by CH Welstar Red Robin ex CH Bluestreak Brief Encounter
Best in Show at The Whippet Club Championship Show 2004, pictured at 14months
COI: 4.8% over 8 generations
This lovely bitch was not bred from or campaigned much in the show ring. When she was about 18 months old she developed an immune mediated disease which was non specific and treated with steroids. She was tested by a specialist clinic but we never got a positve diagnosis. Her treatment on a high dose of steroids lasted for 7 months. Fortunately she recovered fully and has lived a happy life since with a wonderful family. I was devastated by her illness as have been many whippet owners who live with immune mediated illness in their whippet.
Ava was one of my most beautiful bitches and the reason that I started to campaign for awareness of immune mediated disease in whippets and the need to address the genetic diversity in the whippet population.
Thankfully the kennel club has realised the importance of increasing the gene pool for all pedigree dogs and has introduced a tool to move pedigree dog breeding into the modern era and away from the Victorian method of repeated line breeding that has brought many breeds to a parlous state. Let's hope that they push for more progress with this initiative.
Their genetics division appears working hard on educating dog breeders and puppy buyers about the need to breed for health first.