Hallo everyone! I'm Clancy, a 9 month old and lovable, if I do say so myself, young Whippet boy. I was born in Victoria , near Ballarat, where I lived with Lulu, my Whippet Mum, and my first people.
All my litter mates went off to live with their new people whilst they were still quite small and for a while I got overlooked, but then my new person came along. Her name is Annie and I share her with Carlin - a 6 year old Black Labrador. Labradors make quite good 'big brothers', it's just that they cannot do proper 'Whippet Rips' (very fast circle runs) to save their lives! Annie picked me up in a rather strange sort of car thing, it has our bed in it and a kitchen and a fridge (very important) and a TV/stereo..just like a little toy house! Then, in our house on wheels, we went for a drive on a road called the Great Alpine Road. Very aptly named to my mind, the Alpines really were great big high ones, with wet cold white stuff on top, (Annie said it was called 'snow') I liked trying to eat it & playing in it, although it was a bit chilly on my little paws. Living in our little house on wheels is quite cosy, we all snuggle up to watch TV or listen to music, often staying in these Park places where lots of people make a big fuss of Carlin and me, other times we camp in the bush, which is really good fun as there are usually lots of good smells and things to roll in there - then it's good fun to watch Annie's face when we try to get cuddly again! Annie has a sort of a job to do on the road, she says she is a 'quality controller' and that someone has to make sure all the country bakeries & coffee shops are maintaining a high standard - Annie says it is a hard job, but someone has to do it. That is ok with Carlin and me, 'coz we are the assistant quality controllers! We visited some of Annie and Carlin's friends and then we started driving a few hours each day, having lots of play breaks and getting a little bit warmer every day. When we are on the road like this Carlin and I take it in turns to be Navigator and sit up front with Annie, it's good to sit up front as a little Whippet like me can see so much more from the front seat! We traveled this way for quite a while, sometimes it got very hot, even at night, but Annie kept us as cool as she could and then we reached a place called Darwin . We have stayed in Darwin since last November. We live a few minutes from where we send Annie to work (so as she can keep us in the manner in which we feel we should become accustomed). Annie comes home twice during the day just to see us. While we are here we spend our days stretched out on this really big verandah, where it stays shady all day, we have a puppy couch of our own and we can peer through the railings and keep an eye on the world. There is a beach not too far away, it is a free run beach and we have a lot of doggie pals to play with, the funny thing is that the water here is so warm that even I swim quite happily, in fact even the rain here is warm! Just lately Annie has been putting'stuff' into the little house on wheels (it seems to me that people have lots of stuff), Carlin, who knows the signs, tells me that we will be going somewhere very soon. I have heard Annie talking about Broome. I don't really know where that is, but as long as I am with Annie and Carlin I am sure I will like this Broome. Tell you what, I will send you all another letter when we get going. Love to all my Whippet friends Clancy As Clancy's 'person' I would just like to add that Whippets do make extremely good travel companions, they win friends everywhere they go. Whenever we stay in caravan parks I ask the Park Manager to sign a short note I have typed up to verify that Carlin and Clancy have been no trouble and that I have kept the area clean and tidy and cleaned up any mistakes. I have made up a Pooch Passport for the dogs so that I can show it to any Park Managers along the way, to prove my dogs are well behaved. Annie
Wandering Whippet episode 2
Hallo Whippet friends, it's me, Clancy! I am now living 'on the road', that is traveller speak for living in our little house on wheels! Yes, eventually Annie got all her stuff into the HoW (house on wheels) and we drove away from Darwin . We travel slow and enjoy all the stops along the way.
In Katherine we found a nice shady spot to park up for most of the day and we visited the School of the Air, where Annie was asked to record a short interview to be used over the air at a later date about Labradors and Whippets and travelling with dogs. We returned to our shady parking spot to have lunch, on the way we met a little Aborigine person who pointed to us dogs and exclaimed 'a dog!' - Annie said 'No, 2 dogs, see?' but the little person looked at her a bit strange, shook his head and said '1 dog & a Wallaby'..fancy that he thought I was a Wallaby! After Katherine we turned West, free camping along the way, where there are always other dogs to have a chat with whilst our people are doing something they call 'happy hour'. At Timber Creek there was a boat trip on the Victoria River, which runs through Bradshaw Station (now an Army Base) and one of the old Durack properties - the river is really wide all the way down but with many sand bars to fool the boatie people, at the mouth it is some 45 kilometres wide and really hard to find the true river. Only 3 people turned up to do the cruise, the other people had a little dog to and the operators said we could travel with our people as long as we are were all well behaved! Annie played safe and tied us to a seat as well as holding our leads, (well Carlin is a Labrador after all!) There were Crocodiles and Wallaby (real ones, not the Whippet types) and fish to see it was such fun and this little Whippet was so excited! I didn't like the Archer Fish that kept getting us with water spurts though! ugh, what awful manners. Then it was on to Kununurra where we stayed on the Showground and had a great oval to play on and lot's of doggie friends, in fact everyone had to have a dog or a really big house on wheels to be allowed to stay at all! One of our new friends was Tiger, a Silky/Aussie Terrier X who rides in a special seat on a side-car and motorbike with his 71 year old person Mary! We went to see Lake Argyle , it is sooo big, I got a bit worried that Carlin might try to swim right across, but I convinced him not to try it or we would have been waiting there still. Whilst we were at Kununurra I had my 1 st Birthday and we all had a party and I even got presents! I think I quite like birthdays. We had to leave Kununurra after 6 days as they were having their Show, there were dog events that we could have gone in..fastest eater - Carlin would have won that easily, he sort of vacuums his food!. and fastest recall, I would have won that I am sure! Then it was on to Wyndham, where would you believe it, a big person thought I looked just like a Joey? I woofed at her and told her 'I am not a Joey, I am a Clancy!' Here at Wyndham we drove up this really steep hill and could see over the whole world, or at least it seemed that big, even I could not have run around all the Country I could see! Here we said good bye to Tiger and Mary and we headed for Halls Creek, but I think that might have to wait until next time! Love to all my Whippet pals and their people, Clancy, the Wandering Whippet and Carlin and Annie
Wandering Whippet episode 3
After Wyndham we turned off for Halls Creek, and all points West. We bush camped for 3 nights staying in some wonderful spots, but it was so cold, do you know it got down to 10 degrees?!! I almost wrote to my friend Bob in Darwin and asked him to come and get me! The rising of the moon here in The Kimberley's is quite lovely, the moon comes up sort of soft gold in colour and sitting on my special persons lap watching the moon come up at the end of a long day, sharing her nibbles and treats (and a lick or two of her dry red if I am quick!) is quite special to this little Whippet. At Derby we saw some interesting stuff, like a really big Boab Tree that was hollow inside and the people used to put bad people in there - Annie said they could still put bad Whippets in there so I was very good, just in case! There was also the longest doggie drinking bowl I had ever seen! I think about 3 thousand Whippets could drink there all at the same time! Carlin jumped right in and laid down, but I wasn't so sure about that, I don't like making big splashes and Labradors are just not as couth as we Whippets! Annie told me that the long doggy drinking bowl was really designed for about 850 store cattle - who on earth would want 850 cattle when one could have three thousand Whippets? I think Annie must have got that bit wrong, don't you? Next it was off to Broome. Broome is the tourism ' Mecca ' of the North West . Just like the real Mecca there are a great many Camels, Annie wanted me to have my photo taken with some. Now I quite like Camels, from a distance (of about a kilometre) but get up close and personal with one? No Thank You! They all have the hump and are quite spitty sort of animals - very uncouth. We were not allowed on the famous end of Cable Beach , but Annie sat there one evening and drank a very yummy cocktail as the sun went down. The next morning we all went on the doggie end of the beach for a long, long run. We stayed in Broome for a week and made great friends with some of the local dogs and shared their beach runs with them. One was an elderly Labrador who lives in a 3 storey house and his special people have installed 2 moving platforms so as he can get up and down the stairs easy! From Broome we traveled South and spent a few nights on a lovely Cattle Station at Barn Hill, right on the beach. Driving in was a bit funny as Annie had to keep opening and closing gates along the 10 k track and at more than one gate she had to 'race' the Brahmans, who seemed to think she was opening the gates for them! We then headed for Port Hedland....Port Hedland scared me a bit, we sat there at the dock, watching lots of really really big boats taking tons of Australia away (mostly to other Countries to be made into things that Australians want and will eventually buy back) what worried me is that if they keep sending all these boats away with Australia in them there won't be enough for a Whippet to stand on, let alone a Whippets Lab mate and his special person....or his home on wheels! We only stayed in Port Hedland 1 night then had 3 lovely nights bush camping by rivers then we reached a place called Roebourne. There were a few old buildings in Roebourne that were sort of interesting....seems to me that if there are more than 3 or 4 houses and a pub in any given area and at least one of the houses is a bit older than my special person, then the area qualifies for a 'Museum', now history is good, but almost all these 'Museums' have the same stuff in them! And some of them have stuff that Annie, my special person, says she has used herself - I know she has a lot of grey hair and all that, but really, she is not so ancient that she belongs in a museum! (Well, she says she isn't anyway!). There was a nice little old port area called Cossack that we visited. The place is now most famous for the Cossack Art Prize awarded each year. All the paintings were still on show when we got there, I looked at them but not one painting of a Whippet to be seen. There was an artist in residence and I did offer to sit for him, or stand or even lie down and roll over, but he just wasn't interested in painting me. The other towns in this area were a lot like Port Hedland....very industrial, as it were. We did find a few nice things to do though and also had a lovely fish tea with Annie watching yet another sunset, at Dampier. It was at Dampier that there is a statue in memory of a Red Cattle Dog - he was a free spirit dog, owned by no-one, loved by all it would seem coz' when he went to that big paddock in the sky they built a statue in his honour...it bought tears to Carlin and I. Off again, heading for Carnarvon, via a sort of detour to a place called Coral Bay on Ningaloo Reef. There was no room for us at the dog friendly Caravan Park but we went into town 2 days in a row after camping about 12 k's out at a free camp with other dog owners travelling and having the same problem. It was lovely and cool here and a pleasant place to wander around but we were not allowed on the beach. Annie had a bit of a splash in the water quite often and hired some snorkel gear too as the reef is very close to the beach. Our HoW was parked very close to the beach so Annie could watch over us and have drinks and lunch in it too. On to Carnarvon, it was nice there with real ovals with real green grass too, and doggy litter bags too, so they must like us there I think. We went for a ride on a funny little train that took us out to the end of a very long jetty - Carlin was worried about this but I thought it was great fun! We met a lady who has 2 retired greyhounds, 2 ducks, an old small white fluffy dog and 2 goats - they all get on really well too! One day we went out to The Blowholes, they are spurts of water coming out of the rocks going up about 20 feet or so....I wanted to get very close and investigate but Annie wouldn't let me, she said it wasn't very safe and I wouldn't like it if I was sniffing away and a big spurt of water came up under my tummy! Further South was Denham, where we bush camped right on the beach and awoke in the morning to Dolphins playing in the little bay. There were also Kangaroos and rabbits and goats....I was in heaven! We went for a drive to Monkey Mia, there were no monkeys there but Annie went and had an up close and personal flipper experience with a Dolphin or several! After that we all went on a bush walk to the next bay around from where the Flippers are, it was deserted and just lovely. Our next camp was at Hamelin Pool where these really old things that look like rocks live (yes, really live) in the water. If it wasn't for these things called Stromatolites that create oxygen there wouldn't be any Whippets or Labradors or Annie's either. On our morning walk the next day I was running ahead, as I do, and found a baby goat, no bigger than me, she wanted to play and although her Mum was telling her to 'come away' rather insistently, she hopped over me and I did the same and she pawed me to play and we did for a little bit, Annie thought it was really cute and wished she had bought her camera along. Did I tell you about our Sunday mornings on the road? Instead of getting up very early to go to the beach as we used to in Darwin we stay in bed a bit and listen to a bloke called Macca on the radio- we love it! Off we went again, this time after a few bush camps on the way we arrived at a place called Kalbarri, surrounded by National Park with deep, deep gorges that were really quite spectacular! So was the wind and the crashing waves just a few 100 mtrs from our caravan park! It was a good thing that Annie ties us up with long leads to the Van as the wind was so strong it might have blown me away, in fact one night there was a really big blow and the van shook all night long, poor Carlin didn't sleep at all he was so worried, but I just cuddled up to Annie! As well as the River Gorges at Kalbarri there are places along the Coast where the crashing waves have made coastal gorges. These places were equally spectacular as we could walk at these spots too! At the caravan park there was a very friendly Staffie girl called Velvet, she was an old lady Staffie and felt it was her duty as resident dog, to wander around all the camp sites and have a chat with all the dogs and people staying, Carlin and I liked her a lot and so she spent quite a while with us, curling up for a sleep with us in the afternoons! After a few days at Kalbarri we went on to Geraldton, a real town with traffic lights and roundabouts and all, they even had a dog club and we went out to visit with them. Annie loved the Museum here and all the well marked walks that the Council have put in place right around town, we enjoyed them too, nothing like walking with the locals! From here we had 4 nights of bush camping, we visited Ellendale Pool, Mullawa - where there should have been oodles of wildflowers but there were none because of the drought. Still we did visit the 'ag' show and camp at an old Pioneer Well, all on our own, so we didn't have to be tied up at all. This was good as I did have the feeling that with all the Coffee Shop and Bakery QA work we had been doing I was putting on a few pounds, one of the hazards of the job I suppose. Then it was on to Dongara. There was a lovely beach to run on, and I got to play with another Whippet, a Blue and White boy originally bred in SA, what fun we had!!! In fact I am so tired I don't know as I will be able to assist Annie with all the Coffee Shop QA work that needs to be done here...oh, maybe just a smidgeon perhaps.mmm! What a good coffee shop, they even bought Carlin and I our own water bowl and a bone shaped biscuit each. There should be more like this one! After Dongara we spent another few days bush camping along the coast, including a side trip to a place called The Pinnacles, it was in a National Park so we just peeked out of the windows, it was a bit eerie though and we were not sure as we liked it that much. After this we went in land through farming towns and went to visit a rather strange sort of a place called New Norcia. It is a Monastic Town (whatever that means) there were Chapels and art galleries and a museum, there was also a pleasant chap who is a monk and lives there - he put his hands on our heads and blessed Carlin and I, I think that is a good thing, anyway he seemed like a good sort of man. Here too we caught up with our little Cavalier friend Tahnee again, which was very good. After we were all done with being blessed and all that at New Norcia, we went to a place called Bullsbrook to meet our new and very special friend Joan and her two girls Neve an Irish Setter and Breeze a Curly Coat Retriever. I loved being at Auntie Joan's house! She talks to us all the time and she gives us biscuits for supper, a habit that I hope Annie will take up! Auntie Joan has a very, very big garden, about 200 acres with horses and cows, so you can imagine how much I loved all the smells there! Neve and I had lots of play time sessions and then she got very serious about some smells on the wind, she told me they were wonderful little things called 'quail' and when you smell them you have to find out where they are and then lift a front paw. She calls it 'pointing', I watched her for a bit and then got the hang of it. In fact I have started 'pointing' any sort of smell that I rather like! We stayed the night at Auntie Joan's and then went to Toodyay, where the 2006 National Retrieving Trial is being held. When we got there though I thought I had a few too many licks of Annies red wine...there were lots of Black Labradors, in fact so many I was a little confused and became concerned that we might go home with the wrong one - I know I sometimes give Carlin a bit of a hard time but I do love him really and I didn't want a different one to come home with us! Here at Toodyay there is a little persons train line, with tunnels and dams and bridges and all. We walked around the track most mornings and evenings as it is down by the river and a nice walk. After about the 3 rd time we went there I noticed several Kangaroos sitting by the dam. I barked at them but they just sat there staring at me, I barked again and told them 'don't you know I am Clancy The Great Kangaroo Hunter?', they still just sat there staring at me, not moving at all. Funny thing is there was no scent either. Lucky for them Annie called me so I let them off lightly. They were there every day after that, just sitting there and staring back at me, very strange. I got so angry with them and Annie took photographs and she was laughing, that hurt my feelings and then she took me right up to one of these strange kangaroos. I felt so silly, it wasn't real at all, it was just a cut out kangaroo! This coming week-end is the 'Nationals', then we will go back and say a good-bye to Auntie Joan and her girls. Then I think our friend Bob from Darwin will be here to join us for a week or two of traveling! Love to all our Friends Clancy, Carlin and Annie Annie rang me last night. She has arrived at her final destination Geelong , but she had some sad news. Someone had broken into her motor home and driven it away, dogs and all!!!!!! Fortunately the police were quick off the mark when they heard that she had dogs on board and they found it abandoned, luckily in one piece, but the dogs had been let out. Both Clancy and Carlin were traumatized but physically OK. They were familiar with the Park in which the motor home was found so hadn't wandered off. Unfortunately the thieves had stolen all Annie's photos of her intrepid trip around half way around Australia . Of course her mobile phone and other odds and ends had gone but fortunately she had her wallet with her. So this was not a very happy ending to Clancy's story. RCM
Wandering Whippet episode 4
Hallo! yes it is I, Clancy, the Wandering Whippet! I am still in WA, but away down South now. Such a lot has happened since last time I wrote to you all. Our friend Bob came down on an airplane from Darwin and met us in Perth . At first I wasn't all that sure that I knew him but then he blew in my ears...and I chewed his beard - yep, it was him all right! It was a bit of a squeeze in the little H.o.W for all of us, but much warmer, just as well as the weather had turned quite cold and windy. I got the chance to wear my dark blue raincoat for the first time, I do look rather dashing as it has a pale blue lining and neck warmer and sets off my coloring rather well, even if I do say so myself. For the first few days of being in Perth Carlin and I stayed in a rather high class motel for dogs as it was supposed to be quite hot during this period. The rooms were lovely and shady and cool and the cuisine was excellent, but the best thing of all was when I went out to check the person in the next room it was our friend Marli the little Kelpie girl that we met in Broome, and caught up with in several other places too! We were all so excited to see each other again. Annie and Bob went sightseeing in Perth and took a boat ride to a place called Rottnest Island . Annie showed me the photographs of some little creatures called Quokkas, I think I would have liked to have met them nose to nose! When we all got back together again we went to stay in Fremantle for a couple of days as Bob has a grown up son who lives and works there. He is a chef at a Brewery/Restaurant where the manager is a very enlightened soul and has an outdoor eating area especially for people with their dogs, there are doggie day beds, water bowls and even some toys to play with! How good is that? We stayed there on Grand Final night and it was an interesting night, with crackers and people walking around all night and lots of noise, none of us got a great deal of sleep! Once we had said goodbye to Fremantle and Duncan (Bob's son) we headed South, breaking at Mandurah for lunch, there were so many people there, it was all very trendy and Carlin and I were really not that impressed...Maltese terriers with hair colour in, Pleeease! From trendy Mandurah we traveled to a spot that had nearly been blown clear off the map only a few weeks before, Australind. We stayed in a lovely caravan park and Bob and Annie had tea at the local pub where the dinners were just so huge neither of them could finish and so we got the left-overs, yippee! At the pub some of the locals were singing C&W and they were rather talented too, even Carlin and I could hear in the H.o.W and we were wagging our tails in time with the beat! Next morning we enjoyed a lovely run in a park by the river before wandering into Bunbury and checking out the Dolphin discovery centre and wandering around the town a bit for some socialization with the locals. On the way out of Bunbury we took a stroll around The Maidens - a stand of extremely old and unique trees, so unique in fact as to be the only ones left in the world! I felt very privileged to be able to lift my leg on such a rare tree! They were really big trees too; I got a sore neck looking up to see the tree tops! On to Busselton next -The weather had turned rather nasty by now but there was a lot to see and do in Busselton, Annie and Bob walked out to the end of a jetty that goes over 2 klms out into the sea. Carlin and I were not really happy about them going all that way out there, especially as it was so windy.what if they got blown off the jetty? At the end there is an underwater observatory, one has too go down quite a few flights of stairs but on the way down there are windows and one can see what is going on under the sea! Annie said it was wonderful and the closest thing to a dive that she will ever be able to do. Bob dives a lot but Darwin harbour is very murky and divers cannot see very far at all so even he enjoyed it. As the weather had turned nasty we stayed at a motel for the night (we dogs had to stay out in the H.o.W though, still it was warm in there) But Bob was not well, he hadn't eaten for a few days and he couldn't sleep and his good leg was giving him trouble. The next day we traveled along the coastal route to Eagle Bluff - a lovely spot! And took a walk around Cape Leveque Lighthouse, then we headed down to the lovely Wine and Chocolate and Cheese area of Margaret River . There were no motel rooms to be found again, so we had to squeeze into the camper again, Bob went for a walk down to the main street and Annie took us to an oval to play, we got caught in a hail storm and the hail hurt my little head and there was thunder and lightening that scared poor Carlin to bits. We went back to our H.o.W to warm up a bit and went to meet Bob, who had found a lovely Pub to have tea at (it was Annie's Birthday a few days earlier so it was celebration time), poor Bob was still feeling rather ill though and by the next morning he had decided that perhaps he should head back to Darwin, this upset Annie as she wanted him to come along to Geelong and see our little 'home away from home' down south that she had bought. But after spending some time booking Bob onto a bus to Perth and a plane back to Darwin we did a bit more touring and then had to say our goodbye's - we didn't like that bit at all and we were a very sorry and sad trio that evening I can tell you. Oh, I nearly forgot to tell you that Carlin and I caught up with our little Kelpie friend 'Marli' here; she was staying with her people at the same Caravan Park , what a happy reunion that was!! (As it turned out it was just as well that Bob did go home when he did, as he was a very sick man and ended up in Hospital again for a few weeks) Now it was just the 3 of us as we headed to Augusta which is away down in the South corner of WA, there is another lighthouse here and a walking trail that we rather enjoyed despite the blustery wind and a bakery that made the yummiest pasties, mmm! We then had quite a long driving day, heading towards a place called the Valley of Giants - no, it's ok, don't be scared, not giant Whippets, giant trees! The drive there was just lovely with some pretty little towns to drive through, some nice short breaks for a little bit of 'wizzing', then we reached the Giants..and it dawned on Carlin and I that Annie was actually going to walk among the tree tops, away up off the ground - we were not quite so sure about that bit, we were not allowed to go up there, which was quite handy really as Carlin would not have liked it at all and to tell you the truth it even looked a little bit scary to me too. We both got pains in our necks trying to watch Annie and make sure she didn't fall off. But she didn't fall and had a wonderful time up there and then we were off again! We drove into the next town along the way ( Denmark ), just as the sun was going down. But, alas, no dog friendly caravan park, so we back tracked a short way to a sort of roadside rest area just out of town and made ourselves comfy but then some one pulled in behind us with headlights on and we thought we were going to be moved on, but no! it was the farmer and his wife, they had seen us pull in and had come to ask us if we would like to camp in their driveway - people are so very nice! We moved on up to their driveway and before you could say 'bonios' we had met their Labbie and their farm dogs and their elderly little cross bred fluffy dog and shared a cuppa and a yarn with them all! A lovely way to end the day. The next day started in the same way, a shared breakfast with our new friends, then it was on our way to Albany . It wasn't too long a drive so we had a good look around Albany during the afternoon, camped a little way out of town by another beach with even more crashing waves, then back into Albany early in the morning for a whole day of doing the sightseeing thing, checking bakeries etc and reading up a lot on Whales too! The it was off on the road towards Esperance, we overnighted in a rest area with a really big area to play in, which was lovely. The next day was an easy run into Esperence for a 3 night break. It was here that I have to admit that I blotted my copy book big time - we were on the beach enjoying a lovely play when away in the distance a fairly frisky horse suddenly appeared from the sandhills...I (gulp, gulp) just could not help myself, I ran off after the horse, luckily the rider was experienced and stayed on, the horse got a bit of a fright to see me racing up..Annie called me and I (gulp, gulp, gulp) ignored her 2-3 times, she was very cross with me. She was just trying to get my lead clipped on and the rider said 'oh, don't worry, I'll just take off down the other end of the beach.' Annie was trying to tell her I was very fast and would catch up easily when the horse and rider went..and er I am ashamed to say, so did I..this time though I did go back to Annie as soon as she called me..oh yes I remember those Boab prison trees, haven't seen any down here but Annie was in the mood to find one and put me in it for a very l o n g time I think. The rest of our stay was very pleasant and we all enjoyed an alfresco dinner on our last night at a lovely café where they look after dogs too, so that we could sit almost beside Annie while she ate her yummy tea. Tomorrow we are heading for Norseman and then across the Nullarbor! I perhaps that we had better write about that bit next time though! Bye for now, Your mate Clancy, Carlin and Annie