Roger here... Nine years ago we visited a local kennel near Indianapolis, Wildaire Whippets, to find a playmate for our whippet, Jasper. We came home with a nine-month-old whippet whose nickname was AWOL. (I can't remember for sure, but his AKC name was something like "Catch me if you can" -- also appropriate! -- D.) The name was appropriate. He was an escape artist during his first few years. We renamed him "Chaplin," due to the black eyebrows over each eye that reminded us of Charlie Chaplin. Within a year, the spots disapeared. (You can see them in the professional photo below of Jasper and Chaplin taken in the fall -- D. In the photo below, you can see that Chaplin even lunched at Sloppy Joe's in Key West. At least he didn't have a boring life. -- D.)
The breeders intended to keep him as a show dog. He was a handsome boy. However, his personality did not lend itself to the show ring. He was a quiet, submissive, easily-frightened dog who was also a little stubborn. He would never do anything unless it was his idea. Good news for us, because he was also a loving dog. He was a perfect fit in our family.
When he was younger, despite our efforts, he did escape a few times. One time neighbors brought him back in the bed of a truck after we scoured the neighborhood with pictures. Another, very notable time, he bolted (there was no catching a dog that runs at 35 mph) at Lake Cumberland State Park in Kentucky. We tramped through the forest and along the roads for four hours. People had seen him chasing the wild turkeys, but we could not locate him. A very kind park ranger befriended him and brought him to us.
Chaplin was the most gentle dog I have ever known. He did not bark. He was never aggressive in any situations. When he wanted attention, he would stand next to you, quietly begging to be petted and occasionally licking your hand. He spent countless nights snuggling next to me on the couch while I watched TV. If I became tense (while watching a Purdue basketball game), he would hop down and seek Dianne.
He loved playing with other dogs, especially when he was younger. He ran like the wind. He hopped around in a manner that reminded me of Tigger. He was a chick magnet whenever people were around. He always seemed to find ladies and girls who wanted to pet him.
When our granddaughter, Kaia, was a toddler, he reluctantly allowed her to play with him. She used to dress him up and on one occasion put pink lipstick, a skirt, and a pink ponytail elastic with a bow on his head. Poor little guy. (Needless to say, the ponytail holder was removed from his head immediately after these photos! -- D.)
This has not been a good year for our boys. We lost Jasper in January due to a tumor on one of his kidneys. On September 11th, of all days, Chaplin lost his battle with subcutaneous hemangiosarcoma, an aggressive type of skin cancer.
Unlike the unexpected loss of Jasper, we knew that disease would eventually claim Chaplin. We first discovered the disease 2 1/2 years ago at Stone Mountain State Park in North Carolina, when we could not stop the bleeding from a sore on his stomach. We had that tumor removed, but the local vet in Indiana did not recognize the disease. Over the past two years, vets in Texas diagnosed the disease and removed multiple tumors on two occasions. His last tumor was in an inoperable place. We knew that when it inevitably started to bleed (With this disease the blood does not clot and the wounds never heal), that we would lose him.
We truly miss our gentle, quiet dog that has been our constant companion for the past nine years.
Bandido, Mr. Energy, does draw our attention away from our loss. BUT, things are not the same around here. We miss our quiet, loving boy.
I guess we're no longer "Traveling with Whippets," but we're keeping the name, for now at least. Jasper and Chaplin both will be traveling with us in spirit. -- D.