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. 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, he taught me much of what I know about working sighthounds, and 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 of mine 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 foundation for Serendipity Whippets: CanCH Priory HH Silver Lining, CD, SC, FCH, OTRM, CGC, AV. Wren is 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 me with that exquisite, promising puppy. She has brought untold joy to my life, and I consider myself very fortunate to base 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 produced two beautiful litters, the Bird Litter in November 2003, and the 2nd Bird Litter in September 2005. Wren is now spayed, retired, and rules the roost 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 a board member, webmaster, newsletter editor and a member of the performance committee. Nationally, I am a member of the American Whippet Club and the National Whippet Club of Canada. I am the volunteer webmaster for the ASFA Region 1 website, and also maintain a number of other websites for local dog fanciers. I’m also a fully-licensed ASFA lure coursing judge. 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 a systems librarian 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.