I did not plan to bring home another dog from the 2009 American Whippet Club national specialty, and most assuredly, Walt did not plan for me to bring one home. It all started when my daughter Johannah insisted on trying to find Dwight and Paula Caffee from Oklahoma, breeders of her boy Chase, among the thousand or so people at the national. We didn't know what they looked like except that Dwight had grey hair and Paula wore glasses. Which described about 75% of the people at the national.
By the third day, I think half the men there over 50 thought I was trying to pick them up with some off-the-wall line: "Are you Dwight?" I finally gave up before I got in trouble, but on the fourth day, Johannah found me watching the judging and announced, "I found Dwight and Paula and they are coming up to our room. I told them to bring all their dogs!"
Well, that was fine -- we already had four (or was it five?) dogs in our room, but hey, whippets get along with whippets wherever they are. When I arrived, there were Dwight and Paula (sure enough, grey hair for him and glasses for her) and a whole mess of dogs. One drew my attention immediately. She was a refined red brindle and white girl with a definite princess look about her. She looked a bit put out at having been dragged into this chaos, but was gamely looking for a place to curl up out of the way.
We talked for a bit and I finally asked, "Who is that one?" That's Party, they told me, Jo's dog Chase's sister. Well, Chase has about the best temperament of any whippet I have ever known. Nothing phases him, he puts up with anything, and he will snuggle with you 24 hours a day if you'll let him. I love that dog. (This is not the same Chase who sired our first two litters. Understandably, a lot of whippets are named Chase!)
We talked some more, about the weather, the judging, the people downstairs. Somewhere during all this, Paula mentioned that Party was (sort of, maybe) looking for a home. It seems she had been returned to them from another owner and though they loved her very much, they'd like to see her in a home where she would get lots of attention, be loved, and possibly bred wisely. She had nine points towards her championship including a group first and, incidentally, an elegance and refinement I felt our breeding program was lacking in our females.
"You want to what??" This was Walt later that evening. "I want to buy a whippet," I said. There was a long conversation, at the end of which he allowed that, well, if I really thought...
Then I had to convince Dwight and Paula that we were the home for Party.That took a little doing too, but at the end of the following day, I had bought myself a dog. Party alighted on the bed and looked at us reproachfully after Dwight and Paula left her there. But once I got her home, it took about half an hour for her to figure out her place (below Ivy and Juliet, above Katie) and settled in.
Party is all I hoped she would be. She is affectionate, a class-A snuggler, funny, and easy to keep. I finally asked Paula in an email if she had ever done anything wrong in her life. Paula said she barks a lot. Here, Party barks about six times in the morning if I am late getting her out. I will admit that she doesn't ever stay in a crate here because she cries so pitifully. Dwight says she has my number. Probably. But we call her Perfect Party.
Party's first litter was born on Thanksgiving, 2009. Their litter names just had to be Giblet, Tater, Pumpkin and Macy. Pictures at Picasa. Of course she was a perfect mother and her puppies were well-behaved and fairly calm, as whippet puppies go. For her second litter, she whelped eight puppies (2 boys and 6 girls). Visit their page for more info!