Imaginary Karin - Zappo whippet puppy

Mother Bertha and the whole litter. Zaphod is the pup to the far right.

On March 22, in the year 2005, a litter of puppies were born in a small town in north Sweden. All tiger-striped in brown and black, with white markings. One of them, the male with the white dot on the back of his neck, was destined to be mine.

I visited the breeder and saw the puppies for the first time when they were 5 weeks old, and made up my mind shortly after. They were a lovely couple (the humans I mean) and their dogs were healthy and happy. My puppy came home with me at the end of May 2005, when he was 8 weeks old.

Imaginary Karin - Zappo whippet puppy

8 weeks old and just moved in with me.

Imaginary Karin - Zappo whippet puppy

4 months old

Most puppies are round and fluffy, but not this one. Even that young, whippets are tall and thin and bony. Zappo was all elbows and knees, his head balancing on a lanky neck that seemed far too long for his body. It was the most beautiful little creature I had ever seen. ;)

He was a nice puppy too, calm and gentle, and didn’t chew on anything other than his toys. In hindsight, I got off very easy.

The breeder warned me that whippet puppies can be really destructive, and that the “sighthound dignity” possessed by adult whippets usually doesn’t develop until they’re a few years old. Zappo was dignified from day one, I often joke that he was born an old man.

Imaginary Karin - Zappo whippet

Almost 10 years old (taken in January 2015)

And now it’s been 10 years…
10 years of walking through the forest, climbing mountains, running across open fields… and slacking on the couch eating crisps.

He is the longest relationship I’ve ever had. When I first met him I was 22, now I’m 32. I’ve moved towns, moved apartments, changed jobs and boyfriends, studied and graduated, and always he’s been with me. No matter what has happened in all other aspects of life, I’ve always had my dog. He’s been my one truly solid point in an otherwise ever-changing world.

It’s funny to think about.

Imaginary Karin - Zappo 10th birthday cake

We celebrated last Sunday with a “cake” made from his favourite treat: cat food. Wet and dry.
Thankfully he didn’t want to share it with me, haha!

Happy birthday, you scrawny old mutt! You’re the best friend I’ve ever had. <3