Peggy and Trotter

Peggy Bush began her life with whippets 32 years ago when a close friend of hers, Gary Doerge, brought home a gift for her from California, her very first whippet. Gary was handling whippets at the time for Pat Speight in California. The new whippet's name was "Hell on Wheels" and Peggy called her Helen. Peggy said she never showed Helen because her ears stood straight up! Helen lived to be fifteen years old and Peggy was then hooked on the whippet breed. Peggy told me that she never enjoyed breeding, and that her best litter ever was an accidental litter that produced three AKC champions. And one of her favorites in the litter was a blue-eyed male that she named "Sinatra". Peggy gave up breeding about six years ago when she had a stroke.
Probably the most difficult time in Peggy's life was when her home burned down about 15 years ago. Peggy owned over 20 dogs and cats then and lost 9 dogs and 6 cats in the fire. Peggy's loss included 3 Whippets, 4 Brussels Griffons, one Pom and her old Cairn Terrier (Fiddlesticks). The fire occurred when Peggy was at work and several neighbors were able to break windows in the kennel to rescue the remaining animals. When Peggy arrived home, all of the surviving dogs had been removed by Marti Bradford and the fire marshall. They had been moved to a neighbor's home, except for two of the dogs who were put into crates in her yard. Peggy said that upon seeing only the two crated dogs, she broke down at this sight thinking that all of the other dogs had been lost in the fire. It took three months for Peggy to rebuild her home, and all of her animals but two were taken in during that time by local veterinarians.


Most of us know Peggy for her work as AWC Rescue Chairperson. As most of us know, Peggy is a very "outspoken person" and that is the very reason she was urged by Sue Smith, Kathy Gaidos, Betty Stites and Dr. Barbara Henderson and others four years ago to become AWC Rescue Chairperson. Peggy shares her life with 24 dogs and cats these days, with many sharing her home and the remainder living in her converted garage which serves as her kennel. A great many of Peggy's rescues are other breeds which include Standard Poodles, Chihuahua's, Chinese Crested, and various other dogs and cats as she works to assist rescue efforts in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.
There have been over 100 whippets that have come through Peggy's doors since she has been assisting with Whippet Rescue. Some of her most rewarding times are when her rescues are placed into wonderful homes and the owners call her to share the many great things about their new addition. With the number of rescues in the country being three, Peggy began worrying that she might be losing her job once the number drops to zero. Since Peggy became Chairperson of Rescue, she has gone from 37 AWC rescue volunteers to 103 AWC rescue volunteers, plus another 3 in Canada. Peggy says that "Rescue is as good for me as I am for it".

Peggy & Midas
Rescue "Bonita"

Peggy told me that because of her being outspoken, her bluntness and honesty have made her a few enemies in the whippet breed. She says that regardless of her bitchiness, she's just a soft-hearted sap down deep inside. Peggy has made thousands of friends from her work with rescue and that makes her efforts well worth while. Peggy will turn 70 years old in December and feels her work with rescued animals keeps her going. As many of Peggy's rescues come to her in horrible shape, she told me how rewarding it is to see these whippets turn into wonderful animals after their rescue. Even though some rescues do not work out for the owners who adopt them and are returned to her, most end up in a home where they find the love and special care they need for the rest of their lives. Recently, one of Peggy's adopting families contacted her when their rescue died of cancer and thanked her for allowing them to share the dog's life. Peggy immeditately took a brindle rescue over to the family and they were able to fall in love all over again.

Peggy and Daisy
Rescue Tatum at 6 years

I asked Peggy to share some pictures of rescues for her page. Of the rescues on the page, Peggy says her black female named "Cinder" (shown below) is the meanest bitch she's ever owned. Cinder was picked up three years ago on Christmas Eve from a shelter in nearby Irvin, Texas. Cinder has been placed in two different homes that did not work out and now resides as the queen bitch in Peggy's home. A few nights ago when the dogs went out for the final time, Cinder would not come in. Peggy said she had an attitude problem. With that, Peggy closed the door and the blinds and waited about 30 minutes before opening the door to check on her. Peggy said she slowly walked in as if to say "I'll come back in because I want to, not because you left me out there for all that time". Peggy says she admires Cinder most because she's as stubborn as Peggy herself.

One last story, Peggy says she prefers the males. As she has told me before, they call the females "bitches" for a reason. She took Jacks (below), the blue boy, to Atlanta for a show she was judging a few years ago. Jacks was suppose to go home with Christian Fredericks and be given to her parents. Peggy said that Jacks just did not take well to Christian. Peggy said that when Jacks wasn't crying, she was. So back to Texas, to Peggy, Jacks went. Jacks was placed with a family near Dallas after he met the daughters of the family, a set of six year old twins and a seven year old sister. Jack fell in love with them and continues to be loved by their family.

I hope everyone will drop Peggy a note and say thanks for all that she does for our whippet breed.

"Cinder Bush"
Jacks at 3 years old

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