Obie at 6 months of age

Debbie Cole and Dennis Dunahue have owned whippets for over 10 years. While still living in Indiana, I was a new homeowner and finally had a place that I could have a dog. There is a special event held each year as part of the Three Rivers Festival in Ft. Wayne. They had scheduled a special dog show that would show each breed and their lifestyles. I went to the event, in hopes to find a breeder or owner of a whippet. I saw a woman with a greyhound and a whippet. I wanted to learn about whippets, so I decided to approach her. She was very helpful. I remember looking down at her dogs, the whippet was beautiful. I thought to myself, “I wish I could find a whippet as wonderful and beautiful as this one!” The woman and I had a wonderful talk. Later in the conversation, she told me she had to leave town for good and needed to find a home for the whippet. I immediately told her I was interested.

Denny Phallo Deb Spuds

After the dog show at the park, they had a lure-coursing demo. I never heard of the sport before, so I was very interested in watching the demonstration. The woman was a member of the lure coursing club and the greyhound was along to run in the demonstration. Watching the greyhound run after the bunny was the most awesome thing I had ever seen! To see the speed of a greyhound gave me Goosebumps! They ran several other hounds in the demonstration. I was hooked! After the demo, we exchanged numbers, she came over to my home to insure I was sincere. She checked my references with my vet (we happened to go to the same vet clinic), and by the weekend I had my first whippet. Her name was Phallo (pronounced “follow”).
She also gave me the practice schedule of the Lure Coursing Club. Several months later I went to a practice and met a wonderful group of people. That is where I met my soon to be second whippet. Spuds came running across the field very happy to see Phallo again. You see she was also from the same woman. Spuds had found a home with what was soon to be some of my closest friends. Gail Selsmeyer and Dan Roscom had four Irish Wolfhounds and Spuds. Boy does that make a picture! Four giant dogs and one tiny whippet.
Seven years ago, my job in Indiana came to a close, and was moved to Texas. So along with several of my co-workers we relocated to Texas. I refuse to put my whippets on an airline, so with the help of my mother, we packed a small semi-truck and moved a few of my belonging along with Phallo and Spuds and drove to Texas. Phallo hated to ride in cars, so she spent the entire trip with her head buried in my lap. Spuds on the other hand is a born adventurer. She loved it! My mother came along for the ride too. Spuds sat between us with Phallo and enjoyed the ride. She would not even take a nap, for fear of missing something, although I would catch her eyes closing and her head bobbing!
Now in Texas I met Denny. He too loved Phallo and Spuds, and they took to him very well.

Obie and Spuds

My mentors have been many. I have met many wonderful people associated with the breed, but my greatest help would be from Gail Selsmeyer and Dan Roscom. Their main breed is Irish Wolfhounds, but with their guidance, I learned a lot about sighthounds.

What influenced me to choose the breed? This one is hard. I don’t know how anyone would not fall in love with Whippets. Whippets have elegance, but are strong, and very smart, there just too many reasons to list. My life without them would never be whole.

Of my favorite memories with the breed, one of many would be the day I was running late from work, Denny had been waiting for me, and he fell asleep with Spuds curled up in his arms. When I walked in and saw this, I knew this was the man for me. Another favorite memory is the day we brought home Wildhare Oberons Trouble (Obie). Obie was about 9 weeks old and our Spuds now 13 years old was totally disgusted to see this little puppy. That lasted about a day, and they quickly became fast friends. Obie came from a wonderful couple that was featured on June 17th Whippet View Calendar. Our association with Dwight and Paula has led us to meet many new friends. Whippet people are great!

Obie at 3 months of age

Where do I see the future of the breed? I sincerely hope that with the wonderful tool of the Internet the hopes that whippet breeders will be able to research and take extra care to eliminate many inherited traits that other breeds have suffered. The one I am concerned about is the development of heart trouble that I have been reading about on Whippet L. I firmly believe that it is genetic and needs to be stopped! I lost my beloved Phallo that way and know of a few people who also have lost their beloved whippets the same way too. I do not want future whippets to suffer this trait. The one thing would I share with people about the breed The total love and joy that they bring to my life. And we would continue to spoil Spuds and Obie. We love every minute of it.

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