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HOUNDLOVER1's Photo HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 8,869
8/4/15 12:36 A

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KATHYSCOLLIES's Photo KATHYSCOLLIES Posts: 31,673
8/3/15 11:23 P

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I agree with you about the conformation aspect not being the most important qualities in a dog. Realistically speaking the vast majority of all puppies end up as family pets, so it doesn't matter what they look like according to breed standards, rather it is how well they live and function within their human / dog family.

That's what has made Phoenix such a treasure for us. He is simply a big gentle sweetheart who loves Meaganne more than anything else ( other than food, that is!) Our dogs have always had to be excellent pet material before anything else, but being pretty at the same time never hurt either emoticon emoticon

Good health, a sound body and mind, being well socialized, and good manners all make great dogs!

Kathy
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HOUNDLOVER1's Photo HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 8,869
8/3/15 11:55 A

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Your story seems so common among people who also breed for show qualities. It adds yet another layer of complication. I'm looking for temperament, health and structural soundness and things like color, head shape, ear set etc. are much further down the list. Even with that one has to make tough choices. The father of my litter is oversize but is an exceptional dog apart from that. Show ring preferences in whippets are not always related to function and a fair number of show-bred dogs are not very fast runners.
But for me the dogs that make the best companions are the ones to value the most, regardless of their beauty or lack thereof. People will get used to what a dog looks like so fast, but a good temperament and social intelligence is a must to live with humans.
Birgit

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KATHYSCOLLIES's Photo KATHYSCOLLIES Posts: 31,673
8/3/15 12:03 A

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Birgit, Collies have eye problems, so while I may have had some early favourites, I always waited until the litter had been in to see the veterinary opthamologist before making any final decisions about which pup I wanted to keep. Even at that, sometimes things would change as the babies got older.

Take our Phoenix for example. I paid a whole lot of money - especially since this was nearly 11 years ago - for him as a breeding / show quality dog. At 13 weeks of age both he and the litter mate that we were choosing from were both so outstanding and dead even choices for us and their breeders, that the deciding factor was Phoenix' tale was just marginally longer than that of his sibling........ By 5 1/2 months of age I had real questions about the way his headpiece was looking, from the tip of his nose all the way to the tip of his back skull enough so that I made the 3 hour trip to his breeders' inorder to see what they thought.

He ended up being not showable or breedable, so we just did all the performance stuff with him instead, like Obedience, Rally, Canine Good Neighbour / Canine Good Citizen, Therapy Dog, Pet Visitation , etc. etc, etc. The brother ended up with 8 of the required 10 points for a Canadian Conformation Championship before he fell apart too. On paper, this should have been an incredibly wonderful breeding, but my friends said that it was the worst one they had ever done in over 30 years. I've seen what the sire produced, many times and also the dam - talk about breahtakingly stunning, sound, healthy offspring! WOW But this was just not a good pairing at all, so my thought has been that both parents must have had some recessive genes in common that did not show up until they were put together as parents.

In any event, Phoenix has been a real Godsend to my youngest DD Meaganne. He is her unofficial service dog, and the holder of her heart! They gave us Arwen a year later as a replacement for Phoenix. She really is stunning, although she has not aged as gracefully as most ladies would aspire to..... She's almost 10 now and fully retired, so that does not matter at all.

Kathy
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A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

Don't cry because it is over, smile because it happened!

"Aim small, miss small"
Mel Gibson, in the movie "The Patriot"


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HOUNDLOVER1's Photo HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 8,869
7/31/15 1:45 A

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Kathy, wow, that sounds like you had quite the challenge. I know it is important for people to keep in mind that things can go wrong, sometimes very wrong when breeding. I'm glad that one of your puppies made it and you get to enjoy him. I'm hoping to keep one or two of the puppies in this litter but am already having a hard time deciding which ones. I have hardly advertised yet because I want to take some time with the decision.
Birgit

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KATHYSCOLLIES's Photo KATHYSCOLLIES Posts: 31,673
7/31/15 12:14 A

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Haha Birgit - you would never have another litter if you had had one like one of my last litters...

We had a virus go through at about 5 days of age, leaving me with 2 healthy pups, and one very sick one - lost everyone else. The little guy was my Lucky (profile pic) who was the only one of the sick puppies to survive.

The other 2, both girls, were by far the dirtiest babies I ever had. We called them "the pig twins" and not in a very affectionate way either. As fast as food/water/Mom's milk went in one end it seemed to come right back out again, the other end. As soon as it landed they rolled in it, lay in it, tried to eat it - you get the picture..... Lucky on the other hand as soon as he was up on his little legs did everything in his power to not soil his space.

Once he was big enough to join his sisters in the 'whelping box', the first thing the girls did was to grab him and drag him through a freshly dropped mess. Then one of them grabbed his little stuffie toy that we'd given him as a surrogate sibling while he was in his own little box, and rolled his toy through the same mess. He was horrified, you could tell by his body language as well as the very loud vocal complaints.

Just remembering the three of them and their antics makes me smile, even after all this time.

Kathy
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A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

Don't cry because it is over, smile because it happened!

"Aim small, miss small"
Mel Gibson, in the movie "The Patriot"


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HOUNDLOVER1's Photo HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 8,869
7/26/15 10:31 A

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Kathy, you are really onto something here. I AM getting really attached to these guys. I'm also lucky in that whippets are really clean, they keep their sleeping area clean as soon as they can walk and if given the opportunity will walk outside on their own. Since it's summer we may leave the door open to give them this opportunity. Housebreaking this way is so much easier.
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Birgit

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KATHYSCOLLIES's Photo KATHYSCOLLIES Posts: 31,673
7/26/15 7:02 A

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You are so right Birgit - once they start doing things on their own, things get busy - and once you start weaning them, then they get really smelly too.....

I always said that God gives you stinky, smelly, roll in their own waste as fast it comes out puppies, so that you are not so upset letting them go to their permanent homes! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Kathy
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A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

Don't cry because it is over, smile because it happened!

"Aim small, miss small"
Mel Gibson, in the movie "The Patriot"


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HOUNDLOVER1's Photo HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 8,869
7/23/15 2:14 A

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Thank you, we are having fun observing how they change every day. Just today some .started sitting and walking a few steps. Two of them are starting to open their eyes a little. I could sit and watch them all day.
Kathy, an experienced breeder gave me the advice of the different colored ribbons (and just for the photos as I can tell them apart easily). It is much easier than in the photo. I can already see how sleep is going to be a little short for several more weeks. I sleep in the kitchen with them now and things are pretty quiet at night. But I'm trying to let the smaller ones nurse a little more by themselves and that take time. Also, Mom now likes to take some time away from them and sleep on the bed with me and I need to balance that with the puppies need to eat.
Thankfully she has finally figured out how to avoid lying on the puppies. emoticon
But once they can get out of the box and start eating from dishes and eliminating on their own the work really starts.
Birgit

Edited by: HOUNDLOVER1 at: 7/23/2015 (02:20)
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TWEETYKC00's Photo TWEETYKC00 Posts: 139,753
7/22/15 11:29 P

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They are soooo darling!

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KATHYSCOLLIES's Photo KATHYSCOLLIES Posts: 31,673
7/22/15 11:19 P

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The puppies are adorable Birgit! Don't plan on getting any sleep or free time for at least a couple more weeks! emoticon

Thankfully, Collie colours and markings are rarely similar enough to warrant ribbon 'collars' to tell them apart.

I've always felt sorry for the breeds that pretty much all one colour - like labs, or newfs, especially if it's a large litter. I imagine it could be a challenge finding enough different coloured ribbon
. emoticon emoticon

Kathy
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A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

Don't cry because it is over, smile because it happened!

"Aim small, miss small"
Mel Gibson, in the movie "The Patriot"


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DEEA2Z's Photo DEEA2Z SparkPoints: (106,837)
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7/22/15 4:18 P

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What a wonderful assortment of gorgeous puppies! They are SO adorable!! I love the variety of their colorations and markings. Wonderful!!

Diane (from PA)
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HOUNDLOVER1's Photo HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 8,869
7/20/15 11:10 A

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We do have puppies. There are seven, 4 girls (fawn and brindle/white) and 3 boys (brindle) and it took me this long to find the time to post again, LOL. They are all healthy and my blog and webpage (on the bottom of my posts) has all the info, including lots of pictures. For a few days one of the puppies was not gaining enough but now they are all doing great. Mom is doing great as well and starting go on walks with the pack again in the morning when it's still cool. She even fit in a couple of sprints.
Overall they have been an awesome experience. I'm learning so many new things. I can't wait for them to open their eyes in a few days. emoticon

Birgit


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PASSIONATETIGER's Photo PASSIONATETIGER SparkPoints: (124,614)
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7/20/15 7:51 A

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Birgit,
Where do you live?
I have had a mix whippet in NYC decades ago I called Wilamena who was fantastic. A warm steel grey color. You are reminding me of that lovely pet. I got her at 5 months from the shelter. Are you just looking for folks who already love the breed or folks that already love all the dogs they ever had?

Because of the costs of great lifetime care I am in need of a mix breed so I have funds for its lifetime instead of its purchase. Right now I have a 50/50 mix (maltese/bichon) for the love of a tiny dog experience. I've had simoid/lab mix, too, just as white as my current little guy. Then there was also a sheltie/corgy mix I rescued from abandonment on the Atlantic City beach sands in Maryland. All these dogs had terrific personalities and great qualities. Like my people, I love my pets for their unique qualities.

I love having overlapping dogs so that my home has a mature pet (once they are 8 years or so) when I bring in a pup or young one, so that my grief is lessened as they die and the house stays lively and loving.

Edited by: PASSIONATETIGER at: 7/20/2015 (07:56)
Dale
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KATHYSCOLLIES's Photo KATHYSCOLLIES Posts: 31,673
7/19/15 11:42 P

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Birgit - I imagine you have puppies by now? How are things going with that? I hope that all has gone well!!!
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Kathy
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A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

Don't cry because it is over, smile because it happened!

"Aim small, miss small"
Mel Gibson, in the movie "The Patriot"


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GINA180847's Photo GINA180847 Posts: 8,723
7/7/15 3:23 P

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What an adventure you are in for!

"The world is one country and mankind its citizens" one of the many truths spoken by Baha'u'llah and "Love is the light that guideth in darkness, the living link that uniteth God with man, that assureth the progress of every illumined soul."


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HOUNDLOVER1's Photo HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 8,869
7/7/15 2:01 A

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Kathy,
thanks for your detailed answer. I think it is important for people to know that to do breeding the right way there is rarely much money to be made and sometimes there is money to be lost.
In my case, the upfront costs are on the low side. Whippets from racing lines (as opposed to show lines) are generally very healthy and there is little screening for health problems necessary. The main problems that are there (cryptorchidism and alopecia) are not affecting the quality of life for dogs. Testing for eye problems (CERF) or joint problems (OFA for hips and/or elbows) are not necessary as it is for many breeds. Heart problems are also virtually unheard of in the racing lines (at least in the US).
Whippets are generally easy whelpers and C-sections are fairly rare. Very large litters that require supplementing with bottle or tube feeding are also rare.
But, as you said, it is good to be prepared for the worst, hoping it won't happen. I've been reading quite a few books on the topic right now and talked to some experienced breeders.
My bitch "Dancer" has already been using her whelping box as a bed for over a week and is quite comfortable in it. Whenever I see a temperature drop or other signs of impending labor or around day 60, whichever comes first, I will set up an air mattress next to her whelping box so she can be close to me and I can be aware how she's doing.
The laws as far as registration is pretty similar but unlike Canada unfortunately AKC (American Kennel Club) does not require positive identification nor DNA testing for registration. This is a real shame as it would prevent a lot of puppy mill abuse of the system using false papers. AKC registration means very little (definitely not quality) but is still necessary for dogs to compete in most competitive events and most people would not buy unregistered dogs. I'm planning on microchipping puppies. I found already when I did rescue years ago that it is a great way to keep dogs from getting lost in shelters and it's really not expensive given the peace of mind it buys.
As far as breaking even, I'm not planning on it. As a novice breeder my dogs will be harder to place, especially since I'm going to be very picky about selecting homes (extensive adoption application and background check). It helps that the sire of my litter is a litter mate of a dog that had an extremely successful racing career and the pedigree of both the sire and the dam are excellent. But I may very well end up keeping several puppies for a while to make up my mind who I am going to keep.
While my dogs are from very successful racing lines my personal priority is to breed healthy, sound companion dogs that are athletic and beautiful but also have excellent temperaments. I will sacrifice elements of conformation if they are not structural rather than settle for less than the best temperament. Every dog, even a performance dog (obedience, showring, agility, lure coursing, working trials) should first be a quality companion dog in my opinion.

I guess this got pretty long, it's similar to what I was planning to write in my next blog post.

Birgit

Edited by: HOUNDLOVER1 at: 7/7/2015 (02:04)
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KATHYSCOLLIES's Photo KATHYSCOLLIES Posts: 31,673
7/7/15 1:21 A

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Birgit - Your timing is wonderful - I just spent the day with one of my other Collie breeder friends helping her whelp a litter of 5 ( at least that is the last count I heard...) - 3 girls, and 2 boys in two of the five allowed colours in our wonderful breed! emoticon

Whenever I've had people tell me they want to start breeding, I always tell them to be prepared to possibly lose the bitch or one or more of the puppies. Things happen, sadly. We had one litter about 29 years ago that back then cost me almost $3,000 worth of vet bills only to have to spay the Mom, and only end up with 1 live pup to sell when all was said and done. Thankfully, we only had one other litter that had any real problems in all the years I was actively breeding!!!

The norm, is that you don't always run into any major problems, depending on your breed, but you have to be prepared for the worst, and then do everything you possibly can to avoid it!
You have to be ready to essentially give up 2 - 3 weeks of your time in order to make sure that the little ones have the best start in life that is possible.

Will you be doing any pertinent (to Whippets) health tests. Collies have eye problems, so every puppy should see a Veterinary Opthamologist by 8 weeks of age ( or certainly before they leave for their new homes!

In Canada it is the law that all purebred puppies MUST be identified either by tattoo or micro-chip BEFORE leaving the breeder's premises . We also have to register the litter as a whole, and provide individual registration papers for each puppy within a specific time period as laid out by the C.K.C. It is also illegal up here to advertise a dog as Purebred if it is not eligible for registration AND you can not charge an extra fee to provide the registration papers.

A general rule of thumb is that you need to sell approximately 3 puppies ( by 8 - 10 weeks of age) in order to "break even " financially, and of course that really only works if all the pups are sold fairly close to that time frame...... That figure is based on pating a stud fee, registering each puppy, any aplicable health tests being done, the food that you go through while they are in your care, and veterinary costs, advertising, etc


Feel free to send me a message if you have any questions and I'll do my best to answer them.

Good Luck!!!!!



Kathy
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A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

Don't cry because it is over, smile because it happened!

"Aim small, miss small"
Mel Gibson, in the movie "The Patriot"


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GINA180847's Photo GINA180847 Posts: 8,723
7/6/15 1:41 P

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Wish I was close so I could do puppy duty. I just remember how much fun it was to have a kitten in the house. We would all play with it and have such joy.

"The world is one country and mankind its citizens" one of the many truths spoken by Baha'u'llah and "Love is the light that guideth in darkness, the living link that uniteth God with man, that assureth the progress of every illumined soul."


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DEEA2Z's Photo DEEA2Z SparkPoints: (106,837)
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7/6/15 1:35 P

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Oh I LOVE puppies! We live nearby our breeder, and whenever one of the IRWS have puppies we get to help socialize them! It is SO much fun. I've even done puppy sitting duties when she was taking some of the dogs to shows. When one of them had 14 puppies in her litter I was taking care of them PLUS 4 puppies from her hunting terrier. I was exhausted, but it was the BEST time.

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PASSIONATETIGER's Photo PASSIONATETIGER SparkPoints: (124,614)
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7/6/15 12:33 P

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I rarely see someone responsible tending to breed ethics and welfare so I am pleased you have invested in this delicate breed.

A woman who owns one had written a book starring her dog that was really cool for kids but I don't have her contact info anymore.

p tiger

Dale
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TWEETYKC00's Photo TWEETYKC00 Posts: 139,753
7/6/15 10:48 A

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I can't wait to see them!

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HOUNDLOVER1's Photo HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 8,869
7/6/15 1:02 A

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They will be on my webpage which is at the bottom on all of my posts. Right now I just have pics of the parents on the whippet page. I'll try to put a few hear as well, not sure what the size limitations are. I might add a few to my spark page as well.
Birgit

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3HOURLADY Posts: 1,642
7/6/15 12:52 A

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We met a woman holding a whippet in her arms. She said it was quite old, and it was their baby. It was so sweet, so loving, and just beautiful, like a toy greyhound. All the best with your new litter, and be sure to post pictures so we can admire them!

GINA180847's Photo GINA180847 Posts: 8,723
7/5/15 10:41 P

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It is so rare nowadays for puppies to be born that I feel congratulations are in order. You will have such joy and a lot of work as well.

"The world is one country and mankind its citizens" one of the many truths spoken by Baha'u'llah and "Love is the light that guideth in darkness, the living link that uniteth God with man, that assureth the progress of every illumined soul."


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HOUNDLOVER1's Photo HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 8,869
7/5/15 10:17 P

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Thank you Kay, the puppies are actually not born yet but we expect them within about a week and I think there will be quite a few, judging by how big mom is. I'm very excited, almost feels like becoming a Grandma. emoticon

Birgit

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KAYDE53's Photo KAYDE53 Posts: 30,518
7/5/15 10:13 P

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Congrats on your litter!! Whippets always seem to be a very good-natured dog and they're not a breed you see everyday.

~Kay~
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HOUNDLOVER1's Photo HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 8,869
7/5/15 10:08 P

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Yes, they have a very gentle temperament. My daughter's first dog was our first whippet. She slept in her bed since she was really little and was super-gentle with her.

Birgit

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HICKOK-HALEY's Photo HICKOK-HALEY Posts: 42,991
7/5/15 7:30 P

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That's exciting Bridget. I rarely see Whippets. Very sweet dogs. When we had our Horses, we boarded at a ranch that had a Whippet with 3 legs. Didn't slow that dog down one bit lol. Such a love too.

A dog wags his tail with his heart.

May I always be the kind of person that my dog thinks I am.

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HOUNDLOVER1's Photo HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 8,869
7/5/15 4:01 P

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This litter has been in the works for many years and after the breeder of our whippets retired from breeding we wanted to continue the bloodline. Having done dog rescue for many years we are now hoping to share some of our lovely whippet dogs with others as this breed is virtually never in rescue. I hope to connect with other breeders and with people who have experiences to share with us about all things whelping and puppy raising.

Birgit

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