• Debbie Safran

Welcoming the Whookie

It was hard, losing Vishna that February morning in 2017. Though we still had 3 hounds at home, the house felt so…quiet. We never thought we’d miss her crazy Whippet energy, but there we were.


Surprisingly, my husband “broke” first. (I’m the one who’s *always* on the lookout for the next dog we simply MUST adopt.) “Have you checked the WRAP* site lately,” he asked me one day. I had—of course I had!—but I did so quietly, when he wasn’t around. There wasn’t much to report, anyhow. Whippets aren’t very common, and even less-so in the rescue world. Once we settled on the breed, all those years ago, it took quite a while to find a dog in the area, let alone the perfect match!


Several months later, still mourning Vi but with a cautious eye looking forward, I caught wind of a Whippet hoarding situation. WRAP was involved in helping these hounds, of course, but it took a long time for the case to work its way through the system. Having no idea how it would end (or if we’d be able to adopt “perfect dog for us” from this sad situation), we explored other avenues.


I had heard about the Sighthound Underground a few years earlier at Grapehounds—a ridiculously fun greyhound-friendly wine tasting event in the Finger Lakes region. Then some friends adopted a Galgo from SHUG, and had only good things to report. The group didn’t have a Whippet available at the time. But they *did* have…a Whippet/Saluki mix. Okay. We knew and loved a Whippet. We know and love 2 Salukis. This could be a good thing.


We filled out the application, had our phone interview with Michael (founder of SHUG), and jointly decided that yes, Sierra would be a good fit for our home. Now it was a question of “how do you get a dog from DC to VT?” A network of volunteers, in fact!


By the time we collected her at a truck stop in Mahwah, NJ, she had already seen the inside of 4 different vehicles. We were all a little shell-shocked and tired. But we looked at that skinny little gal in her faux fur coat, and knew we made the right call.


She zoomies. She runs faster than any dog I’ve ever seen in person. (This includes our retired racing greyhounds.) And then she turns on her Spoiled Princess charm. Sierra’s aesthetic—and personality—is a true 50/50 Whippet/Saluki split. And 100% perfect. Well, except for a few bad habits, of course! …but that’s a blog post for another time.


Happy Birthday, crazy little Whookie! We’re so glad we found you.

*Whippet Rescue and Placement, the agency where we adopted Vi.

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