Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Henry's son Woodstock in Germany

Here is Henry's son "Woodstock" or "Sporting Fields Here I Am" who lives in Germany.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Poppy has found a home

Hi guys, a happy ending! Poppy, the whippet we posted a few days ago, has a home now. A happy ending!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Lovely young whippet looking for a home

Hi guys, a breeder friend of ours in NC is looking for a home for her young brindle female whippet, Poppy. Today is Poppy's birthday, she is turning one year old, and maybe she can find a new home for her birthday. She is spayed, up-to-date on shots, crate trained, house trained, and rides well in the car.

She doesn't get along with one of the older whippet girls in her household, which is why she is looking for a home. She probably would not do well with very small children. Please let me know if you are interested in Poppy! Her breeder would prefer that she stay somewhere near NC. Thank you!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Very Happy Birthday, part one

A year ago about this time, we were helping our sweet Chippy bring her first litter into the world. First to arrive was Photon (then named Sailor) and he was a big bruiser of a puppy at nearly a pound. Chippy had a lot of trouble delivering him, and after he was born, almost as an afterthought, came Kara. She was tiny compared to Photon -- just five or six ounces, if I recall. She was lifeless at first, but with a little rubbing and blowing ir into her mouth, she finally began crying and scrambling to get to her mama. Small as she was, she was a fighter, so we weren't too worried about her at first. She had a tiny heart on the back of her neck.

The next six puppies came along without incident, and what a rainbow Chippy and Daddy Blue had given us! A red brindle boy (Skiff), two black & seal girls (Siren nd Kara), two blue and white boys (Photon and Ensign, now Spencer), a blue brindle boy (Fathom, now Rocket), a fawn and white girl (Sparrow, now Shelby), and a lovely black and white girl, Tempest (now MooMoo). Then came the hours that every breeder dreads -- the minutes, then hours with no puppy arriving.

We began to realize we had a problem, The ninth puppy simply was not coming. We knew Chippy was carrying ten puppies (we'd done an xray the day before) and the "stuck" puppy was endangering itself, number ten, and mama, for that matter.

Of course it was after hours for our regular vet (isn't it always?) so we bundled up everyone and headed for the emergency vet in Lynchburg, about 45 minutes over the mountain. We put all the pups in an incubator at the clinic (the vet sort of shook her head over Kara) and settled in for a long, tense night in the waiting room.  Several other emergencies came in: a Border collie with heat stroke, another c-section (a Cocker spaniel), and a puppy who had eaten a bar of chocolate.

It seemed hours, but I'm sure it was not. Finally we got the word that Chippy was fine, the ninth baby had definitely been stuck and we'd lost her, and the tenth, a little brindle and white girl (Bonnie, now Moka) was just fine. I had the usual breeder's guilt; Did I wait too long to bring her in? Was there more I could have done at home.

We brought everyone home, including our little lost girl, who was buried next to our beloved Babs (We warned the new pup not to get on Babs' bad side, as she did have a temper!)

The next few days were stressful. Chippy was a great mom, but try as we might, we could not get little Kara to nurse. Chippy took care of her, she crawled around and climbed on top of the other puppies, behaving like a normal, if a bit weak, newborn. We began to tube feed her after it became obvious she was not going to nurse. Every three or four hours we'd pass a tube down her throat and syringe a little formula directly into her stomach.

Thank goodness daughter Johannah had arrived! We traded off the nighttime feedings, with Walt taking a few as well, I warned Jo not to get attached to this one. I didn't really hold out a lot of hope for her unless she would begin to nurse. But she was such a fighter we had to give her a chance. The fact that she had not gotten any colostrum was a problem. I ordered fresh frozen plasma to give her.

On Day Three, we took the litter in for removal of dewclaws. Dr. Missy thought Kara was too weak to tolerate even the little snip it involves, so we left hers alone. She got some fluids and some puppy vitamins.
Kara went downhill for the next few days, and on bout vet visit number three, she was diagnosed with pneumonia. Our wonderful vets gave her some oxygen and prescribed a tank for me to pick up from their supplier and take home, We used the "blow by" method, and whenever she looked a little blue, we'd give her some oxygen. Jo actually made some videos of Kara's first few days and here's an oxygen treatment she loaded on Youtube...

Monday, May 9, 2011

A couple of our boys

Karen Beard is a dear friend of ours in Lexington, Virginia, and she is truly doing amazing work running the local shelter. She goes above and beyond to send dogs home with different rescue groups and find the best homes for everyone that she can.

We are lucky enough that she chose to bring two of our little guys home -- Spencer, formerly Ensign of Chippy's Nautical litter, and Finn, formerly Kent of Rini's Halloween litter. Here's a photo she shared with us of the two boys playing with their new brother, 3 month old greyhound puppy  Vyncent.

Spencer, Finn, and Vyncent

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Lovely young adult male available in North Carolina

 Our good friend Yvonne Sovereign near Raleigh has a beautiful fawn and white male, elegant with big dark eyes and a super temperament looking for a loving home. Robbie is two years old and isn't going to work out as a show dog but will make a wonderful companion. 

He is sweet, loving, crate trained and completely housebroken. No bad habits and good eater. He is a great dog and she wants just the right home for him. Good with other dogs and children, don't know about cats. Contact Yvonne directly at 919-721-2384

Anyone who is not familiar with Yvonne's work is missing a real treat. She is an artist with a special love for whippets...and that love shines through every painting and drawing she does. 

If you have not already, you should visit her art website at -- and I have to put in a little brag for our Timbreblue whippets who are featured there! The two whippets lying on the bed in front of the window (home page) are our boys Barnaby and Boo, owned by Danny S. and Jeanne & Alan A. respectively.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Bad genes

Last week I attended a seminar called "The Purebred Paradox." Deciding to go was difficult, not because of the subject matter (genetic defects in purebred dogs) but because it was being hosted by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), a hardcore animal rights organization whose legislation I spend every winter fighting in Richmond.

Baby Jenny (Miranda) in 2008
But I'm legislative liaison for the Virginia Federation of Dog Clubs and Breeders (VFDCB) as well as being an AKC delegate for the Shenandoah Valley Kennel Club and I felt we needed to know what was said and done at this meeting. AKC did not participate, by choice, which was the right decision. But some of us needed to be there. The VFDCB paid registration fees for Alice Harrington (my co-legislative liaison) and me to go. I'm glad we went.

There are other places on the web where you can read more about the conference (Google Purebred Paradox and Pedigree Dogs Exposed) but I will say I came away from it awfully glad that whippets are my breed of choice (they are mostly healthy) and that Walt and I made the leap to outcrossing as opposed to linebreeding years ago.Linebreeding is the practice of breeding fairly close relatives to "set" the good genes. Trouble is, it often also "sets" the bad genes. 

Abita (Rosalind) in 2008
Many breeders are going to have a hard time with that recommendation, but it was made by every non-breeder scientist and veterinarian on the panel. We all learned at our mentors' knees that good breeders linebreed consistently and outcross only occasionally. Walt and I spent many hours studying and discussing this practice and about five years ago made the commitment to breed, as far as possible, to unrelated dogs. Of course, all whippets are related if you go far enough back, but we try not to have names repeated in five generations. We're not always successful, but we work at it and we do believe it's the right thing to do.

Another suggestion from the conference was not to use "popular sires," which are the top-winning dogs that "everyone" is breeding to. That's because if it is later determined that that dog is carrying a genetic disease, there will be nowhere to go to breed away from it if he is in all the pedigrees. That has already happened in whippets, with the mitral valve disease problem. Though I would be hesitant to blame one dog, it's true that nearly every dog with MVD traces his lineage back to the same bloodline.

Bacchus (Falstaff) in 2008
We were also warned against breeding for extremes when they affect health and soundness (the flat faces of the bulldog and Pekes, the sloping topline of the German shepherd dog, the heavily wrinkled faces of the Shar-pei and bloodhound). And there are many breeds that routinely die of cancer at a young age.

The AKC Canine Health Foundation and the parent clubs are working on these problems, or at least the health-related ones. I don't know whether there is a discussion to stop the German shepherd from moving like a Tennessee Walking Horse, but I hope there is.

The Whippet Health Foundation is conducting a years-long study of mitral valve disease in whippets. Whenever you feel inclined to give, consider donating to them.

Lots to think about!


Run, puppy, run!

One of Party's puppies is now named "Bones" and lives near DC with a doctor who is also a triathlete (down girls, he's taken). Charlie has been working with Bones to build up his stamina gradually since he is still growing. The following is a photo Charlie shared with us of himself and Bones resting after a run, taken by the aforementioned  lucky girlfriend.

Charlie and Bones

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

One year old female available

We have a breeder friend in North Carolina who has a young brindle whippet girl in need of a new home. Poppy will be one year old on May 16th, she is spayed and up-to-date on all of her vaccinations. She is healthy and has great house manners. She's crate trained and also loves to sleep in the bed. She gets along with male dogs better than females, and would probably not do well with really small children.

If you're interested in Poppy, please fill out our questionnaire and make sure you mention Poppy in the notes section. Just look at that face! Absolutely adorable.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Musings on nicknames

We have a pup named Siren. (Her registered name is Timbreblue Drives Too Fast)  Siren is not hard to say. So how come I find  myself calling her Si-renny or Si-Si or Rennie? "Sigh" seems sort of sad but I've used that too. For awhile I called her Ren, but then I realized that among our pups from about that same generation, we have a Rainey, a Rini, and a Riri (pronounced ree-ree). I guess I will have to break down and just stick with Siren. If I can.

What is it that makes us give dogs nicknames in addition to their call names? Walt calls most of our dogs by their real names, but I tend to use:

Ivy --- Ivy-Divy or Ivers or Ives
Blue -- Blue-boo
Party -- Party Girl
Juliet -- Ju-ju bean
Chippy -- Chipster
Devon -- Devvie
Dallas -- D-Dog or Big D
Kara -- Karoo
Katie -- Katydid

I don't really understand it since most of the nicknames are actually longer than the call names. Isn't it just as easy to say Dallas as Big D?

When my daughter was born, we (for some reason) decided we wanted her called Johannah instead of any of the usual nicknames. I carefully wrote out "Johannah" on everything that went to daycare with her, But since we didn't give them a nickname to call her, she became Jo-Jo, which I thought sounded a bit monkeyish. So we started calling her Joey to combat that. Of course once she started school, she decided that was a boy's name and informed her teachers she wanted to be called Margaret, which was her first name.  We still called her Joey at home. She settled on Jo eventually but her family was slower to catch on,.

One day when they were in high school, my son Travis (Trav or T) answered the phone. "You have the wrong number." When he hung up, he said, "Some guy wanted Joe." Johannah happened to be in the room and wailed, "Nooooo! He asked for Jo!" Fortunately for her, the boy did call back and thus began her longest high school romance. She is now Johannah or Jo.

I'd better get back to the girls -- the Chipmeister and Ivy-Divy-Dabber-Do need pedicures.