Surrey  Hill  Whippets
About Us

   
   


Surrey Hill Whippets was begun in 1979 by Carolyn J. Bowers, whose roots in purebred dogs and purebred dog activities go back to the 1950's. She achieved success in other breeds, most notably Pembroke Welsh Corgis, before finding her first Whippets from two exceptional litters bred by Dr. Barbara Henderson, Whippoorwill. Carolyn was also active and successful in Greyhounds during most of the time she was active in the Whippet breed, but after her husband John retired and moved the kennel to Florida, Whippets gradually were de-emphasized in favor of toy breeds such as Chinese Cresteds and Toy Manchesters. She has also had recent success with her Border Collies, and has been a longtime and active obedience instructor and exhibitor, and was an active AKC-licensed judge for a number of years. All of Surrey Hill's top Whippet sires lived with Carolyn, as did all of the top-winning show bitches. Although just about everyone in Whippets knows of Carolyn's reputation as a breeder/exhibitor, and a judge of the breed, not enough people know of her public service work. She has been honored for her public education programs on responsible dog ownership in the Volusia County Schools, and is noted as an instructor and trainer who is highly sought-after by people who are eager to learn. She has helped develop disaster plans for pet owners during hurricane evacuations. She has manned many public information booths on both the breed, and on dog ownership and training in general. Her contributions to the fancy go way beyond the champions she has bred and the great ones she has owned.

This website is the creation of Carolyn's daughter, Karen Bowers Lee--that's me--with a tremendous amount of help from my Brazilian friend, Saulo Jr. P. Biscoto. The content herein is all written by me, so it is to me that any corrections or other correspondence concerning the content of this site should be addressed. If you simply want to write a little note to my mother about some of our old dogs, their descendents, here e-mail address is surreyhill@cfl.rr.com . What I hope is that this website will serve as a resource for people who are interested in learning more about what some of dogs with those funny names way back their in pedigrees actually looked like, and also be interesting to people who enjoy looking at and critiquing lines of dogs from a kennel which has bitch lines that trace back five generations or more.

I did not begin breeding Whippets until I was out in Washington State for graduate school in 1986, but started to handle the kennel's homebreds in 1983. I am still an active Whippet breeder/exhibitor and have increased my participation in performance events throughout my association with the breed. For better or for worse, I have maintained the Surrey Hill bitch lines which are ongoing today and I do account for three ROMX-qualified Surrey Hill dams, have co-bred a fourth, and am additionally a point-of-contact for breeder referral and a very active local Whippet and sighthound club member, who enjoys particularly putting on successful events for my clubs. My emphasis is on dual-purpose, and working with the public. Although my husband's career has resulted in four moves within the last ten years, I have continued to offer "in-home" visits for persons from my area who are curious about Whippets and simply want more information and to see and visit with Whippets of a variety of ages and sexes in a relaxed and informal way, with no pressure to buy a puppy. If you live within two hours of SE Pennsylvania, and would like to arrange for a home visit to get more information about the breed and see and spend time with Whippets, you may contact me through the e-mail button on this website. I am also a color-genetics buff for the breed, and a good resource for people who are puzzled about the inheritance of coat colors in Whippets. I might not answer all non-time sensitive correspondence immediately, but I will get back to you.

Through the years, we have had our share of ups and downs. If you work a bloodline long enough, you will occasionally have something arise which you did not anticipate, and which you would not wish to perpetuate. But, when I was putting together and assembling pictures and information on all of these dogs, I was struck more by the good memories of our breeding program than of those few litters which contained a problem or defect. I really do credit many of the great people in the Whippet world for helping us to achieve those heights of success, as well as for being there for us at times when we had some very hard and painful decisions to make. We also have to give a great deal of credit to the breeders of our foundation stock for starting us of on such a firm footing in the breed, and to friends who brought their own unique insights and talents to some very successful co-bred litters which worked out great for all of us--specifically, Jeanne Simonsen, Kathy Armato, and Linda Buchholz. We have to credit the breeders who have sold us lovely dogs to help compliment our own stock, dogs whose special place in our lives and our line should be apparent when you see their photos and read a little bit about them here. We have to thank the many owners of our puppies and adult dogs, show, performance, and pet, for doing right by them and giving them a chance to reach their potential in a loving and secure home. We couldn't forget our co-owners and co-breeders whose efforts have complimented, or even exceeded, our own. We also have to credit all of the longtime fanciers who helped to mentor us and the friends who provide a sounding board and feedback when we need help with a decision. They know who they are and have the phone bills to prove it!

Surrey Hill runs an open breeding program, and all of our litters are available at any time to anyone who wishes to see them, whether they are a potential puppy buyer or not. We utilize the pre-breeding health tests that are normally recommended for Whippets prior to breeding, including a heart check, Baer-test, and an eye exam, but producing a good litter encompasses far more than just that. Our goal has always been a good mind in a sound body, and a Whippet which is strong in all of the key aspects of breed type and temperament which make this breed unique from all others. If, in addition, we can perpetuate a certain "Surrey Hill" look and give that puppy a bit of speed and a lot of keenness, then that is all to the good. But our first goal is temperament and our secondary goals are vigour, soundness, and type. We are not color-biased, and are very proud of the outstanding bitches and dogs of the blue dilute shades we have produced through the years, and are never more delighted then when we get a "rainbow" litter where no two pups are the same. We prefer to concentrate on a few strong producers, instead of breeding all of our champions, so you will find that many of our good champion bitches had one, or no, litters at all.

Currently, Surrey Hill Whippets accounts for around one to one-and-a-half litters a year, on average. Most of my pet puppies are waitlisted before they are even born. I will put news about upcoming litters which are due to arrive in the near future on my "News" page. If you live in the Mid-Atlantic states, and need to find a responsible breeder, please e-mail me and I will try to help you. If you live elsewhere in the USA, you should contact the AWC Breeder Referral Co-ordinator, Mary Downing (whimsey@get.net). Excellent general information on the breed can be found on the AWC's website http://www.americanwhippetclub.net/whipfaq.html FAQ, which I helped to put together.




                                                             
                                                             Pungo at almost 10 years old