Katherine Shearer, Lauren & Cary
Hounslow Appraxin St. Lauren, JC
Appraxin Caravaggio, T.T.

Katherine Shearer of Fairwind Whippets has owned whippets for 14 years. She shares this about becoming involved with the whippet breed. I became interested in whippets after seeing the breed while living in Europe for fourteen years. Unable to get one there because we moved so often. My family always had long-coated and "outside" dogs. I knew I wanted something else. Something elegant, athletic, with good temperament and good in the house.

Rathglass Moonwalker at Fairwind (Robin)
& Vizcayas Fairwind Gold Dust (Dusty)
in Savannah, GA

I've had several people as wonderful mentors in that they kept me going when I became frustrated. Interestingly - two of the persons I first contacted for mentoring help were "big names" in the breed, but they provided the least amount of help, and one was so rude I've never associated with them again. The persons who have been most helpful were smaller in scale, but I feel they are more dedicated to the welfare of the breed, and less interested in just breeding for the sake of fame/fortune/name recognition. I learn a great deal through reading articles written by Karen Lee, Lisa Costello, and Whippet email list members. I love collecting and reading books on the breed, including some very old publications. I am very thankful to be involved with an international Whippet newsletter exchange. This provides me with resources and mentors from all over the world.

In the park - Spree, Annie, Checkers, Myste, Dusty, and Lauren (of Wilango Knls, Longlesson Knls, and my dogs)

 

My favorite memories about whippets are all of them as puppies! They carry on with such pleasure and complete abandonment of any common sense as babies. Once they are adults, they are admirable for their aloofness on the furniture, and courage with tremendous heart while on the field. My favorite memory of a Whippet no longer with us is of "Cary", Appraxin Caravaggio the very first time he discovered lure coursing. His intensity on the field and gentleness at home will never be forgotten.

Left is Eva, Cary, Lauren, & Dolly
Right is "Cary" Approxin Caravaggio, T.T., 1993

As far as the future of the breed, where I see it now is divided. Where I would LIKE to see it is with less diversion in type, and a uniform breed standard for all countries. I don't agree with the (sometimes dramatic) difference in type between Whippets which are being raced and those being shown. This is one breed. Unfortunately, with two very different types. It is an illusion to think we are not already going down the same road as that taken by those who raise Cocker Spaniels, German Shepherds or hunting setters. Whether or not the divergence in type will be remedied remains to be seen. I always share with other Whippet owners - we've got the best kept secret in dogs, let's not ruin it. To share with non-Whippet owners - Do your homework, make sure you get the right breed for you. For BOTH groups - Be responsible. Whippets are not disposable objects. They are lifelong faithful companions. The fact that they excel at so many other pursuits is a wonderful bonus. I do not have a breeding kennel. Instead I am very active in promoting public education and responsible dog ownership, working as editor of the Metropolitan Atlanta Whippet Association newsletter, breeder referral, and I help when I can with local Whippet rescue. I am passionate about the breed and it's welfare. I think it's wonderful that there are so many venues for people to participate in with their Whippets. The highest compliment I have received came from a Whippet friend who said, "When I die I want to come back as one of your Whippets". May all your Whippets be this spoiled!

The cats are Ebony and Maggie


Left is Dusty & Robin on the sofa
Right is Cary "Appraxin Caravaggio, T.T."

Eva, owned by John & Kim Guthas
Dolly, owned by John & Kim Guthas

Lauren "Hounslow Appraxin St. Lauren, JC"
Lauren stalking


Sapphy and Possum on the leather sofa (this is Robin's dam and litter sister)
Tulloch and Possum on the paisley blanket sofa (Robin's sire and litter sister)

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