Ch. Bohem Rosecrest Floribunda & Ch. Anvi Estelle of Lauralbriar

Samantha & Joe Chase from Gravenhurst, Ontario, Canada are featured on our calendar today. This is what Samantha shares with us: "I was first "owned" by a whippet in 1978, 22 years ago, although it seems like just a short spell". These dogs are such that I just can't get enough! My first whippet was Can. Ch. Neverland's Ebb Tide, known to all as Christy. Christy was a daughter of Can./Am. Ch. Alery White Warlock, (a Whirlaway son). She was a blue-fawn brindle, marked beautifully, but best of all she possessed the sweetest, most kind temperament I had ever seen, except for living rabbits! What influenced me to have a whippet was the breed itself! My father had bred collies and I had grown up with a bias towards the Scottish breeds. At 17 I bought my first pure-bred, a Westie. I knew nothing and it showed! I was in obedience class with Jill (the Westie) and having a wonderful time, when there entered two whippets. I had never seen one "in the flesh" and immediately fell in love with their dignity, grace, curves and STYLE! I knew from that moment that I had to eventually live with a whippet. Breeders were few and far between in Canada in those days!
There have been a few key people who have taught me on the way in the whippet breed. No one can really get very far without eventually finding a teacher. The woman who owned the first two I saw became a saint to me. I worked for her for a few years and she taught me so much of the intricacies of the whippet - the way they think and act and how to "read" them and understand them on their own level, instead of trying to make them understand ours. Her name was Wendy Keeler and I've lost track of her over the years as she is no longer involved in the "show scene", but I will never forget her and will think of her with only love for the joyous world she opened up for me. Another person who has helped me so much through the years and who is one of the most nowledgeable people I have ever had the honour of knowing is Barbara Henderson, she is my "guiding light" and will always be close in my heart, even though we live so far apart.

My favourite memory is of Christy and the first time I had her out in the bush. I had taken her to a lure course with great disappointment. She showed absolutely no interest in the lure. In fact, she looked disgusted by the whole thing. About a week later, we went exploring the hills and dales around our new home - it was a vast farming area. About 1/2 hour from the house, while walking casually through the field, a rabbit suddenly flushed and made the run up the hedgerow. Before I could even realize what it was, Christy was off and within 30 seconds we had a rabbit! I had finally found what she loved to do and she hunted almost every week for the rest of her life. The farmers in the area loved it as the rabbit boroughs cause major damage in hay fields and in the area where we lived they had no natural predators, foxes having been killed by humans years earlier.

Left: Ch. Lauralbriar Amythyst, Her second show weekend at 10 months old, and a new Champion
Center: Britta at AWC
Right: Ch. Saxon Shore Braveheart (Brie's sire)

One other memory is the 1992 American Whippet Club National Specialty show. I went to have fun and came back with an idea burning away inside my head -why did Canada not have a National Club? I contacted a few key people and their attitude was, well if you want one do something about it. So, in early 1992 I wrote an article which was published in the "Breedlines" column of Dogs in Canada Magazine, the official publication of the CKC, calling for a National Club. It was slow, but the interest was there! Regional clubs, specifically the Whippet Club of Eastern Canada and another from British Columbia donated generously and with the first few memberships, I was able to get started. I wrote the monthly newsletter, which I entitled "Whippet Wanderings", and its still here today. In my opinion this has been my contribution to the breed above all else - the formation of the National Whippet Club of Canada. It was with heartbreak that I was forced to leave it all behind in late 1993 due to health problems, but I am so happy and proud with what has been brought about through the continued hard work and dedication of the early members and those who have since joined. I will be attending the National next month with joy and pride! I think the future of the breed is safe in the hands of some truly dedicated individuals. I think we must be careful when we consider size and shape above all else, and I feel we should consider the whippet's popularity, for there can be no greater curse to a breed. But in general, the dedicated fanciers have the whippet's best interests in hand and I am proud to be a member of their ranks.

These are Brie's sisters. I'm second from the left and oh, so photogenic! Samantha Martel Chase Lauralbriar Whippets
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