"Carmen" Vitesse's Kiss-N-Tell SORC, CRX on watch at Hamilton
photo is by Dan Gauss

Judy Lowther and Pfyre Whippets from Cleveland from Ohio. My name is Judy Lowther and my daughter Kaleena and I are Pfyre Whippets. We reside in Cleveland, Ohio with 13 whippets aged 8 months to 8 years.

I’ve had dogs of various and assorted breeds for my entire life. In fact a great deal of my attitude toward dogs I got from my Grandmother. When I was a child we had a little mixed breed mutt. As he aged, he gradually went blind. My grandmother refused to let anyone move anything in the house, because “Dandy knows where everything is”. So, I owe her not only my love of animals but my compassion for them.

I fell in love with Whippets in 1992, getting my first (Pfyre) from Kerri Kuper. I had Golden Retrievers and wanted something “smaller with less hair”. Enter the Whippet. I did some showing during 1993 and 94, but lost most of the interest in that when I discovered Lure Coursing. “Flyer” born in 1995 was my first performance dog, but definitely not the last. In 1998 I was dragged kicking and screaming into whippet racing, where I discovered a whole new level of FUN……….

Top is MBIF FC Pfyre's High Flyin Dreamer, LCM, CRX
Photo by Dan Gauss Shot-on-Site Photography and Bottom Left is Flyer3 Flyer on his way to winning his first program race at the Hamilton NOTRA meet on July 9, 2000.
(Photo by Dan Gauss Shot-on-Site Photography and right is Flyer...Playing the other game with co-owner Shannon

Since then I have become a Lcing judge, fully liscensed in both ASFA and AKC. Since I enjoy the performance venues so much more than showing, most of my weekends are spent “out with the dogs”. I also belong to a professional stewarding club, and am active in the local all breed Kennel Club. I think there were 10 or 11 weekends on my calendar this year that I didn’t “go dogin” as my mother says.

I’ve had the good fortune to have met some of the “grand ole breeders” and could listen to them for hours. Calvin Perry, Daphne Bell, Diane Bleeker, and *much* more recently Lynne Underwood and Jean Balint, are a few that come to mind. There are others who are indispensable as both friends and mentors…….. Bill and Gloria Goble, Connie Alexander, Bill and Ann McMath, Leon and Lynne McGowan to name a few.

Whillo B's Hawk by Windyglen, WRChX, ORC, FCh, SC, CGC at the 1999 WRA Nat'l

Favorite memories are being made every day……… I couldn’t choose just one……… The first points on my first home bred whippet, the first BOB win from the classes, Flyer’s first BIF, Hawk’s first undefeated race meet, Carmen’s first race meet win, Gloria FINALLY agreeing that Prune could come back to me, Prune returning to the track, Carmen getting her ORC in record time, Carmen becoming the youngest (we think) SORC to date, my club hosting the WRA Nat’l and making a success of it. The list goes on and on, but if I have to choose one, it would be Flyer’s BIF on Oct 22, 2000. This was 13 months after he had last lc’ed because of injuries limiting his ability to make right turns. On this day, he received the highest score of any dog in the trial and finished his AKC Field Championship.

Top is "Prune" Whillo B's P O Blu Prune, CRXII
Bottom Left is David and Kaleena winning the four point major and bottom right is "Carmen" Vitesse's Kiss-N-Tell SORC, CRX

I think this breed has a strong future. It became deeply divided between the show/performance aficionados in the mid 1900’s, but the two sides are slowly coming back together. More of the people who got into whippets to primarily show them are finding their way into the performance venues, learning about the true function of this magnificent animal. More and more litters are being bred crossing the show with the performance side. In the last year or so, we’ve had two dogs finish both their bench championship and their straight racing titles (one from NAWRA and one from WRA).

The future’s so bright ya gotta wear shades……………

What I would share with other whippet owners is……….. TO ENJOY YOUR DOGS NO MATTER WHAT THEY DO. Having a race meet winning dog is great, having a top show dog is great, having a top dog in any venue is great, but it doesn’t last forever. When they get home, they’re the best pet in the world. They’ll cheer you up when you’re down, and love you even when you’re doing something stupid.

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"A Grouping of "Carmen"
Top photo by by Gregg Gammie