, and sound. However, it was amazing to see her brain turn on to what she is most meant to do, as a Golden Retriever.

Recently, I had access to a vehicle and enjoyed taking my dogs to Lake Milton many times to swim, play, and retrieve. It was on one such visit that Willow “turned on” to retrieving, even in cold water, and off of a dock. She saw the water, and was literally pointing! Shortly after this, I threw a stock off the dock, and she vocalized with excitement.

She did several nice retrieves of a large stick, and she made she to get it to me, even with other dogs trying to take it and distracting her.

She’s been doing really well with obedience work also, of course. I’ll be updating about that later. I see lots of fun things in my future with my sweet little Willow. It’s also worth noting that she is only 32 pounds as of today!

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Happy Birthday Ian!

Nine years ago today, a kind hearted, intelligent, compassionate, clever, and truly good young human entered the world. My son, Ian, who brings to anyone lucky enough to know him, arrived quickly and smoothly that afternoon. Not surprisingly, he is very fond of dogs. When he comes to visit me, playing with puppies and training the adult dogs with me are some of his favorite things to do. For his birthday we gave him a fantastic gift. This very book, or a much older version of it, inspired a great deal of my own love for dogs and academic interest in them at his age. I hope he will enjoy it, too.