How Val came to live with us
We wanted a dog. We wanted a Whippet. We
thought maybe we should get a Greyhound, you know, rescue one that is
through racing and has no place to go. But we really wanted a Whippet
because they are the perfect size. And so elegant!
Some say that you either love the look of a Whippet or you think they look
weird! They are skinny, but in a graceful, elegant way.
We decided that we should wait until after vacation.
We were planning on going to Los Angeles and didn't want to get a new dog,
then leave if for a week.
Eric made some inquiries and left our number with Jo
Soward. She called back in a few days and told us about a Whippet that needed a new home. The dog was at Laurel Wilkes, in Lacey, WA
(near Olympia, about an hour drive south). We called her and got the
information. It was a female. She was black and white.
Her name was Val. Actually Blarneystone Miss Valdez. No, not
the ship, the town. All the puppies in this litter were named after
towns in Alaska. She was 3 1/2 years old. We decided to drive
down to see her. We met her, along with all the other Whippets and
the poodle and the cat in Laurel's household. I sat in a chair and
she put her front legs on me. I fell in love. Laurel told us
about a couple of other people who were considering her. At one
home, Val would be kept in the garage. The other people weren't sure
if they really wanted a Whippet. I heard myself saying, "Well, we
want a Whippet. We want this Whippet."
It was February 1999. Our yard wasn't fenced (well,
the old fencing was not usable). We had to have a fenced yard to
have the Whippet. It cost too much to have the fence made by someone
else, so we did the measurements, went to Eagle Hardware, bought the parts
and started building a fence. In the rain, in the wind, in the cold,
in the SNOW!! It was a true labor
of love. In the concrete for one of the fence posts for the gate
leading to the upper level, we put "Feb 1999." In the
other, we wrote "For Val."
We went down to visit her one more time. She fell
asleep on Eric's lap. Then, when the fence was done, Laurel brought
her up to us. She had to check out the yard to make sure it was Whippet
proof. It was in the evening and dark, so she examined the
yard with a flashlight. We passed. We let Val check out the
back yard. Then we brought her in through the back door. We
had a "Welcome Home, Val" sign on the fridge, down low. On
the floor in the dining room, we set a stuffed bunny. As she breezed
through, she grabbed it! She knew it was for her.
Then there was the matter of her AKC registration.
We knew Val was full blood, but didn't have any paperwork. This was
important if we were going to lure course her. There was another
alternative, but Jo checked with Bev McKibbin, Val's breeder. We
found out that Val was still registered to Beverly!
Here's what happened as near as we can figure it.
Beverly kept Val for about a year, then decided that since she didn't have
any lure chasing instinct, so she sold her to a woman. Bev as a rule
doesn't sign over the registration until she gets all her money. The
woman made a partial payment with a check. The check bounced.
She ended up never paying for the dog. The woman was rooming with a
couple. The woman moved out and left Val with the couple.
Later the couple was going to move someplace back east and didn't want to
take Val with them. So she ended up with Laurel to find a home for
her. And Bev still had her AKC registration. So Bev signed Val
over to us. Now she was completely and in every way ours. Val
was home at last.