Three lucky Whippets live with Deborah in Rochester, New York. Two were rescued as pups and one has an impressive pedigree—but all have been listening to children read for quite a while. They are familiar sights at the Victor Free Library as well as at Crestwood, a special needs school in Scottsville, New York. They are also looking forward to visiting other local libraries in the future.
Whippets are sighthounds of a Greyhound-type breed. Larger than the Italian Greyhound and smaller than the more common Ggreyhound, Whippets are of a medium size, about 25 to 40 pounds. Once used for rabbit coursing competitions, these dogs were programmed to chase anything that moved with lightening speed. Eventually, rabbit coursing was made illegal, but whippet racing was born. Now, lure coursing is a sport where dogs chase a mechanically operated artificial lure around 600- to 800-yard course in an open field. This is a great way to test their basic instinct and preserve the functions for which they were originally bred.
In early years, Whippets were often the most valuable item a working man owned. They lived in their owners' houses, sleeping by the fire or curled up in bed with their people. Instead of placing a warm brick in the bed to warm their feet, they could use their whippet! Many were said to be fed better than the miners' families. As their history indicates, today’s Whippets are house dogs. They are intensely affectionate and can be wonderful companions. Sometimes nicknamed “Velcro dogs,” Whippets love to be near their people all the time.
Pete, looking at the book but hanging
close to mom.
Pete had another name before being rescued from his former “home,” if you could call it that. Just a 10-month-old puppy, he was abused with negative training and poor food until he stopped winning in the show ring and was literally thrown into a cage and forgotten. Although 12 pounds underweight, dirty and neglected, and with both hips dislocated, Pete never lost his love of people. In his new forever home with Deborah, Matthew, and Zeke, Pete began to blossom. He quickly earned his Canine Good Citizen award and then became a Delta Pet Partner.
Pete loves books, and he loves people.
He tries to stay very close to both.
Like Matthew, Pete started reading with children at the library even before being officially registered with R.E.A.D. Obviously, this Whippet was quite advanced for his age!
Pete’s least favorite book is Bath Time for Biscuit and his favorite is Walter the Farting Dog.