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    Default I Can't Help It - This Is One Ugly Dog

    Wendy the wonder dog still tops web. Whippet has muscles that make her a canine Arnold Schwarzenegger

    Kim Westad, Times Colonist Published: Wednesday, August 20, 2008

    She's got her own website, has had international television crews document her every move -- mostly playing and sleeping -- and still pops up in the Times Colonist top 10 web hits a year after she hit local news, but Wendy the whippet hasn't let it go to her head.

    "It's still a surprise to me. To me, she's just my great dog," said her owner, Ingrid Hansen, who gets a kick out of the stir her muscle-bound whippet causes.

    Wendy has a rare genetic mutation that makes the usual thin and wiry whippet body more akin to a canine Arnold Schwarzenegger. Wendy has two mutated myostatin genes. Whippets with one mutated gene can have increased muscle mass that can enhance their racing performance. Whippets, which look like smaller greyhounds, can run up to 60 kilometres an hour.

    But two of the mutated genes can create a rare creature. They become "double-muscled," and Wendy is a good example. She weighs 27 kilograms, and it's all muscle. Her head is the usual whippet size, as are her heart and lungs, but her muscles are enormous and ripple as she sashays around the Central Saanich acreage where she lives with Hansen, several other dogs and numerous horses.

    Wendy has been part of a U.S. genetics study and was written up in the New York Times, numerous B.C. papers and the Daily Mail in London.

    Since the June 2007 Times Colonist story, Wendy and Hansen have been flown to New York to appear on The Today Show, and two crews from Japanese television stations have come to tape Wendy.

    Wendy has taken to the attention with her usual nonchalance, Hansen said.

    Wendy's not one for taking commands that easily, but obedience school has helped -- a bit.

    "Let's put it this way: I love it, and she tolerates it grudgingly. She does quite well with sits and downs, but when it comes to recall, she ambles, meanders and generally takes her time."

    The overwhelming interest in Wendy led Hansen to set up a website -- www.wendytheincrediblewhippet.com -- so that people can learn about the genetic mutation.

    There's a slideshow of Wendy -- sleeping on a leather couch, sleeping on her bed, sleeping on the grass -- and photos of her playing with her dog buddies.

    Hansen recently added a miniature poodle, Bandit, to her family. Bandit weighs in at seven kilograms, but Hansen has no worries about their disparity in size.

    "She wrestles with him and plays. She just loves him."

    Because of the extra weight Wendy carries, her life span is expected to be shortened. She's now five and shows no signs of ill health, Hansen said.


    Photocredit:

    Wendy the muscular whippet hasn't let stardom go to her head.
    Bruce Stotesbury, Times Colonist
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    She's in better shape than a lot of people I know (probably smarter, too)!
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    She's in better shape than a lot of people I know (probably smarter, too)!
    Yes, I'll give you that much! On ALL counts. Probably a lot happier than most too.

    I gotta admit though, looking at the picture again, I am starting to get images of Wylie Coyote after he takes the Acme "Get Muscles" pills. Or was that the "Make Earthquake" pills?

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    That dog is not ugly. That dog is fugly! Puts me in mind of one of my students some years ago. He was missing from classes for about three months, then came back bulked up all over. He thought body building and martial arts would be a good combination... Maybe. Sometimes. But he was musclebound (like that dog looks) and had lost his flexibility! He couldn't even touch his hands above his head.

    Anywa, back to the story of the ugly dogling!
    "Professional" means your attitude to the job...

    Nullus Anxietas ..... (T Pratchett)

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