Monday, August 30, 2010

Daniel Boo!

The Boo-man is an accomplished hunter of squirrels, so it's only proper that his mommy Jeanne bought him a hat like this to celebrate. We think he looks quite dashing!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Oops - we have a puppy available after all!

Tempest left for her new home last week, but we just heard that she's coming back. After a few days here to settle down, she will be available again.Her new owners just underestimated how much time a new puppy takes and are unable to devote the attention to her that she needs.

Tempest is, in spite of her name, a fairly laid-back pup for a whippet.She's a snuggler, but like all whippet pups, does have her wild side and needs someone who has time to devote to her. She's a flashy black and white girl with a full collar and white boots. She will be 13 weeks old tomorrow.

Remember: When you get a whippet puppy, you're getting two dogs: a little hellion (at times) when it's a baby, and after about two years, a perfect dog!

We do require a home in which someone is there for most of the day until the puppy is seven or eight months old. To grow up to be good citizens, whippet puppies really need attention on and off during the day, so if your whippet will routinely be alone for more than two or three hours at a stretch, we suggest an older puppy or adult dog. Just like a human toddler, a whippet pup left to his own devices all day is lonely and become destructive or neurotic. Dogs are pack animals and are not happy alone for long periods. Puppies especially need company and supervision. They simply have too much energy to leave crated or penned all day.Yes, puppies do nap a lot, but like babies, when they wake up, they need human interaction. And remember, an unhappy, neurotic dog or puppy is no fun to live with either!

We feel badly sometimes when we turn down a wonderful home just because everyone in the family is gone all day.I do understand that people have to work for a living! But nearly every puppy we have had returned -- there have not been many -- has been because the new owners didn't have enough time for it.

We never have hard feelings when puppies or even adult dogs are returned. Life is not perfect and you never know what's going to happen or how things will work out. The puppies don't mind either. They view their short-term home as a cool vacation and we look at it as excellent socialization experience. But it's hard on the owners and we hate to see them go through the heartache of getting attached and then having to send back the pup.

Fathom is also still available to an active home where he can channel his energy into agility, coursing, flyball, or something like that. 

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Whippet puppies we know about

UPDATE 8/16/10 - The puppies in Georgia have been sold, as has the show quality pup in North Carolina. We have two boys who need homes -- Fathom and Magic Sam. There are still pups available in Asheville with Kitty Williams and in Tennessee with Terri Reedy. Details below!

Our guys are mostly gone (except Fathom, who needs a very busy lifestyle!) but there are several good breeders we know who have some puppies.Most of these breeders will arrange transportation or meet you halfway. They all require applications and the pups are for sale to approved homes. Some require home checks, though that can often be arranged through a friend if you're at some distance away.These are all breeders we know personally or at least are very familiar with by reputation.

If you're looking around Georgia, Chris Durance-Watkins has a little boy who needs a home. Go to Cherche Whippets to see him. Chris travels often to Virginia and North and South Carolina.

In North Carolina, Festiva Whippets has a beautiful little show quality girl available. You can see Lisa at Festiva's website. Contact Katie at

Also in North Carolina, Kitty Williams still has a couple of puppies for some lucky people. Check them out at Wilhaus Whippets and you can conrtact Kitty through the website. Kitty is generally willing to meet you halfway if you';re coming from a distance.

If you're close to Tennessee, Terri Reedy has some puppies available. Contact her for photos. One is at the left (photo by Julie Poole)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Adventures in microchipping

Geisha (fka Lightnin')
About five years ago we decided that we really wanted to microchip our puppies before they went home. I checked around and found we could order the chips from Microchip ID Systems at a reasonable price, and besides, the president of the company, Jean Anne, is a friend I've known for years. I was a little embarrassed that we didn't already chip the puppies, but she pointed out we all have to start somewhere. So I asked what she recommended. She said there was nothing to inserting them, -- hey, no big deal, right? so we got in the first batch. I had heard the needles were big, but good lord, these suckers looked like javelins! And I was supposed to stick them into my little whippet pups??

The thing is, I can't do it myself. I can give shots almost blindfolded (not that I would try it), can tube-feed a puppy, can administer fluids to a dehydrated dog...but show me that big fat microchip-deploying needle and there is NO way. I tried it once and the puppies' skin was so thick I couldn't get it through and after shooting about three chips across the room, I gave up and took the pups to the vet and paid $35 each to have them "professionally" inserted.

By the next litter, I happened to have made a new friend, a Pembroke Welsh Corgi breeder who had just moved to town. She chipped that litter for me. But then she moved away.

So last year I hauled two whole litters up to a friend well north of Harrisonburg (about two hours) and she did them for me. Very long drive with a car full of carsick whippet puppies, but I did enjoy the visit with my friend..

Then there was a litter of four. I just sent them home with the chips and asked folks to get their vets to insert them, but I wasn't very happy with that. A couple of vets said they couldn't insert them because they "weren't familiar with that chip." Oh please. More like, "You didn't buy it from me, so I'm not helping you out." The chips come in a sealed package already loaded into a syringe. How much is there to know?

Moka (fka Bonnie)
So anyway, a couple of weeks ago, here I was with 21 puppies (remember, this is two litters, the first one supposedly an impossibility!) and no way to microchip them. I sent the first two home with their chips. Then daughter Jo came up to puppysit while we went to look for a car -- forgot to mention that I totalled mine a couple of weeks ago, but that's another post. When we got home, I mentioned the chipping dilemma and she said, "I can do that!"

I looked at her dubiously. "Have you ever done it?"

"Nope," she admitted, "but how hard can it be? Lots of breeders do it." Jo used to work for a vet and I knew she could give shots, but chips???  I asked, "Have you seen that needle?"

Ranger (fka T-Bone)
Yes, she said, she had, and she still could do it. I should mention that though Jo is my daughter, she is a bit over 30 years old, so I wasn't entrusting my pups to a seven year old or anything like that.

So we decided to give it a shot, so to speak. We put the puppies in the kitchen sink because when you're doing something like this, you want them to feel a little insecure so they won't fight you. Something else to think about, you know, like, "Why am I standing in this metal bucket in the kitchen?" and "Am I going to get a bath???" The idea being that when they discover we are just going to plunge a sword into their poor little shoulders, they'll think, "Oh well, at least it's not a bath!"

First, I told Jo, we had to organize all the chips and get the paperwork ready. Since I don't own a scanner, we had to be very sure we put the chip we intended into the puppy we intended. I can spend hours "getting ready" to do something I am putting off, but Jo watched me shuffle papers and syringes around for about two minutes and said, "Let's get this show on the road.."

Magic Sam
My job was to go bring the little vic-- uh, puppies into the kitchen. I picked Siren first. She is staying here for the long term, though is going off to summer camp for a month with my friend Sat Ananda in Charlotte. I figured if we messed her up, at least it would be my puppy and not one I'd sold to someone else. (Precisely how we would "mess up" a puppy wasn't clear, but looking at that needle, I knew it could be done.)

I watched this one. Never again. The puppy was brave and didn't make a peep, Jo did the deed efficiently and apparently painlessly, my blood pressure shot up ten points and I almost hyperventilated. Siren did even squeak, but I think I did a lot of moaning and groaning, complete with sharp intakes of breath and ."Ooooohhhh"s. .

We agreed that I would simply hold puppies and look the other way. That worked much better. Only one cried a little. Maybe Johnny Ace?

Anyway, it all got done, the puppies survived, my BP has dropped to normal and there was not one drop of puppy blood spilled! I call that a success. And better yet, I have been taking the puppies for their going-home exams, about six at a time, and my wonderful vet has been scanning them for me to be sure the chips "took." So far every one has shown up and been the correct number (so I guess we really didn't need to spend two hours organizing, the way I would have done without Jo'

So if any of the puppies fall out of their cars on the way home, they'll be traced back to me!

Memphis Minnie