Solo1.jpg - Am.Can.Ch. Rhode Quicksilver (co-owned with Dennis Sumara).

Joan Van Doornick Thompson of Roadhouse Whippets has owned whippets since the mid 70's. "I had always been attracted to the Sighthounds". Good friends of mine had a beautiful Whippet bitch who had been bred to a really nice dog. I was toying with the idea of asking if I could have one, but had not decided. I had bred and shown several sporting breeds for about 10 years, and thought a Whippet might make a nice house pet. At a dinner party at their home, their girl quietly went into labour under the dining table and her first puppy, a bitch, was born on my shoes...a very expensive pair of beautiful Italian suede sexy sandals. The shoes were ruined, but that little puppy girl was mine! She became Can. Ch. Playboy's Porcelain, and the start of my life with these wonderfully beautiful dogs. Slowly, Whippets and later Salukis gradually replaced the sporting dogs. It was all Elly's fault, and I will always love her for being a most wonderful beginning for me. Many people helped me with the breed and there will be many more since I will never stop learning. Most notable, however, in getting me well started, were Terry Taft and Allan Pepper and Jean Ueltschy.

My favorite memory had to be Bridget's homecoming. She was lost in the wild for over two months and survived on sheer guts and brains. We were so lucky to get her back. I will always thank God for his mercy. Her complete story is on my web site. I cannot go into it more without becoming sniffly. She passed away at a venerable age during the Christmas holidays 1999, and we all feel her loss.

About the future of the breed, I am concerned about the numbers of Whippets being whelped and the quality of the homes they are going to. I more concerned about this than I am about any genetic faults. The number one cause of death in pure bred dogs is due to poor homes. I think owning a Sighthound should be a priviledge. It should be difficult to find a Whippet puppy that is not spoken for before it is born. With large numbers comes poor quality. With large numbers comes an attitude of "not being special" and of being "disposable". With large numbers comes a lack of control over quality. I see a disturbing lack of soundness in the show ring and a lessor lack of style among the "doing dogs". Beauty and ability should be inseperable in the breed. I would share with other people how easy they are to live with despite the appearance of fragile beauty.

- My foundation girl born on my shoe...Can.Ch. Playboy's Porcelain.

 

Whippets have given me great joy, and tremendous grief. They have made me laugh insanely and cry in the same way. I have gasped in disbelief at their impossible athletic feats, and received great comfort from having a warm body tucked up against the back of my legs as I rest. They often nearly drive me crazy, and more often make my heart melt. I admire their very adaptable nature, their basic good health, and marvel at the strange mix of beauty and gawkiness they possess. I am amazed at the affinity that teenage girls and Whippets have for each other, and bless the day my daughter brought hers home. The past 25 years of my association with the breed has been a rich reward. I hope for a minimum of another 25.

Mail Comments to Joan Van Doornick Thompson

Click here to visit Joan's Home Site

Click on picture to visit Joan's "Old Roadhouse Studio"

Artist: Joan Van Doornick Thompson of Roadhouse Whippets Limited print.