"Demi" DCh. MIlescross Double Indemnity, SC, CD

Guin Borstel of Milescross Whippets grew up showing dogs, a good reason to choose whippets. "I literally grew up at dog shows, so I don't really remember when I first saw a whippet. I do remember vividly the day that I first decided that I wanted one, however. We were showing a greyhound and he had put on quite a performance at his first adult show (I recall him jumping on John Shelton's back in the ring - I don't think we won!), so we stayed around after our judging to relax and get him used to the "show scene". In the next ring whippets were being judged, and we wandered over. I hadn't been terribly impressed with most of the whippets I had seen, they resembled IG's to me, and we were greyhound people. An Open dog came into the ring and I was transfixed. He stood over alot of ground, had an elegant flair, was a fabulous mover, and was the most wonderful color - black brindle irish marked with a split face. This was Ch. Timbar's the Cats Pajama's, and as class after class went in, I kept noting that the dogs which I really liked were either out of Carol Curry's stud dog Ch. Locar's Dressed to Kill or were bred by Carol.

I decided then and there that I NEEDED one of her whippets! So, I mustered up the nerve to write her. It turned out that she was having a litter out of a Dressed to Kill granddaughter and sired by Ch. Morshor's Majestic Prince. I looked up the sire in Sighthound Review and immediately put in my order for a black-brindle irish marked show bitch (the first and last time I have picked a whippet on color alone). In a few months, along came my Julia, a black brindle irish marked show bitch, and thus a happy association with whippets was born.

1993 Baby Demi (DCh. Milescross Double Indemnity, SC, CD)
and Baby Bentley (Ch. Milescross Shadow Of A Doubt)"

In the beginning of my experience with the breed, I was fortunate enough to hook up with a great group of fanciers in the Bay Area, the NCWFA. I leaned alot from attending the club's lure trials and meetings, and the late Betz Leone taught me a huge amount about loving whippets for who they are. It was at one of these meetings where I met my friend Wendy Gay of Grand Prix's Whippets, and we have been great pals ever since. Carol Curry, from whom I bought Julia, has always been an influence. Carol taught me about movement and type in whippets, although I really think her biggest contribution was in the handling area. I still remember going out back of a building after judging and having Carol instruct me in how not to run like a girl! Through Carol, I met my best friends in whippet, Dan & Leslie Silva of Elandan Whippets. It was Dan who was showing Cats Pajamas on that fateful day when I decided on whippets, and they took me under their wing and showed me how to condition and train a show whippet. I couldn't have done anything in the breeding area without their unselfish help, and to this day, we totally see eye to eye on most aspects of whippets and whippet breeding.

I have also spent many pleasant hours discussing whippets with Jean Balint, Cora Miller & Martha Fielder. Their old-time knowledge of who-was-who and what-was-what have proven most helpful to a self-professed "pedigree buff". E-Mail has been invaluable as I continue to learn alot in my discussions with my peers out there in the whippet-world. I have also learned alot about how NOT to place whippet-puppies from some of our "breeders" out here, who obviously don't care where their pups end up, and leave it to Rescue to clean up their messes.

A fun Day in Altanta 1997
Amie (Ch. Milescross Elandan Sonnet, JC) and Bentley"

My favorite whippet would have to be Julia, as she is first and best in my eyes. She is a true character, quick to sway you over to her point of view. Even though she thought that the point of lure-coursing and racing was to take out the dog who got in front of you, she was an awesome informal open field dog in her prime, efficiently dispatching all game that crossed her path. As a mother she was the best. We always say that Julie is of "good pioneer stock" and that hardiness has been passed on to the ensuing generations. She consistantly produced her soundness and depth, and that curvy look of hers.

My best whippet bred here would probably be Julie's daughter by Chip, Dual Ch. Milescross Double Indemnity, SC, CD. "Exotic" best describes this dramatic bitch, who is breathtaking in her beauty. But Demi is also a fully-functional whippet, excelling in running (as a a Dual Ch.) and brains (a HIT CD titlest). I truly can take no credit for anything other than her looks, however, since Wendy Gay, who has owned her since she was three months of age, has striven to bring out the best in Demi. There have been many others, some of whom have not seen the inside of a show ring, who have been great whippets and great companions, and have brought much joy to myself, their owners and families.

"Milescross Barbarella" (Ch. Locar's Clyde the Glide X Amie)
at three months. Toooooo cute!

I probably ought to relate here a story about a big specialty win or something, but my fondest whippet memories usually revolve around the fun we have had outside of formal competition. One of my most enjoyable memories is of an afternoon after showing at Lompoc, when I and some friends took the whole gang to the beach. The whippets racing through the surf, barking and enjoying the day, amid the company of good friends, is a vivid rememberance. I truly couldn't tell you who I showed that weekend, or if we won anything at all, but I will always see the whippets, some of whom are gone now, having the best of times on that little stretch of California coast....

I haven't bred much, but I have been proud of the litters that I have produced. Most of them have been co-bred with the Silva's, who raise the pups after they get too big for city living. This arrangement works famously for us, and the resultant whippets have been well-adjusted and sound in mind, as well as fitting my interpretation of the standard. We are currently working with Julia daughters and granddaughters, and we have recently bought a gorgeous bitch from a very smart Midwest breeder, Vickie Neff. "Sky" is a Majestic Prince daughter, and hence a half-sister to Julia. We hope to cross her with a Julia grandson someday, in order to solidify that look we love. It is fun to plan out breedings!

I think that whippets are on the whole in good shape. There are many nice specimens of the breed out now in many areas of whippetdom. As out breed becomes more popular, I fervently hope that these newcomers would take a moment to read the standard and understand its contents. It's a handly little document! I do wish that all people who are out there breeding whippets, for whatever endeavour, would pay more attention to the standard, so we could eliminate those "canine angelfish" that I am seeing more often in the show ring, as well as those "big ugly pit bulls" one sometimes sees at the races.

I truly believe that we are not that far apart in the breed relative to show and performance dogs. My theory is that a race whippet who fits that standard, properly presented in the ring, could do very well, and we have had several dogs who recently have proven this theory correct. Conversely, I also feel that a winning show dog, with aptitude in this area, properly conditioned and campaigned, could do well in non-restricted racing venues. This portion of my theory has not yet been proven, but hopefully will be soon.

My most heartfelt wish for whippets going into the 21st Century is that some of those "breeding zealots" out there would take a minute to think about the consequenses of producing all those puppies, and insist on spay/neuter contracts for their pets, and more carefully screen heir "show" homes. I beleive that this alone would reduce some of the Rescue situations we are seeing out there. All whippets deserve to be loved and cherished, instead of abused and neglected!"

"Julia" Locar's Creme De Cocao, JC
as a youngster in 1990"

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