Northwind

Northwind Whippets

My husband and I have bred, shown, worked obedience and coursed Northwind Whippets since 1980. This site will offer you unique dog collars, general information on whippets and specific information on Northwind Whippets. I hope to add information on several Minnesota clubs as time permits.

Northwind Designs

As we became more and more involved with the breed, I began to make the sighthound martingale style collars and martingale leads for Whippets, Greyhounds, Afghans, Salukis, Italian Greyhounds and more recently for Rhodesian Ridgebacks. I am an AKC and ASFA lure coursing judge and we are avid participants. So I began making slip leads.

The hobby and the business have grown over the years, but I still handle each collar personally. There are many collars to choose from on this site, plus I often custom make an item when requested. We provide wholesale pricing to rescue groups, pet stores and to breed and coursing clubs as trophies for specialties and lure meets.

As time went on, I found that breeds other than Sighthounds also enjoyed a fancier, trimmed collar and began to make quick release collars in all breed sizes. We have collars in this style to fit almost any breed.

I select the smoothest, most durable webbing I can find. I use first quality hardware and am constantly looking for wonderful new trims. I concentrate on producing a quality product – if you are not happy with your item, please do return it for refund or credit. I want you to be satisfied.

We occasionally have puppies for sale, but are always willing to help you connect to another breeder if we don’t have puppies available. If you’d like to see our current youngsters, click on puppies.

Whippet Poetry with puppies

We have had a number of just terrific dogs, both on the field and in the show ring. In October of 2002 we had an extremely challenging situation with a dog lost a very long distance away – click on Finding Poetry to read about her 23 day harrowing adventure in South Carolina with a happy ending. The photo below is Kay, Kathy and Poetry in front of the “lost dog” poster.

Kay and Kathy with Poetry in front of "lost whippet" poster

Kay and Kathy with Poetry in front of “lost dog” poster

Poetry with runaway puppies

I am a long time member of the American Whippet Club, a past board member and a volunteer for its rescue program. I am a board member of the Minnesota Coursing Association. I am a lifetime member of the Duluth Kennel Club, a member of the Greater Twin Cities Whippet Club and Twin Ports Dog Training Club. I’ve received AKC’s Breeder of Merit Award for my 30+ years of involvement in whippets.

Thanks for visiting our site, enjoy all the whippet information, and I hope you are pleased to recommend us to your friends.

Kay Nierengarten and Mark Shubert

 

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Northwind Whippets – Kay Nierengarten and Mark Shubert

Hi,

I’m Kay Nierengarten. Most of my thoughts on this blog revolve around my involvement in the world of whippets. My husband Mark Shubert and I have had this wonderful breed since 1980. I hope you enjoy it.

Team Echo

 

Team CrestaThis particular day we were rooting for two of our girls competing against each other in the brood bitch class.

 

 

 

We have a great deal of fun with the whippets and are grateful for the wonderful friends they brought us over the years. If you would like to explore the world of Northwind whippets, visit the home page, or the listing of our dogs, most of whom have their own page.

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I hate mosquitoes!

I live in Minnesota. Mosquitoes live in Minnesota. Billions and billions and billions live where I live. Just like the challenges of a brutal winter, we Minnesotans are fairly philosophical about mosquitoes. They are just part of life. At least they are not like alligators in Florida, or poisonous snakes in some of the southern states. Mosquitoes can’t kill you, usually. They just annoy.

But they do annoy.

I am an early riser. I wake up before any alarm, about 5 a.m. I’m not drowsy; I don’t poke at the clock to get a nice mini-nap in before getting up. I just get up. I like this time of day. That’s a foreign thought to most people I know, but I do. It’s quiet (after feeding the dogs) and a time of day for me to ponder life’s mysteries, look at e-mail and think about what I’m going to do today. It’s peaceful. Yet, in the summer, that peace is shattered by small flying things. Many small flying things. There’s just nothing like coming down to my desk in the morning to check e-mail or write and have several drift past in front of my face. My desk is in my workspace, which is also inhabited by eight whippets. Eight whippets that perpetually go outside through the two dog doors day or night. Eight very warm blooded whippets that are a four legged feast to the mosquitoes. Eight whippets that return to the safe haven of the house, bringing a hoard of mosquitoes with them. Abandoning their free ride, the mosquitoes branch out and begin looking for other victims. Me.

At first it’s fine – just slap when one lands or wave them away. But having them repeatedly drift through my field of vision looking at the computer gets increasingly irritating. Not to mention when they begin to land on my face or hands. I HATE mosquito bites on my fingers, face and hands.

I am a non violent person. I am a wimp about violence on TV and I never went to see everyone’s favorite movie, Titanic. I couldn’t go, knowing that I’d have to watch all those people die when the ship sunk. Truly a wimp.

But even a wimp has their limits. At first I slap, but when a slap to the side of my face leaves a smear of whippet blood from a previous victim, THAT’S IT. I get out the bat. I call it a bat, but it really looks like a small version of a tennis racket and where the strings are, it’s electrified. This bat is a mosquito annihilator. I can pin them against the wall and as they bounce against the bat, they drop to the floor dead. But what’s best is when I swing it through the air and get a reaaaaaly satisfying SNAP as it sends one into the next world. In five minutes I can clear my entire area of mosquitoes, pinning, waving and taking great pleasure at the snapping sound.

Watch out mosquitoes. Wimps rule!

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Vet Visit

How can you spend $818 in 70 minutes without being at a store on or the internet?

I’ve got an easy answer – take eight dogs to the vet for their annual visit. I know, taking eight dogs at the same time is not really what most people do. But, my vet is 20 miles away and I’m fairly good at managing mobs, so off we go.

First of all, eight don’t fit in the Caravan. OK, time to break out the Big Van. The big van is the extended body, one ton beast parked from October to April. It’s not needed in the winter since the main function is to tow the camper or be used on show trips. It’s funny how much stuff is needed with multiple dogs and women when going to a show. Amazing how much stuff is can be shoved in a XXX cubic foot interior. But, I digress.

Got it. Now load eight dogs.  Cresta, Dazzle, Stewart, Phoenix and Keebler range in age from 2 1/2 to 11 years old. They know the drill. Then the puppies; Evan at 9 months and Madison and Phantom, just six months. Success.

I decide to take the older five in as a group.

Of course, there is a photographer at the vet’s office. That makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?Why is it the day I come in with a mob they decide they want to photograph clients and the busy office for a project? I don’t know – luck of the draw, I guess. So, every moment of me in action as a border collie, herding whippets through the vet clinic is documented.

The older five are wonderful. The vet wants weights on the annual visit so these dogs politely stand around me by the scale and as I say each dog’s name, calmly step up to be weighed. I am looking under control and very impressive in my management of this crowd. The portion of the visit is uneventful. I rock!

Next, the puppies. Madison and Phantom have never been to the vet and they are moving like excited hummingbirds vibrating at the ends of the leads. Evan has done many trips to the vet, but still finds new people exciting. Weigh them? What’s a scale? Oh, that’s a scale – that’s a really cool thing. I will jump on and off and on and off and so on…. This portion of the visit is far more active – three dogs instead of five and it felt like ten. After my staid entrance with the older dogs, the photographer is really enjoying the circus that puppies create. The actual visit goes well and we do the mundane things like rabies shots, etc. Time to go.

With all the places to sit in the empty lobby, why is it the only person waiting with a Very Large Dog sitting six inches from the exit door? I don’t know. The puppies, who have never seen a Very Large Dog are wildly inquisitive. Thankfully, one of the vet techs skillfully steps in between me, the exuberantly milling puppies, and the Very Large Dog. I escape out the door and proceed to wrestle them into the van. None have yet learned to jump in and go into their crates, so it’s a matter of grabbing one while the other two literally dance at the end of their leads in the middle of the street.

I head for home.

I am sweating.

I thought that went well.

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Rodeo at the National Specialty

It’s the 2014 National Whippet Specialty. It’s a place to go to WIN, but it’s also an environment to see and be seen and have an opportunity to do something a bit different. Sara had talked me into entering the extended generation class. Stewart as grandpa, Norris as son and Retro as grandson. As I thought about this class, I thought how nice it would be to just sit and watch these dogs of my breeding being presented by others and simply get a chance to look at them.

Weeks in advance it was arranged that Sandy would take Stewart, who typically shows better for someone else because when he’s with me, his head is invariably cranked towards me. Sara would be on Norris and Kathie would take Retro. Retro is extremely laid back and easily goes with others. The biggest problem with Retro is that he is so casual about life at times it’s hard to wake him up enough to sparkle in the ring. But, Kathie has been around him many times and he is a willing partner with a different handler.

As a prelude to the extended generation, Norris had been shown in the stud dog class with Retro and Juno and didn’t make the cut. That being the case, we were pretty sure we would only be occupying space and supporting the entry in the extended generation class, since the judge already didn’t like us. That was OK, since I really wanted to see them all presented well and simply get to enjoy the moment as an observer.

So it begins – the judge likes to see movement and always has the group of dogs do two full circles around the ring. Stewart and Norris step out and gait beautifully for Sandy and Sara. Out of the blue and right from his first step on the go around Retro turns into a bucking bronco. Two full circles of the ring with him doing butt spins, alternating with actual bucking – front end goes down, rear end up, kicks and repeat. He’s not scared or panicked, he is just gone goofy. I’ve never seen even a baby puppy in the ring with this collection of moves. He’s acting like he’s on doggie catnip. Kathie does her best, stopping completely at one point to get him under control but her efforts go unnoticed by Retro.

Retro, poster boy for slug of the month, is completely out of control. Of course, only at a national. I can see this is going absolutely nowhere, so to stop the carnage, I wave Kathie (convulsed with the laughter) over to the ring barrier. Without even checking with the ring steward, I step over the barrier and take Retro’s arm band.

Kathie tells me that when she commented on me wanting to watch, I quietly said “I’ve seen enough”. I maintain that I was more polite than that, but that’s what she tells me.

We take a rousing third place out of three. I can’t say for sure the judge had a look of utter disgust on her face with us, but I don’t know her that well….

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GO FOR THE WAND!!

Or, “how to be inept in the ring.”

As a little background, YOU NEVER WANT TO BE AWARDED THE WAND. A group of us have an award we pass around to each other at shows when we do something spectacularly dumb. It’s called the glitter wand and it’s covered with shiny things on the theory we only do something stupid when distracted by something shiny. We are all armchair quarterbacks while watching others in the ring, but there are definitely some days when there is a “wand worthy” mistake.

The wand has been earned by not paying attention to the judge and having to be pointed at three times to understand you won the class, but it also extends outside of the show ring. A wand worthy action this weekend was walking from the hotel to the gas station in 10 degrees in your jammies to get coffee, standing in line to pay and only realizing when getting to the counter that the card in your pocket is not money, it is your room key.

Another wand worthy event at a lure coursing field trial was allowing a bitch 62 days pregnant with 10 puppies to get out of an x-pen and run out onto the field in the middle of a course. That one got everyone going – umpteen people screaming and manically chasing the fast moving, goat shaped whippet with puppies bulging through the crowd and onto the field. Have you ever caught a whippet by chasing it? Really?

It was the Des Moines show weekend and my 15 month old male took his fourth major on Saturday to finish. We were exactly on a major, so if I moved him up to a special for Sunday, the major would break. All the other exhibitors preferred that I leave him in the classes to hold the major and they would take their chances he could potentially win. I was completely willing – what goes around, comes around. But, I was stressed. I don’t want to sound full of myself, but if he won on Saturday, he could potentially win again on Sunday and that major would be wasted, depriving others of points. Ugh.

Sunday dawns and I’m going to do my best to earn the wand while showing Retro. I am channeling the memory of every inept, stupid thing I’ve ever done in the ring to make sure he doesn’t take the points. Luckily, there were two in the class and the other dog was first. We walked into the ring and “stacked” our dogs. In my case, I walked into the ring and simply stood there, pretending to not pay attention. The judge tells us “move your dogs”. Retro has lovely movement when he’s at the proper pace, so I go as slow as I can, letting him drop his head to look dumpy.

This judge was a big time professional handler in his day, so I’m worried that he might catch on. I’m in the bred by class, so it’s fair for him to think I’ve been around for a while and expect me to be a decent handler and be able to show off my dog’s good points.

It’s my turn to put my dog on the table. I dump Retro like a sack of potatoes with all the finesse of a first time handler and do nothing to stack him other than to roughly put his feet where they should be. A friend outside very inelegantly described it as looking like “I pooped him onto the table”. I don’t steady his head or try to show his neck and outline. I just stand there trying not making to eye contact with the judge. The judge gives me a disapproving look and as he goes over the dog, proceeds to stack him properly and then stands back to look at him. As I put him on the floor for his individual movement, he tells me in a stern voice that he wants me NOT to use the pace I took him around the first time. That he wants me to MOVE the dog.

Drat. Now what? Well, in my best idiot fashion I pretend to do what he says. My feet are going twice as fast as the first time, but covering less ground. I must have looked like a Min Pin prancing around the ring with my knees practically hitting my chin, trying to look like I’m moving a million miles an hour. Meanwhile, a bewildered Retro is just frumping along with me at a snail’s pace. The judge tells us both to take our dogs around and again in a stern voice tells me specifically to MOVE OUT. I continue frumping along and even with me doing my best imitation of the worst handler ever, he pulls me to the front of the line. Oh geez, now what? Thankfully on the last go around he gives up in frustration and puts the other nice bred by dog back at the front of the line and awards the ribbons.

DSC09487

Goal accomplished!! Second place out of two.

As he hands me the ribbon, he lectured me on how to move the dog in the ring. Seriously lectured me. I put on my best deadpan, newbie handler face and thanked him sincerely. Several times.

Now I have to drop the idiot act and show my other dogs and and hope he doesn’t hold it against me. My open bitch behaved well and took second. My special was a little dumpy this day but managed a select. Thankfully, earning a select on a bitch put me at the end of the line for ribbons and I had a moment to chat with him as he handed me the ribbon. Since I may show to him again in the future, I didn’t want him to remember me as the inept handler that made him mad. I simply said “I owe you an apology – the dog you tried so hard to see finished yesterday and my friends wanted me to leave him in to hold the major.” He blinked, paused, and with me fearing the worst that he was angry at my shenanigans, instead he laughed and patted me on the shoulder as he handed me the ribbon and told me he was glad I said something, as he really liked the dog. Phew!

I never thought I’d be so proud to earn the wand.

If you’d like to see Retro, click here for his page.

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15 Little Indians

To the childhood song of “ten little Indians”

One little, two little, three little whippet pups

Four little, five little, six little whippet pups

Seven little, eight, little nine little whippet pups

Oh geez, I’m not typing all that out.

I’m down to a mere 15 puppies. The ones in new homes are thriving in South Carolina, frolicking in green grass, and the three in Wisconsin and Illinois are dealing with the same winter as I have here, hopefully just a bit milder. The puppies who flew to SC walked out of their crate and greeted their new family as if they’d done this before.

I have banished them from the main living level of my house and re-claimed the space for human occupation. This is the living room/kitchen and room off the kitchen prior to cleaning it up.

Puppies and love seat

Repairs to the underside of the love seat – they tore the lining to climb inside. But, they are ever helpful!

 

The kitchen after a play period.

The kitchen after a play period.

It’s nineteen below zero actual temperature and dangerous windchills of -50 are the forecast for the day. Whippets are not hot house plants – they are a sturdy breed and the idea of these puppies never having been outside of the house really bothers me. However, they are making up for their lack of access to the yard by turning my work area into a fun zone. Fun for them, not so fun for me, but doable. Step over the x-pen into the swirling brindle hoard of ankle nippers to get to my cutting counter. Cut some orders out, twitching my legs to keep the teeth out of my jeans and step back over the x-pen into the relative safety of my sewing/computer area. I picture a horse in a pasture, switching flies with their tail. Wish I had a tail.

Puppies in their pen

The fearsome puppy zone upstairs. 20 x 18 feet of sheer chaos. Kitty litter, nasty towels and blankets and of course, PUPPIES.

They are now in my work area where I keep puppies once they are about seven – eight weeks old where they are introduced to the doggie door and have a wonderful side yard just for them to play.

However, temperatures dictate that the outdoor yard is off limits for the foreseeable future. So, my downstairs adults are getting a dose of puppies at play. I let them take over the entire downstairs area, including the adults’ dog room. It’s rather amusing to see two adult males and several adult females, including the mama dogs, just wading through them with no problem. Good for the puppies because while the adults are tolerant, the puppies are also learning manners in their interactions.

I love this breed. Who else could mix and mingle 15 little hoodlums with adults and have it work?

On the other hand, will the weather ever break?

I could use a break.

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Dream Date

I did a craft show this weekend and after packing everything up and getting home, I just left everything sitting in the parked van. Walking in the door to 19 hungry and very messy puppies, unloading was not on the list. Leave it til the morning

Monday 6:15 a.m. One look at the puppies and it’s obvious that everything must go. The only way to work in their area is to let them all loose. Nineteen 7 and 8 week old puppies are careening around the living room.  Mark, his shock of handsome gray hair standing straight up from sleeping, is game for the task. We work our way through both pens, ignoring the cacophony of sound coming from the kitchen and living room. We pull out each and every piece of bedding and shake off the kitty litter, stray poop and spilled kibble. He gets the small garden shovel and shovels the litter boxes into a five gallon bucket, then goes trudging the out into the woods (20 degrees outside) to dump the used litter. That would be twice – once for each pen. Meanwhile, I take a paint scraper to carefully pry off hardened poop from the nice ash floor.

The pile of nasty towels and quilts steadily grows, waiting for the washer. This is easily going to be a seven load day.

There are several of the Dither/Norris puppies that think clean pine pellets used in the litter box are the best thing in the world to play in. It’s amazing the speed they can reach in a plastic bin 30″ long. Spinning, jumping and wrestling, they whirl the pellets out of the box and onto the fresh, clean, carefully arranged blankets in the pen.

puppies in pellets

We Love our clean pile of pine pellets!!!!

OK, puppies corralled, occupied by creating another mess with the pine pellets, we venture on to the next project, unloading the van. Bins, boxes, tables and displays are hauled into the house. It’s now 7:15 and time for him to grab a shower and leave for work.

A Monday morning dream date with your wife – no wonder he has gray hair.

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Whippets three for a buck, adults included

I was out of the house yesterday for half the day and got home anxious to begin working. Returning home from being gone for any length of time has now become an ordeal. The dogs know when they hear the garage door open that the human is back. Even the puppies, at six and seven weeks old have been taught that when the human walks through the door, the best way to get attention is to be loud. REALLY LOUD. The x-pens are right where I walk in and before the door is even fully open, 19 puppies in two x-pens are on their back legs greeting me.

Well, greeting me is one way to describe the sheer volume of sound. Sometimes the call of a single seagull spiraling upwards into the sky is beautiful. Sometimes seagulls have a raucous scream as they wheel and dive for food. I have 19 seagulls all exercising the scream version.  And, even as I dash to the kitchen for a bowl of food and put it in with them, that’s not enough. We don’t want food, we want YOOOOOOOOOU!!!!! The only way to end the ear splitting noise is to climb in among them and let them pile on to say hi. That really is the fun part – a pile of warm furry beings all trying to climb my body to get their individual hugs and kisses.

Oh, that’s right, there are two pens and while I say hello to the first group, the second group continues to scream. OK, switch to the other pen. Thankfully, after greeting me the first gang is willing to check out the food. I give hugs to the second gang and look around. Ugh, both pens have reached the yeechy level. At some point, pulling dirty towels and adding clean ones just doesn’t work any more. I used to get a few days, then a couple of days and now I’m down to a day and a half at best before I need to take the whole thing apart and replace it all.

Begin the procedure. Let the first gang out to cause mayhem and destruction in the living room while I clean their pen. Remove a heavy quilt and two blankets plus 8-10 towels. Shake each piece to remove bits of litter, spilled food and nasty chunks of stuck on poop that strayed from the litter box. While shaking vigorously, remember to keep mouth shut to avoid ingesting flying debris. Upon completion of shaking, fling towards the laundry room. Lay down another quilt, blanket and cover with towels. Then, the biggest ick of them all, carrying the heavy, heavy bin of stinky litter out into the woods and flinging it. Back in the house, find the next 50 pound bag of litter, stagger up the steps and dump half into the bin. Corral the gang that are having a delightful time in the mostly unexplored living room and persuade them a nice clean pen is where they want to be. They are not convinced and express their disapproval with a continuation of their seagull interpretation.

Phew!

Drat!

There are TWO pens and another 10 puppies. Repeat the process. The pile of dirty blankets/towels is ginormous.

Washer is loaded, puppies are contained, now I can go down to my work space and get going on what I need to do today.

Seriously? I enter the room, anxious to get working and am greeted with an unholy mess. My “good” dogs, a five year old, an eight year old and I thought a reasonably well behaved year old youngster pushed their way into the gated area containing all my sewing apparatus and computer. And, there was a full box of tissues. Anyone who knows whippets knows the shredding addiction is triggered simply by the sight of a box of tissues. It must have been a full blown shredding frenzy. Bits and pieces of trim and worse yet, a box of custom made wooden buttons at a dollar a button are mixed and mingled with the remains of the tissues. I can’t just sweep it up and throw it away – I have to go through every bit of the pile to harvest any still intact buttons and figure out if anything else of value is there. I’m pretty sure there were thirty buttons. I find six.

So how was your day?

Whippets three for a buck, first come first serve.

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Why fold Towels?

NOT FOLD TOWELS??!!

The very thought seems scandalous. For one thing, there’s just nothing nicer this time of year than to open the dryer and take out warm towels. I love feeling the soft warmth as I fold. Secondly, I can just guess what everyone’s mother would say to the idea of not folding clean towels. That’s just unseemly and improper.

BUT.

Right now, I’m doing load after load of dog towels and blankets. I use jillions of towels with the puppies. Every time I walk past their little area I glance in and if there is something nasty on a towel, I simply take it out and put in a new one. Their little pen has a base of Pile of dirty towelssoft quilts for insulation from the floor and padding. Then there’s a big blanket that’s pinned down by the edge of the box to make a nice flat base to the area. Over that are the towels. If I’m quick about seeing a nasty towel and remove it, then the bottom quilts/blanket don’t get soiled. That way, I can get a couple of days out of the arrangement without having to change and wash the whole shebang. Since there are two litters, all those quilts/blankets/towels are now times two.

 

That makes for a lot of dirty towels. I finally figured out it’s perfectly OK NOT TO FOLD THEM.  It’s OK to pile them into a laundry basket near the puppies to wait to be used.

Yet, I might need therapy over this one.

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Puppy photos

What is it about being a breeder that convinces me I can actually get photos of baby puppies? Most of the people interested in these litters are a long distance away and can’t visit, so I really want them to able to enjoy their progress and feel connected even when they can’t be here to see them in person. But, taking pictures of 19 puppies, cropping and enhancing the photos, loading and creating a webpage is really a process.

Leinie and Kay

Leinie showing enthusiasm for the photo shoot

Luckily, Irene Mullauer has been a willing photographer for many of my litters and has endless patience for the wiggling, squirming, or totally sleeping and limp puppies. Ever tried setting up a sleeping puppy?

First – where’s the cheat sheet for Dither’s puppies? As we work our way through them I’m checking them off. Next – the list for Keebler’s puppies. OK all photos are taken. Let’s look at them. Well, let’s redo a couple. OK done. Last night, I start creating the pages and realize we had taken a couple of puppies twice and missed two. Humm. I thought we could count. So get the grooming table out again and ask Mark if he can be the photographer.

Merlin scratching his ear

 

Once in a while you truly get an adorable photo. Here is Merlin scratching his ear.

 

 

 

 

At any rate, here are the links to the photo pages:

Dither and Norris puppies are four weeks old:

http://northwindcatalog.com/home-page/puppies-and-litters/dither-and-norris-puppies-4-week-photos/

Keebler and Marco babies are three weeks old:

http://northwindcatalog.com/home-page/puppies-and-litters/keebler-and-marco-puppies-three-weeks/ 

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Fall Sale

I don’t know how many of you I already reach via a direct e-mail, but if you’re interested, everything on the website is 10% off – just type in the word “Fall” where it asks for a coupon.

I’m excited I finally got all my coat choices up.

 

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Stanley

Stanley puppy

Bored Stanley

 

Last weekend Sara, Kathie, Lisa and Sandy came up to visit puppies. I love having visitors. I try to expose the pups to as many people, sounds, different rooms and experiences as I can. We tried to take pictures, but most are terrible. I am going to try again this weekend with a different camera. However, Sara got a picture that is just precious. Stanley was waiting on her lap for his turn – this is what he thought of the whole process.

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I “Only” Want A Pet

I’m in the midst of talking with people about placing puppies right now. When someone contacts me often the first thing they say is that they “only” want a pet. It seems to be said somewhat tentatively or defensively as if I wouldn’t place a dog with them if it’s only a pet.

They “only” want a pet? They “only” want to love, cherish and share their lives, homes and families with one of my precious puppies?

I can’t ask for more. To me a whippet is first and foremost a pet. They are our companions, we  live with them and we love them.  As a breeder I take great delight when one of my puppy owners ventures out into the show ring, or lure coursing field or obedience/agility/rally ring with their new friend and enjoys some success. But for many people they simply want that intelligent, cuddly and warm companion to share their lives and with whippets, most often their bed.

So for me, there is no “only”. I welcome “only” with open arms.

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First feeding of solid food. They MUST be Norris puppies

feeding 9 Dither pupsTo understand why this is funny, you have to know Norris and his incredibly avid appetite. If you’d like to read about Norris and the Chinese food delivery man, click here.

Dither’s puppies are now three weeks and it’s time to try them on solid food. Usually when I give tiny puppies their first exposure, I soak the food in goat’s milk so that each piece of kibble puffs up to a miniature pillow, soft and squishy and easy to offer. They generally are rather tentative – they don’t really know what this is all about so they sniff and look at the dish, but don’t really get the connection until a pillow is put gently in their mouth. They might take one or two at the first feeding, or lick at the excess milk, but they still prefer mama.

NOT THESE PUPPIES.

I didn’t break out the large puppy feeding pan – the one with the big bump in the middle so puppies fan out around it because it was the first feeding. My mistake. I just had a the plastic bowl from the microwave where I had warmed the food/milk mixture to slightly warmer than room temperature. It’s not a big bowl – I expected to be coaxing puppies by handing them individual pieces of kibble.

Feeding PepeI put the bowl down in with the puppies and it was like an animal falling into a pond of piranhas. It was covered in seconds and I had to push in among them to grab handfuls of food to offer the puppies that didn’t fit in the dish. Two minutes later, it was gone. Not quite as fast as piranhas, but darn close.

Notice the flecks of food on Pepe’s body? These are Norris puppies for sure.

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