A shaky start
Nova was born by emergency caesarian section. She and her brother were the surviving pups from a litter of four. Sadly the other two did not make it. One was mummified and the other could not be resuscitated at birth. .
We are so lucky to have her, and lucky to still have her mum. We almost lost her, and the pups.
The first 12 months
When I picked Nova and her brother up all I had to take them home was the ‘grumpy bed’. This is a plastic bed I inherited from my mum which all the pups have been in at some point. It was the bed they took Miah in to do her x-rays and ultrasound before surgery. They were so lively I had to go back in and borrow a cat carrier to make sure they didn’t escape from the bed in the car. I couldn’t put them in with Miah as there was no guarantee that she wouldn’t harm them as she never ‘gave birth’ to them in the physical sense. Although they did latch on at the vets.
I didn’t need to worry though, they were straight on the milk bar as soon as we got home and Miah was attentive, content and protective. We weighed them that night as the vet didn’t give me a birth weight. Nova was 11oz, probably around 9oz at birth. So that’s where we started..
For those wondering, the dogs are weighed in a harness suspended from digital scales with the weight of the harness zeroed out. A bit like fishing scales!
Why is she called Nova?
My late mother had a ‘theme’ with her whippet names. That theme was the moon. When we got Miah, she was named for the (allegedly) aborigine word for “moon”. Nova’s sire has a name that also relates to an astral theme so we decided to name our ‘little star’ Nova.
She also answers to “Oh God!” & “What have you done NOW?”.
Why breed? Why not adopt?
It’s not really that simple. Until my mother died, Miah was an only dog and although we hoped to get another in time she was an ‘only child’ until she was 5 years old. She never really learned to share with other dogs. We decided to have a litter so she had her own kin to cuddle up with as she got older. A rescue was less likely to fit in, and we also had to consider the two girls I inherited from mum.
At (then) 12 years old we didn’t want to disrupt the dynamic too much, and Miah wasn’t getting any younger. We had homes lined up for all the pups although sadly with half the litter not making it, we kept Nova and her brother went to a family friend.
Are you going to race Nova?
When I first published this page I didn’t know if we were going to. But after being stuck down south in a cycle of collapsed house sales we decided to let her have a go.
She recently gained her racing passport with the WCRA (Whippet Club Racing Association). A lot depends on proximity to a club, aptitude and also whether we want to carry on. We’ve never been 100% in the commitment stakes.
Will you breed from Nova?
No. Absolutely not. The litter was a once-in-a-lifetime thing and we have no desire to repeat it. Far too stressful. If we get any more / another dog it will be rescue only. We’d like to adopt a greyhound/galgo or podenco at some point, but not while we have two very small, elderly whippets.