Whippet NATCH C-ATCH Wyatt of Dodge City, AV, CD, RAE, SC, NA, NAJ, O-ECC, O-NJC, S-EJS, S-EAC, O-TG-E, S-TN-E, TNE-600, WV-E, HP-E, CGC “Wyatt”
1/28/2002 – 1/18/2017
Wyatt came to us when he was about a year old. I did not want a dog but my wife insisted and she choose Whippets because of what she read about them in a book about dog breeds. He came from the whippet rescue organization. He was very anxious especially when left alone and we had many challenges figuring out to handle him together. We eventually got a second dog, Patriot, to help him with his separation anxiety. One of the things that helped him the most was running with me, something that remained my favorite activity I did with the dogs. Wyatt would always look up at me with his big anxious eyes and check in when running every 10 seconds or so, something I will always remember.
My wife and I found out about Whippet activities such as racing and coursing and starting going to events such as racing. Despite a lot training, Wyatt would never run clean, getting over stimulated and going after other dogs when racing instead of the lure. He did some coursing but we eventually stopped that too though Patriot ran well.
I turned to agility, obedience, and rally for Wyatt. Wyatt was an incredible dog to train due to 2 factors. He loved to work and he was very smart. The challenge with him was anxiety and getting him to show what we could do at an event rather than at home. Even though he was trained to the utility (highest) level in obedience, I could never get him to put together a leg in advanced – usually failing the dreaded out of sight stays and downs. I ended up content to train obedience at home. He would follow me around the house until I did our nightly training routine.
But our favorite activity was agility. The feeling of high-speed teamwork with your dog was incredible. Wyatt was like a sports car, so fast and responsive, but also susceptible to crashes! Patriot was slower but much more dependable but not as exciting to run. After working through years of contact issues, we eventually earned our CPE championship and I set a goal of getting a second agility championship in NADAC (NATCH), which includes the very difficult Chances class, where a dog works at a far distance from the handler. It took 8 years but we eventually earned out NADAC championship. But out favorite class was tunnelers where Wyatt always qualified and had one of the fastest times. We had a rhythm in tunnelers that I could always depend on and it was a beautiful thing to experience. See the video to see what I mean.
Wyatt was not generally a super cuddly dog but he made it known that I was his person. He did well with Aidan when he came along. He eventually developed heart issues and arthritis and enjoyed retirement especially sleeping in the sun on our grassy lawn and going for shorter runs and later only walks. Towards the end of his life he got finicky and it became a challenge to keep weight on him and get him to take his pills. We let him sleep with us for the whole night his last year and I would carry him up to our bed and he would settle in for the night with his head on my leg.
He was my first dog and we had a strong bond. In spite of having not the greatest conformation (build), he was super accomplished earning 66 dog titles and 2 agility championships including the very difficult NATCH title, I will always remember his unique character and the little things he did every day. These pictures and videos show that better than I can tell.