Wicka - December 2005

Wicka - December 2005

Postby chelynnah » Mon Dec 15, 2008 3:36 am

Wicka - Whippet of the Month December 2005

Owned & Loved by Ronny (WickaWhippet)
Nominated by LisaM (KanDuWhippets) and by Ronny

I was a Collie person all my life. My father brought home a Collie when I was two years old, and I loved and owned only Collies for the next forty years. I started exhibiting first in obedience, then in conformation, in the early 1980’s, and thoroughly enjoyed the world of dogs. In all my years of going to dog shows, I don’t particularly remember noticing Whippets. If I did, it was probably only to think, “My, what a naked little dog.”

Then, about three and a half years ago, I lost a nine year old Collie to cancer. She was the first dog I’d had that didn’t die from old age or age-related problems. She was also the only dog I’d ever had my name on as co-breeder, and I’d brought her and her mother home from the breeder’s house when she was only five weeks only. I wasn’t working at the time, so we bonded very closely. When I lost her, I felt I couldn’t bring another Collie into the house.

I had actually been thinking of getting a smaller, less coated breed for a while. I did a lot of research, and had tentatively decided on an Italian Greyhound. After speaking to a few IG breeders, however, I found they had some traits that would not suit me. During a routine visit to my vet, I mentioned my search for a new breed, and she said, “What about a Whippet?”

Well. Those were life-changing words. I backtracked and researched Whippets, and could find nothing unappealing. They were a bit larger than I’d had in mind, but still “liftable.” I contacted a Whippet breeder in my area, and she had a six month old bitch available. She was being offered as a show prospect, but that was fine with me as I’d had experience showing and loved it, and the breeder, who was also a professional handler and an AKC delegate, would handle her free of charge.

We went out to see her on a Saturday morning. The house was way in the country, and the breeder turned out to have over 30 Whippets and about a dozen Great Danes. She brought Wicka into the kitchen, and it was love at first sight. I immediately decided to take her. She’d never been on a leash, so I carried her out to the car, where my husband was waiting.

My husband is not a dog lover. He was fond of my Collies, but there was never any really strong connection. When he saw Wicka, however, he thought she was the most beautiful dog he’d ever seen, and he too became entranced with this lovely creature. I would never have believed he could become so attached to a dog. He adores her, and to this day I sometimes have to leave the room and giggle when I see him caressing her and talking baby talk.

I spent the next few weeks finding out first hand about Whippets. Every day brought surprises. She adapted to her new home very quickly, and immediately became great friends with Gus, my male Collie. And he worshipped her from day one.

What an enchanting breed! Wicka’s little habits and ways were a constant source of amusement. Not having any Whippet friends, I didn’t know if her behavior was typical, but since finding Whippet World I have found out that it is.

Then, about three months after I got Wicka, I was diagnosed with a serious illness. I was soon put on drug therapy, which had many unpleasant side effects and soon caused me to be unable to continue working. I ended up spending the next nine months at home. Unfortunately, this put an end to the prospect of a show career for her. But, more important than the rewards of the show ring, Wicka was a constant source of comfort and support to me. The medication I was on caused fatigue and depression, and without Wicka constantly by my side I don’t know how I would have gotten through it. We spent all day together, and napped together each afternoon. She actually seemed to be aware of my condition, and almost never left my side. I feel she played a large part in helping me get through that difficult time. I considered her a life saver.

Then, this past April, we moved into our new house. In September, a routine appointment for chimney cleaning showed that we needed to have the chimney relined. In preparation for this, the pipe connecting the furnace to the chimney was taken down.

I work 4 PM to midnight, so I am asleep in the mornings. My husband was away, settling his son at college down south. Around 9:00, Wicka started barking. I heard a "beeping" noise, but thought it was something outside. I kept telling her to hush up, but she kept barking. When I ignored her, she jumped back on the bed (she sleeps under the covers) and nosed my face. I still ignored her, just thinking she was awake too early. Finally, Wicka took hold of my hand and tried to drag me out of bed.

As it turned out something, maybe the air conditioning (so said the fire department) had made the furnace kick on and, because the vent pipe was removed, all the smoke and heat and carbon monoxide was blowing directly into the basement and seeping up into the house.

If Wicka hadn't made me get out of bed and discover the beeping noise was my smoke/carbon monoxide detector going off, I probably wouldn't be alive now. Nor would Wicka and Gus. I'm a heavy sleeper, and the alarm never would have awakened me.

What a wonderful Whippet. I'd considered her a life saver before, for helping me get through my illness, but now it was the literal truth.

I am grateful every day that I discovered this amazing breed, and Wicka in particular. I truly do worship and adore this very special girl. I am now a total Whippet fanatic, and am looking forward to the day when I can add another Whippet to my family. Every night, when Wicka gets under the covers and curls up against me, I feel truly blessed.
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