Riley - February 2006

Riley - February 2006

Postby chelynnah » Mon Dec 15, 2008 3:33 am

Riley - Whippet of the Month February 2006
Owned and loved by Kim (Kim-n-kids)
Nominated by Diane (TruGirlDiane)

Kim says:
Riley isn't really an outstandingly special Whippet....except to me. He's my first dog. He was going to be my only dog. I got him because my kids wanted a dog. I thought that I was a "cat" person, and quickly found out that wasn't totally true. He started out as just a "pet", but has turned out to be so much more. We are a little humbled to be following Willow as Whippet of the Month, but if Riley has taught me anything it is to be humble before the Whippet gods. Thank you Diane for thinking so highly of Riley to nominate him for this honor.

Anyone who believed in signs would have thought Riley was going to be all wrong after the trip we took to Middleburg Virginia to pick him up. There were tornado warnings posted across the region and hail so dense at one point I was forced to pull off the road. Our van was pelted with hail, the girls and I were terrified. When we got to his breeder's home, we saw that it had been hit by the tornado. Windows were shattered, dogs were barking, debris from the trees was scattered everywhere. But there was Riley wagging his tail like crazy as if nothing had ever happened. With three thousand dollars in hail damage on my van, and a three hour bumper to bumper ride back home we finally had our dog. Part of me knew he was special.
Riley and I started obedience school when he was a young puppy. He was good enough to earn his CGC at six or seven months. But before we got seriously involved in that venue, we discovered lure coursing. His breeder, Terri Motola (now Moongaze Whippets) suggested we try coursing and our odessey began. I learned and he ran. He was good at it, not great, a little above average. He did have tremendous speed and ran clean. I would pack up my van, get up at in the wee hours of the morning and drive many miles.

My husband and I traded kid watching responsibilities during this time. Riley and I made lots of new friends, both human and canine. Some of the finest people you will ever meet are Whippet people- most of you reading this will surely agree. I can't believe my lucky stars that this big red dog intoduced me to some of my best friends ever.

Riley has a 4 point major toward his AKC Field Championship. He is an ASFA Fch. He will never finish that AKC title, and that's OK. He had Lyme disease and was too sore too run for awhile, and then too out of shape to compete. We are looking forward to coursing again in veterans, but I won't be looking at the score board, just happy that we can run at all.

Though lure coursing we discovered Riley's true love...straight racing. He was SO SO BAD to box that I had to rely on more experienced "boxers" to get him in. Riley is a BIG guy, right at the top of the standard. He is INTENSE about straight racing and does not want to get into the box. He wants that squeaking furry lure so badly he turns into a complete wildman. He managed to knock me out at one practice. I could not box him myself during competition at all. Patience stepped forward to box my bad boy. Patience has been muddied and bloodied loading Riley into the box on countless occassions!

There have been several other brave souls that boxed him, but I don't think they ever volunteered a second time. Being a woman used to doing things on her own, it was very difficult to ask someone to do something I couldn't do myself....especially when putting them in bodily danger. See where the "humble" theme is going??

My boy loved to race and I wanted him to do it. He almost has his ARX with CWA. He is just points away. If whippets had jockeys he would have that ARX. Riley started to get too rough and I could no longer trust him to run clean. He will turn seven this month, so it will never happen now. It's OK. When I get the chance I send him down that 200 yard straight that he loves so well. He runs alone now, but he loves it just the same.

When we weren't coursing or racing we did a little agility, flyball. and attended obedience classes. We were involved in a canine drill team. We marched in parades and visited Children's Hospital and participated in other community events. Riley may be one of the only Whippets that has paraded down Pennsylvannia Avenue in the St. Patrick's Parade in Washington, D.C.

Riley is now one of three Whippets. He is the undisputed BOSS around the house. And yet when Jake the rescue came here to recoup, Riley was very gentle with him and willingly gave up his spot on the sofa. Sharing your life with such a loving soul is truely a humbling experience. This spring he will get a chance to course again, as we have a youngster ready to start her career. Rally obedience is also in his future, along with a stab at a CD title.

One thing Riley will never be is a guard dog. Just last week he must have helped the burgler ramsack our home. Riley has never met a person he didn't like. He is a smiler and a big talker. He probably wagged and smiled as some person jimmied open our front door and helped themselves to our stuff. I'm left happy that they didn't harm my dogs. "Stuff" can be replaced.
Riley Roy's Reveille SC FCH TRP CGC
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