"Josie" Ch. Delacreme Desire
A Jason Daughter @ 2 years
He is now 11 1/2 years old

Judy Walton has owned Whippets for 15 years- the 1st one I met "in the flesh" was 20 years ago, while I was working as a handler's assistant in the Midwest- a friend of my employer's came to visit, bringing a couple of her Whippets with her; she turned a 6 month old puppy out in our training area with a couple of our specials (an English Cocker and a Schipperke) and I stood in awe as this puppy blew the doors off these two lumbering fools, who futiley tried to catch her as she did her Whippet thing from one end of this 3/4 acre fenced area to the other, with frequent fly-by kisses. I decided then that one day I would have a Whippet.
That "one day" came several years later, after I'd moved to CO and had completed vet. technician's training- I had started out with Golden Retrievers, and was planning on getting another Golden- that was about the time that Subventricular Aortic Stenosis was recognized as being somewhat widespread in the breed and I was really discouraged about being able to find a healthy *finishable* example of the breed. Unbeknownst to me, a friend had just taken on a Whippet special and was totally enchanted with the breed- and in a conversation, said "I have the breed for you!", and proceeded to tell me how wonderful this dog was in the house, what a joy she was to show, etc.- that was the clincher for me- my 1st Whippet joined me a few months later- a "Chalmondolay" grandson out of a Beachward bitch, "Eli" (Til Dawn Moon Minstral) was an absolute joy to own- the waggiest Whippet I've ever know, he was a total gentleman (some of my friends referred to him as "Saint Eli", as he never did anything wrong- well, almost never:)), with very typical Whippet attributes- very dignified and serious around those he didn't know well, a goofy clown with me; very expressive- would greet me with "woo-woo's", butt in the air, tail wagging furiously- but when left behind, he would take out his frustrations on whatever he could get hold of, as long as it related to why I left- thus, rosettes were pulled off my desk and chewed up, I found a dog-washing sponge with several bite marks taken out of it. He always told me when we had critter visitors in the yard (rarely vocally, but instead with body language), but he never barked at anyone coming to the door- except me! Although purchased as a show prospect, he was only shown a couple times, as his ears ended up resembling a mule deer's. He was my doggy soulmate-my heart broke the day he died, and while he is the reason I've had several other Whippets, and all have been wonderful in their own way, none have filled that void left in my life by his passing.

Ch. Sun Run's Northern Lights SC "Nicholas"

Currently, I have 4 Whippets- Ch. Sun Run's Northern Lights SC ("Nicholas"), who was more than 1/2 way to his ASFA FCh. when he experienced an episode of exertional rhabdomyolysis which pushed me to retire him. He is by Ch. Briarwyke Keep the Change and out of Am.Can. Ch. Saxon Shore Flashing Lights ROM. Ch. Delacreme Desire ("Josie") is an 11-yr old "Jason" (Ch. Saxon Shore Amber Waves ROMX) daughter, out of a litter mate to Ch. Delacreme Avante Gard. Sun Run's Gallantly Streaming JC ("Alex") is the squirrel-chasing-est dog I've ever met- not surprising, however, since her mother (Ch. Saxon Shore Chase the Sun C.D. "Caza")wanted badly to course the roller coaster at the Nat'l. in Texas in '93! My youngest is "Midge" (Sun Run's Tattletail JC) who is just starting her show career and is, in my opinion, the absolute epitome of Whippet bitch, in type and temperament! She is a "Rory" (DC Sportingfield's Jazz Fest)daughter, out of Nicholas' sister, Am.Can. Sun Run's Tailights, - she is 19", big-moving, sound, large-eyed and hugely intense on the lure!
I have worked as a veterinary technician for 15 years, for the past 12 years at Colorado State University in the Oncology Department. We are probably the best-known and most respected veterinary oncology group in the country and see cases from all over the US, Canada, South America and Europe. I love my job, treating people's pets with cancer and researching new treatments, but after several years of it, I started to feel like I needed to find a little "more" to satisfy my soul and to do more wholistically for my patients and my own dogs. A few years ago, when my old dog "Eli" was showing early neurological signs, I made the decision to go to massage school, to be able to help him and my patients by giving educated massage- I completed a 1000-hour certification course in massage therapy- although it was human-based, I went with the intention of applying what I learned to treat veterinary cases. Although my dear boy "Eli" didn't live long enough to benefit from my training, I now have a dog and human massage practice and continue to work at CSU as an Oncology nurse, as well as teach canine massage to other massage therapists.

"Alex & Nicholas"
Taking a break during massage class
They all are my teaching dogs

The friend with the Whippet special mentioned above- Glenda Henson, a Sheltie breeder/ handler- took me in to her home when I 1st moved to CO, taught me about handling, balance and structure, and most importantly, about sportsmanship. She continues to be my friend, mentor and supporter. Sally Smith (of Sun Run) and I started out in Whippets about the same time, but she came into the breed with several years experience and success in another breed- she taught me about movement and soundness, and we spent many years discussing Whippet type and breeding philosophies, not to mention co-owning several dogs, which have had a lasting influence on how I "see" the breed.
Favorite memories- Eli telling me in no uncertain terms that he intended to be included in a road trip, by getting in the van and refusing to get out, jumping into the front seat to show me that there was plenty of room for him! (That preceeded him tearing up the rosette and dog sponge in my office mentioned above...) He really communicated extremely well- there was no doubting what he was trying to convey. Favorite memory from the show ring-"Nicholas" (Ch. Sun Run's Northern Lights, SC) winning a 4-pt major in the breed ring, then going from there to the coursing field the same day and going BOB over several FCh's for an AKC field 4-pt. major. Also, his specialty RWD at the Midwest specialty as a 9-month old puppy (to his brother Dizzy's WD) in '93.

Left is "Alex" Sun Run's Gallantly Streaming JC
Stickers are Muscles that students had to locate
Right is "Midgie" Sun Run's Tattletail JC
Anatomy teaching dog for Massage Class

The future of the breed- I find it disturbing that so many non-Whippet judges think that Whippets are one of the strongest breeds in the Hound group currently (as expressed in "Dogs in Review" magazine)- there are some big-moving, showy dogs being shown now, but I think there are a lot of dogs who do not exhibit *breed type*- we are becoming another breed to fall victim to the "Great American Showdog" trend- the physical traits that make a Whippet unique and distinctive are less and less evident, and I'm afraid it will only get worse as judges will have fewer opportunities to see and understand in the flesh what correct Whippet type is. New people coming into the breed will win with dogs that aren't really "Whippety" but it won, so it must be good and it will be bred! I don't really want to have a negative view of where we're going, but the divergence in type between "show" and "race" is so wide now and the extremes are *so* extreme, we may never find a good wide-spread middle ground. The positive aspect of this is that it seems that more people are trying performance events with their Whippets, including racing- I'm just afraid there are not enough of those pursuing all avenues of competition to reverse the current trend. Other areas of concern for me are health and temperament- we have such a *wonderful* breed- we need to make sure that all of us are doing everything we can to make sure that we don't compromise the breed by overlooking or making excuses for health problems that may not be life-threatening but *will* effect the dog's ability to function comfortably and for a long time as a *pet*. And neither show wins or performance excellence should take precedence over sound, liveable temperaments.
What I would share with other Whippet owners is to please safeguard what we have- new exhibitors should take time to make sure they really understand the essence of the breed before endeavoring to breed their dogs- race or course your show dogs; strive to understand that while they don't run on their ears or their heads and eye shape is a cosmetic issue, all those "parts" contribute to the whole that *is* breed type, and the things that make Whippets Whippets, not generic running dogs or just small Greyhounds! Study and understand the standard and work to understand what the words look like in dog form. Make every breeding count- don't breed to a dog just because he's winning or because the pedigree will end up as a line-breeding on some individual, but honestly consider if he complements your bitch. And really honestly evaluate your bitch before breeding- not every bitch or champion needs to reproduce! Don't trivialize the effects of non-lethal health problems when considering breeding- dogs should be considered pets 1st, and I've seen too often people having to live with a pet that suffers from the consequences of a breeder who felt minor health problems weren't a big enough deal to avoid reproducing it. Please represent the breed honestly to those inquiring about them- Whippets are so wonderful, but they are not for everyone, and it's really OK if we keep them as our little secret:). They are special and should be in homes that truly appreciate how special they are.

My Future Star "Midgie"
Sun Run's Tattletail @ 8 months
Mail Comments to Judy

"Eli" Til Dawn Moon Minstral
My first whippet in his favorite location "with me"