Timbreblue is a family hobby kennel consisting of Walt and Sharyn Hutchens, and daughter Johannah Hutchens Gage with her husband Derek Gage. We are based in Virginia and South Carolina, respectively.
About Sharyn & Walt
We share our home in southwest Virginia with a German Shepherd, Dallas, and ten whippets: Ivy, Juliet, Siren, Kara, Aero, Blue, Devon, Katie, Chippy and Party. Only Juliet, Blue, Aero, and Chippy are currently in our breeding program. Most of our crew are just pets. We breed a little, show occasionally, rescue when we can, and just enjoy our dogs and life in general. Much of our time is spent on dog owner education through the Petdogs-L email list and various club activities and fighting the radical animal rights movement (more below).
Sharyn was a collie breeder in South Carolina who, due her daughter's persistence, got her first whippet in 1992. Walt lived in Front Royal, VA, and was working with Judy Street Dog, U-CDX, on their second obedience title with the United Kennel Club. We both were separated pending divorce when we "saw each other across a crowded room" on a dog email list on the internet in 1997. We met in person at a dog show a month later, married and moved to southwest Virginia a year after that, and are in the process of living happily ever after.
There's not much about dogs that we're not interested in -- genetics, behavior, health, psychology, training, breeding, history -- and especially the relationships between people and dogs and the good that they do for each other. In other words, pets. Between us, we have about 45 years' experience in dogs.
We're fortunate to be able to stay home and devote most of our time to the dogs. No, we're not independently wealthy, and we certainly don't make a living breeding dogs. We're just retired!
Find Sharyn on Facebook >
About Johannah & Derek
Derek and Johannah live in South Carolina, just outside the capital city of Columbia. However, Jo spends so much time on the route between South Carolina and Virginia that they should really name the highway "Timbreblue Lane"!
Johannah Layson Hutchens Gage -- or "just Jo" -- grew up with dogs, assisting with showing and breeding her mother's rough collies, and got her first whippet (Hamlet) at age 15. Four more whippets later, and we were hooked! She showed the family's whippets in conformation and Junior Showmanship, qualifying for the Westminister Kennel Club dog show. She apprenticed for three professional dog show handlers, and worked as a vet's assistant in high school. During her college years, she moved to Boston and discovered the Internet. She got started in web design entirely by accident and, although completely self-taught, now runs a web design business from home (www.translucentmedia.net) with husband Derek occasionally pitching in on a logo design. And yes, she designed, developed, and maintains the Timbreblue Whippets website in Joomla, and is hard at work on a grand redesign, where the site will be on the Wordpress platform. Find Jo on Facebook >
Derek Gage was born in Montreal, Canada, and moved around with his family quite a bit throughout Ontario. Derek's family always had dogs and other animals in the household, including a working farm in Hemmingford, Quebec. They settled in Ocala, Florida for Derek's high school years. The family later moved to Columbia, South Carolina, where Derek attended the University of South Carolina, attaining degrees in mechanical engineering and drafting. He has worked as a mechanical design engineer for 20+ years, and currently designs "some sort of specialized cutting blade thingies" (in Jo's words) at a company in Lugoff, South Carolina.
Derek and Jo followed the family tradition of meeting online -- they met on Match.com in 2003 and it was literally love at first sight. They were married one year later in a lovely garden wedding. They have rarely spent so much as a day apart since that first meeting. They share a love of animals, Irish music, Jeopardy, reading books, and history.
Johannah has always had whippets since the age of 15, starting to breed her own litters in 2008. Currently, Sharyn and Johannah co-breed litters together and co-coordinate events such as the annual Timbreblue Reunion -- where ALL of our puppy owners get together to let the dogs play, and puppy parties -- where new puppy owners can meet their babies.
Currently, Derek and Jo share their home with six whippets -- Chase, Henry, Rini, Viola, Fiona and Lorena; two cats -- Luna and Stella; an Indian ringneck (Caesar) and four budgies-- Sky, Storm, Cirrus and Solstice. Jo and Sharyn also trade whippets from time to time for training, lure coursing, or showing, so at any given time you might find some of the Virginia whippets in residence at "Timbreblue South" as well.
We are, of course, strong supporters of animal welfare, and quite unintentionally, we have become very involved in the fight against the animal rights movement. Animal rightists do not love animals -- they simply hate people, and they are working incrementally towards ending pet ownership. For more on that topic, visit the Pet-Law site and the Animal Rights section of this site. Helping defeat anti-pet legislation, along with our efforts in pet owner education and breed education take up just about all the time we don't spend directly with the dogs.
But the way we LIKE to spend our time is catching up on the lives of the pups who have left here to live with our friends who have bought them!