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Sporting Fields Frusen Gladja, CDX, FCh, SC, CGC, TDI, AV.
"Elliot" and Lisa

Lisa Costello is a Veterinarian, a whippet owner, an artist, and devotes a great deal of her time working with Whippet Health. I acquired my first whippet in 1990. His name is Sporting Fields Frusen Gladja, CDX, FCh, SC, CGC, TDI, AV. He was a 2 1/2 yr. old male 1n 1990 and I got him from Sporting Fields Kennels, via Lesley Potts. He is currently doing exceptionally well and is now 12 1/2 yrs. old.

Although I did not own a dog as a child, I showed dogs for other people and started in Collies around the age of 12 (early 70's). I then babysat for some folks who had two racing greyhounds and decided then and there that I wanted to own a greyhound. I loved the look of the dogs, the feel of their bodies and their athletic ability and keeness...not something I had seen in the other dogs I had worked with.

When the opportunity finally arose for me to own my own dog, I was living in a duplex that was too small for a greyhound. I attended the Eastern Greyhound specialty and ran into Rob Lopes who was walking a whippet puppy around the showgrounds. It was love at first sight with a dog that seemed to fit all of my needs. Rob put me in touch with some rescue folks in Pennsylvania who then put me in touch with Debbie Butt and the rest is history...I have had a growing whippet family ever since. That first dog I got from Debbie remains the love of my life and I thank her for that opportunity.

"Wyatt", Multi-BIF, National Select Ch. Fantasy's Divine Decadence, LCM2, CD, NA, SC, CGC, who just won his flight at the International Invitational.

I got my first whippet from Lesley Potts who had been showing him on the road for several months. I found her background in whippets (dating back to early childhood in England)to be very complete and I felt she had an excellent eye for all types of whippets, regardless of her personal taste. She also had an appreciation for the performance aspect of the whippet and I learned a great deal from her in a very short period of time. Jack McManus was also instrumental in getting me involved in coursing and obedience in the early years. Since that time I have also learned a great deal from Deann Christianson, Jim Gray and Chris Hatcher. Recently my association with Don Papin has given me an appreciation for the racing aspect of the breed.

On the subject of best memories, there have been many good memories! One of my most enjoyable memories came almost 10 years ago when I was showing my first dog, Elliott, in the breed classes and had been out of the breed ring for a many years. I could not remember how to do anything and was confused as to when to go in, where to stand, etc. I was showing at the Huntingdon Valley Kennel Club in Pennyslvania and there was a decent sized whippet entry that day. Elliott ended up going Winners Dog and the place went up in a loud clapping and yelling cheer! I had many friends there who were very supportive of me and when the judge asked if I had a lot of family there to watch that day, I told him "No, none of my friends can believe I won!!!!!!" He gave me this very perplexed look as I just bounced out of the ring and was enveloped by this huge, happy, cheering crowd. I have always had very good support from the people in this breed and it is one reason I continue to do this as a much loved hobby.

"Dizzy", Multi-BIF Ch. Sun Run's Columns of Light, LCM2, SC, CGC, winning BOB at the Grand National, 1994.

This is a difficult question to answer because I fear for the future of this breed as well as purebred dogs in general. The whippet is becoming a more popular breed although it will likely never match the level of popularity of the Lab, Poodle, etc. For this we should be thankful.

I see a lot of very unsound dogs being shown today who win a great deal, are then used at stud very heavily and the traits that make them unsound are strongly transmitted. Many of these dogs never see a coursing field, race track or any other type of performance venue which I find very sad. I think if we are to maintain this breed in it's original form and function, we have to pay attention to the performance aspects of the breed in addition to it's beauty and conformation. Promoting competitions and titles that include performance may help contribute to this idea.

Dog legislation in this country is becoming more and more limiting due to pet overpopulation and the level of behavioral problems seen in pets today. While the causes of this are multi-focal, the solutions are very few and very difficult to face. While we do not see a great number of dogs in whippet breed rescue, we do have some behavioral and temperament problems that need to be addressed by breeders or they will continue to increase. I think we need to strive to have the whippet be a good ambassador for dog ownership as well as the multiple things we love to do with our whippets within the purebred dog world. This means breeding litters that have puppies who are wanted (have homes), counseling prospective owners on the breed and their idiosyncracies, helping them when they have problems to avoid relinquishment and abandonment and health testing brood bitches and stud dogs to avoid heritable health problems. To me, this breed is simply the best there is for me and for may other people. I do not see my life at any point without a whippet and I cherish the dogs I now own. PLEASE, PLEASE, breed reponsibly and keep your dogs healthy and mentally fit as well as physically active! Contribute to the good of this breed in every way you can.

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