The Whippet was our 'first' baby and we actually went to the trouble of researching what breed to get so it would fit into a possible future family with kids as well as the double-income-no-kids-warehouse-living-lifestyle we were leading in Port Melbourne at the time. Seriously, who does that? Slightly obsessional I know but also practical - I had seen many a friend pick up a dog that ended up being a disaster (or unsuitable for their requirements) and therefore returned to the original owner. So I figured the Breed was important. I grew up with a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and also a German Shepherd and knew how different dog breeds could be.
On our list was a dog that was independent for longish periods while we were working but still enjoyed chasing a ball - I didn't want a needy dog that suffered separation anxiety the minute we left the house, or one that destroyed the house while we were out or slobbered all over the furniture. The 4 kids down the track would take care of that! It had to be happy indoors because we only had a tiny courtyard. It wasn't allowed to shed hair because The Piano Man has eczema and I hate cleaning and it wasn't allowed to bark because barking just drives me insane. Must be great with kids.
So we settled on a Whippet - the elegant creatures you can imagine strolling around the ancient Egyptian Palaces (actually they are more like a glorified cat but don't say that too loud). We got him from a fabulous breeder in Daylesford, Ibiza Whippets, and I can honestly say it was one of the best decisions we made. He has been a perfect addition to the family. I'm not sure how the Whippet feels though.
He has been with us for 8 years and is the only creature that truly knows our family intimately. If he could say what he was thinking I suspect it would be something like this.
This is me as an 8 week baby. Note the black and white colouring, not a single grey hair.
This is me now at 8 years old - My eyes are tired and every time they bring a baby home I get a few more grey hairs.
But I still cut a fine figure. Look at my long thin legs! Other breeds are wild with envy.
I am built for speed. I love runs on the beach. I am one of the fastest dogs over a short distance did you know? Although I only need 5 minutes and then I prefer to spend the rest of my time curled up on the lounge or someones bed.
See the big Ferry in the background? Well because I can't swim you will NEVER get me on that thing. Pardon? I'll have to go on that Ferry to live in Tasmania. Holy Moly, it better not be rough! What? It's going to be that trip when Bass Strait decides to produce record swells and it takes twice as long to get there. I will be seasick. Oh, did you say despite my feelings on the matter the family will take me on that ferry again and again.
While we are letting it all out there, my other quirk is that I can't go up stairs that have gaps between each stair where I can see through to the other side. They freak me out! The family has to carry me up such stairs and they are very embarrassed by my phobia when their friends come around and ask why I am yelping at the bottom of the steps. They think I should see Dr Harry about it. Maybe I should. I think self-awareness is the main thing here.
See this luggage conveyor belt? This is where I had to go when the family took me to Alice Springs to show me off to the In-Laws. But due to my aforementioned phobia, I had a total meltdown because I don't like gaps between me and the ground and there was a fairly significant one between the plane and the ground!
So the babies started coming home and I had to share the lounge.
But that was fine because as it turned out their bouncers and capsules were extremely comfy.
Well there was no alternative - the chooks started taking over my bed!
And if it's not the chooks stealing my bed its the bloody possums eating my food!
Finally, although I don't bark, whenever any of the kidlets cry I start howling like a wolf. I don't like them in pain and their crying distresses me. Another quirk of mine. It's my protective mechanism at its finest. Of course the mum doesn't like my howling because it frightens some of the other kidlets who then may start crying because they are worried about me and then I howl more which just exacerbates an already stressful situation. But we're working on it.
I often wonder if it is true what they say about about dogs resembling or picking up quirks from their families because if so that doesn't really paint our family in a favourable light. Does anyone else have a pet with quirky traits?