Athleticism & Aestheticism
 
 
 
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 About Serendipity

Correct, beautiful and athletic whippets responsibly bred for versatility, health and temperament in Washington state.

The Serendipity whippets participate in dog shows and amateur performance events, including racing, lure coursing, competition obedience and agility. They are therapy dogs, devoted family members, and bright and entertaining companions.

 

Serendipity History

I come by my love of dogs quite naturally, having grown up in a dog-loving family. All my early childhood memories include our family dogs, who were a wide assortment of various purebreds and mixed breeds, mostly strays or shelter adoptees.

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My introduction to sighthounds came with the adoption of an older stray Afghan hound that we brought home when I was in high school. My family was essentially ignorant about the breed but we sure fell head over heels in love with his dignified and gentlemanly temperament.

I got my “real” start in sighthounds in early 1993 when I adopted a 2-1/2 year old ex-racing greyhound named Sophie. At that time, I knew only that I loved the look and personality of the greyhound but was not active in competitive dog sports, although that was very soon to change. The native intelligence and athleticism of my new pet piqued my interest in the origins of the greyhound, and as my research progressed I gradually began contemplating pursuing lure coursing. The deep relationship we developed spurred me to look for outlets to deepen our partnership and teamwork, and I became increasingly interested in pursuing competition obedience as well.

And so, in the summer of 1994, I adopted another greyhound, this time with the intention of participating in as many performance venues as possible. This dog, a gawky but handsome 23 month old irish marked red male who I named Owen, was the one I consider my foundation dog, although he was neutered and never passed on his genes; in all other ways, my experiences with him laid the practical foundation, if not the genetic one, for all my future endeavors with these breeds I love. I no longer have any greyhounds, having lost both to osteosarcoma in the spring of 2002, and though whippets are now my primary breed, I remain grateful for the start in sighthounds my greyhounds gave me.

Spring of 1998 saw the arrival of the puppy who would become the true foundation for Serendipity Whippets: CanCH Priory HH Silver Lining, CD, SC, FCH, CR, OTRM, CGC, AV. Wren was a beautiful, keen, athletic, irish marked fawn whippet bitch bred by Rob Studley (Priory) and Robin Barry (Hound Hollow), and co-owned with Rob. I thank them from the bottom of my heart for entrusting a rank newcomer to the breed with such an exquisite, promising puppy. She brought untold joy to my life, and I consider myself very fortunate to have based my breeding program on this wonderful foundation bitch, who is a daughter of one of my all-time favorites, the late, great CH Wistwind’s Eli, LCM-2, CanFCH. Wren is gone now, but she lives on in all her descendants here at Serendipity.

I am located in Monroe, Washington, about 40 miles NE of Seattle, and lead an active, dog-centric life! Locally, I’m an active member of the Western Washington Whippet Association, for which I am currently treasurer, webmaster, and a working member of the performance committee. Nationally, I am a member of the American Whippet Club and the National Whippet Club of Canada. I’m a fully-licensed ASFA and AKC lure coursing judge, and the volunteer webmaster for the ASFA Region 1 website. For many years, until I decided to retire from teaching at the end of 2008 to reclaim more time for training my own dogs, I was an instructor for The Dogworks in Monroe, where I taught beginning, intermediate, and advanced obedience classes for companion dogs and their owners.

In my non-dog life, I am the library services manager at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. But my heart is at home with my dogs, and I spend the vast majority of my time with them. Keep an eye out for us in the show ring, on the amateur race track, on the coursing field, and most of all, out and about, just having fun.


Serendipity Vision

 Athleticism ...

I believe deeply that Whippets (and Greyhounds and the other sighthound breeds) are hunters and athletes down to the very fibers of their being. I believe that their blood runs deep with the instincts of their ancient ancestors – to swiftly and efficiently course and kill game – and I am profoundly committed to preserving this keen functionality in my hounds. Serendipity Whippets run competitively in various venues designed to test these skills, in order to evaluate their reproductive worthiness. This is my primary goal, but certainly the running venues are not my sole activities.

I am interested in non-running performance activities, such as competitive obedience, tracking and agility, not because I believe they themselves are the work for which whippets were developed, but because they do demonstrate certain aspects of temperament that I believe whippets should possess. Whippets may be sighthounds – specialized hunters – but they are also dogs, and one of the mainstays of canine temperament, particularly in modern society, is the ability to live and work with people. Whippets, in particular, were specifically developed to be biddable companions. Coursing dogs require a certain mental toughness – discipline, confidence and ability to focus – to withstand the rigors of their work, and competition obedience is one activity, though clearly not the only one, that demonstrates these qualities. More importantly, I place great value on my personal relationship with each of my canine companions, and I find obedience, agility, and tracking to be activities that enable to me to strengthen that relationship in profound ways. And of course, perhaps the best reason to participate of all is that they are fun! Though my main priority is the running events, and I am no longer as active as I once was in competition obedience, I do still actively train my dogs, and prefer that my whippets be smart, biddable, trainable, and fanatical natural retrievers whether they ever see the inside of a competition obedience ring or not.

Finally, I believe that dog shows, while remaining an important tool for selecting breeding stock if considered selectively, have become something of a means to an end, and too often the animals that win are not necessarily superior in type, structure, or temperament, but merely the best representative of the fad of the moment. Certainly, it is impossible to judge an animal’s functionality from putting it through its paces in the show ring. Still, I do show my dogs very selectively, primarily at specialties or to judges experienced with performance sighthounds.

All Serendipity Whippets are screened for breed-appropriate health clearances, as all responsibly bred animals should be. I currently do the following health tests on all breeding stock: OFA Advanced Cardiac, OFA Eyes, and BAER. All my dogs’ health clearances can be publicly viewed in the OFA database. I have fed a completely raw homemade diet since 1996, follow a minimal vaccination protocol with my own dogs and litters, and maintain a holistic approach to my dogs’ health which incorporates the best of natural and allopathic veterinary practice.

As a responsible breeder, I stay in touch with my puppy buyers, am available to them at any time for assistance and advice, and I will take back any dog I bred, for any reason, at any time, no questions asked. I do require puppy owners to sign a contract so that all expectations, both on their part and my own, are mutually understood and acknowledged at the start of our relationship.

With careful research, planning, and of course a little serendipity, I hope to produce healthy multi-purpose Whippets that will ably demonstrate their versatility while still conforming to their breed standard, which above all describes an athletic, functional and keen sporting hound. And whether they are chosen for a competition or pet home, it goes without saying that they will also ably fulfill their most important function: that of beloved and cherished companion.