Laurel and Cayman with her first(of many)BIF's. This is at the Polo Field in Roy, Wa. with Mt. Rainier behind us.

My name is Laurel Wilks and I have owned Whippets for 8 years. I have done obedience, conformation and agility since I was 18, and am a Nationally Certified Master Groomer. Working at a veterinary clinic as an assistant for the last 8 years and seeing the health problems other breeds can have, I really researched for my second breed of dog in 1991. The Whippet appealed to me because of beauty, lack of hereditary problems and the small amount of grooming they require.

My first Whippet came from Christine Hopperstad. I can still remember the feeling of beauty overwhelming me when I stepped into Christine's yard and the Whippets all came rushing out to us. "Disney" Alcyon Rockingham, JC (Ch MerciIsle Burncoat Babylon X Ch. Chelsea Asprey)came to live with us, and even after chewing through several crates, mini blinds, clothes, etc.. I was in love. He was and is my best friend. At 1 year, I took Disney to our first lure course, he was a maniac! He was thrilled and so was I, to watch him run. We were hooked.

Alcyon Rockingham JC, "Disney" (Ch. Merci Isle Burncoat Babylon X Ch. Chelsea Asprey)

I signed up with AWC as a rescue person for Washington right after I got Disney. I have always felt strongly that those of us who can, should rescue. I had my first rescue Whippet, "Petie" from our local shelter, and had a heck of a time letting him go. It still hasn't gotten any better, sometimes something just clicks and I bond to a rescue very strongly. But, I did place him and have placed several since then. I then became involved with Western Washington Whippet Association rescue with Jo Sowards and Patricia Shiley.
Going coursing with Disney, I have greatly admired the Blarneystone Whippets bred by Beverly and Mic McKibben. So, when Jo Sowards bred Blarneystones Miss Dallas LCM & Blarneystones Tyler LCM6, I had to have one. Talk about night and day, when I took "Jam" home I thought I had a Tasmanian devil! - Shadow Run's Nike Air Jammin' LCM because, like the Michael Jordan shoe, I believed she could fly. She has made me cry on several occasions, like the first time she took Best in Field at the Region 1 Whippet Specialty. She became a F Ch. after 5 trials and had her LCM by the time she was 19 months old. She was #14 ASFA Whippet in 1999. So far this year she has done well, starting off with a BIF at the SISFA trial. Now she is trying her hand at racing. Her FIRST ever oval race, she came in the top 10! And is now rated a "B" grade racer. She is great at agility and a wonderful bed warmer. She is my best girl and I love her so much. She is always great with the rescue's, willing to play with them until they drop.

Top is Cayman Island Rescue LCM on the field kicking up dirt!
Bottom Left is Jam, Shadow Run Nike Air Jammin' LCM (Blarneystone Tyler LCM 6 X Blarneystone Miss Dallas) at her first NAWRA and right is Jam on the Columbia river

In January of 1998, I adopted "Rover", who originally came from England where his owner raced him as a "non-ped". He was 14 years old when his owner decided to go back to England and placed him in rescue and he was with me until Nov. 2000 at 17 years old. Several rescue's later, Sept. 1998, I got a call from a shelter saying they had a 6 week old Whippet puppy, brought to the pound by her "breeder", who put down for reason for relinquishing; "injury". She had been bitten in the head by the sire of the litter and her skull was fractured and her sinuses punctured, she was near death. With some antibiotics, love and time she recovered fully. She is a 18.5" 22.5 lb brindle ball of heart and fire. My intention was to place her but, she was sooo cute..... So we got an ILP # from AKC so she could come along with us to lure course, and come along she did!! She has taken several BIF's this year and just never stops amazing me with her ability to run on pure heart. She is currently the #6 ASFA Whippet. She is the only rescue Whippet (with an ILP#)to get an LCM 2. So, that makes 3 Whippets (and one 13 yr old Standard Poodle).

Left is Chance(rescue) Cayman, Disney, Jam & Smitty(rescue;one of the most difficult for me to let go of)and right is Rover the rescue from England at 17yrs.(I just lost Rover 11/9/00)

Left is Sabra, Rover at 16yrs, Disney,Maris(10yr rescue), Jam & Cayman and Right is Spike(sweet boy, rescue who was blind in one eye), Cayman Harley(rescue),Spott(rescue, now Jill Rizks boy!), Jam, Disney and Davie(the rescue IG) all waiting to open their stockings at Christmas 1999!

I have relatively few concerns for this breed, I would like to see breeders keep in mind that these are pets we have to live with first and formost. I would really like to see breeders educate puppy buyers on what it takes to succesfully raise a Whippet and to keep up on that puppy, tracking behavior and health related issues. Several times, I have heard; "What can I do?" You can be selective and educative when selling your puppies. You can alter very safely at 3 months, or you can use altering contracts. If one of the puppies come up with abehavior or health problem, don't just say "well, none of the other dogs have any problems" and move on. Do something. Test, hold off on breeding for a couple of years. Do the right thing. I truly do think owning dogs is a priveledge, not a right. Really enjoy your dogs. Do what you can for them. Forgive people for being ignorant, and try to help them.

Laurel, Sabra(13 yr St. Poo), Rover at 14 right after I got him, Disney and the Scottish Fold; Otter.1997

Disney, Sabra, Jam, Rover & Cayman 1999

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