The American Whippet Club Specialty


Ch. Scenario Razzle Dazzle, JC as a young dog

Ch. Scenario Razzle Dazzle, JC as a young dog

 

My dogs are my pets.  When I was  a pre-teen, my dream was to  own a  boarding kennel, and train, groom, and show dogs, Life happened while I was making other plans, and I never  got that kennel.

I thought my first Afghan Hound was a show dog, and he wasn’t.  I  had hoped that my  2nd Afghan Hound would be a show dog, but it was obvious  even as a puppy that she had serious faults, and I had bought her too young.  I did manage to  get her  ASFA Field Championship, and an AKC  Companion Dog title.

My next show dog was a Whippet.  I think he got  nine single points, but no majors.  He also attained a Companion Dog title, and his ASFA Field Champion title.  In  fact, he won a  best in field..  Then I got divorced, went to college, kept going to college, then Peace Corps, and  I had too much going on to think of showing a dog.  I got a retired champion Saluki from Bill and Cindy Brown (well known Saluki fanciers, who  knew me from my  field trialing days), ans when that dog died of cancer, I got a mature pup that Nancy Badra was keeping  until she found a  home for him, that she didn’t think was  show quality.  I thought he was much better quality than what I saw being shown.  he was a little slab sided, and had a ‘gay’ tail, but  was very sound and had a lovely head. With very limited showing (I mean,  learning to pick judges and know which  dog shows were expected to be majors), I don’t think I spent $500 getting Dazzle his  AKC championship.

Dazzle died  2 years ago at age 15, and I got Dash, the Whippet,  from Linda Larsen, of Plumcreek (a well-known breeder of Whippets for over 40 years).  He came to me neutered, and that was fine—except we all wonder why he was neutered.  It’s a well known fact that dogs get sold, become champions,  the co-owners (or spouses) have a disagreement, and  great dogs get given away or neutered.  I have to mention this because the American Whippet Club has classes at their  Specialty ( a specialty means  one breed only) for altered dogs.

Plumbreek I'm Goin' Out tonight, CGC, BN, RN. SC

Plumbreek I’m Goin’ Out tonight, CGC, BN, RN. SC

In fact, the American Whippet Club has  Rally,  Lure coursing,  a triathlon ( the dog has to be entered in  lure-coursing and  an obedience class, then  an informal conformation judging is done), and  dog show classes for  racing dogs, lure-coursing dogs, and yes—even altered dogs.

This was a great dog show.I’ve  attended many specialty shows, and,except for awards, most are  not any more special than fun matches.  some clubs are so small, and the entry so meager, the club can barely afford to put on a show, what with paying  for judges, the venue, and ribbons.

The only reason I  knew there was a show was because I was picking up my new dog (actually, a 7  year old bitch who was returned to the breeder), who  actually lived  close to St. Louis—but her breeder was attending the specialty in Wisconsin, so agreed to meet me there, and sent me the link  to the  premium list (the  premium list gives  one all the information about what yu need to do to enter, who the judges are, directions to the show, and  the prizes) and other  information.  In fact, the American Whippet Club gave  white  plaster Whippet Statues to club members to decorate m calling the auction of them ‘color immaterial’ (as  what our  breed standard says about judging  the  Whippet), and  bidding was allowed 1 day , on-line, where you could bid on 1 of the 50 statues.  They were all breathtaking.  Amazing the talent of club members.

 some of the rosettes for the non-regular classes. AWC2I particularly wanted to see the  triathlon winners and obedience competition.  I am so sorry I didn’t get to see the Rally competition, as I compete in Rally with Dash and there were only 2 Open dogs (jumping and Retrieving )& no  Utility (scent discrimination and other  exercises requiring a lot of focus on the part  of the dogs), but 3  owners competed in brace class, where 2 dogs are attached ad have to work together.  As you can see, above, the rosettes were really  fancy, and the trophies really worth  competing for. Even the class prizes—commemorative plates—were very nice.

There were 560 dogs entered (with 722 entries ( the Futurity dogs and veterans, as well as  dogs  doing  lure-coursing, performance, and conformation for the  Triathalon…and NO BARKING…or maybe just incidental barking.  Unlike the terriers, the Whippet owners can  walk around with their  dogs and not worry about the dogs starting a fracas with a strange dog.

There was something for everyone, and I spoke with several pet owners who lived far afield and made a point to come to the Specialty to buy stuff and just be around Whippets and other Whippet lovers.

AWC4  The ring was nicely decorated by the host committee. Dawn Carlson thought it would be a nice touch to have a lit pergola entrance and fairy lights around the ring—and it really added a bit more class to  the show.  The ballroom was large enough   to walk around and see the display of trophies,  the booths selling   martingales, jewelry, coats and dog beds, and  the raffle and silent auction to benefit WRAP: Whippet Rescue and Placement.  In fact, there were so many booths that vendors were in the hall and in an adjacent room.

WRAPAWCI do want to say more about WRAP.  My first Whippet was from a precursor to WRAP—from before the internet. As is still the case, it was very rare for a Whippet to end  up ‘displaced’. In Bebop’s case, his owner had died, and nobody in the family wanted  him.A woman in the  Whippet Club took him , but she had a dog she was racing who had been injured, and that dog and BeBop played so much that she wasn’t healing.  By that time, I had been on the waiting list for 4 years, and had gotten Dazzle, but i told her if Dazzle &  this dog got along, I’d take him, Well, they  seemed to like each other from the start.  I later met his breeder at a dog show where we were showing Dazzle and had just brought Bebop for the ride, and she sent me his pedigree.  In any case, he died several weeks ago.  U had gone to the WRAP website, but the closest dogs listed were in Minnesota, and I am in Chicago, so I networked to get  our new love, Venus…but I learned at the specialty that WRAP is getting them now and then from puppy mills in Missouri, and more recently, people who  might have started out as  hobby breeders  or even pet owners who became hoarders are being  persuaded to  give up dog,   You have to understand this is never  8 or 10 dogs, but usually 20 or more.  It happens.  I am not justifying this, but WRAP capitalizes itself  by getting support from the AWC and its members, who  understand the need to support rescue, and  to  get the dogs and board them until fosters are found  and evaluate them for health issues and suitability as pets.  The photo in this paragraph shows the silent auction table, but many breeders also donated  many exquisite items to the raffle, and there was a parade of WRAP rescues, many of which are now working as therapy dogs.I really wished as many people who crowd around the ring to watch  futurity and regular class judging had stayed to  watch the ‘parade’ of WRAP dogs, but at least they support rescue.

The culture of how people are about their dogs varies from breed to breed.  In some breeds, people are really catty,  and they seem embarrassed by the pet dogs.  This is not how it is with Whippets, and I found many  people showing dogs also had rescued dogs.  I just hate it when  people involved in rescue or animal welfare paint al breeders as greedy and not really loving dogs, because that has NOT been my experience.  The  integrity I have experienced by most whippet fanciers and breeders has made it easier for me to be as Whippet fancier.

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