Who was Dot Gammie & why is there a race meet in her memory?
Dot with her daughter Janet’s Golden.
I was asked to write something about my mother Dorotha (Dot) Gammie after her passing (January 5 1926 – September 12, 2012) since she was one of two people the club had granted Honorary Membership (the other was Louis Pegram) and why she was so honored.
Mom got into whippets when she and my dad got me my first whippet in 1967, Ch. Stoney Meadows Saratoga. We showed him and bred him for a stud puppy, Ch. Wilpat Gregg’s Shenendoah. During this time we were also very active in racing with the MWCC, (Mid-West Coursing Club), which held all sighthound racing events in the Chicago area.
In 1969 several members of the MWCC were afraid the AWC (American Whippet Club) would institute a rule forbidding all sighthound clubs from running NPR whippet races, the only organized whippet racing at the time and long before LGRA was formed. Mom & I were at that meeting and were part of the team that wrote the Constitution & Bylaws of the Mid America Whippet Club. One of the goals of the club was to bring a show specialty back to Chicago. The AWC had recently moved the Midwest Specialty from Chicago to Medina OH.
After contacting AKC to see what that would take, it was found that they would not allow a regional club name so the club was renamed the Greater Chicago Whippet Club (GCWC). Mom became the show chair, she ran the fun matches and collected the donations for the shows the club supported in the area.
After awhile the club lost it’s initial reason for being and most members dropped out. Mom kept things going by becoming Pres., VP, Sec, Treas. & Show Chair. She kept the club alive and before the whippet public for several years by getting donations for and supporting several area shows with trophies from the GCWC. At this time the club would have completely disappeared without her.
During this time she also showed her own whippet, with some professional handling too, to 9th in the country, by the Knight system. That was Ch. WilPat Dottie’s Xmas Waltz, CD (Chrissie).
In about 1980 she collected the names of many people showing and racing in the area and sent out notices of a meeting to revive the club and make it a real organization. Lots of people responded and the club was reborn. The club held many AKC “B” matches in it’s effort to reach a specialty. Mom helped with the club reorganization and the fun matches for a long time. But by now she was dropping out of being really active in whippet organizations and leaving it to younger people.
The GCWC has come a long way since then with many NPR race meets, WRA race meets and several highly regarded show specialties since the reorganization.
But none of it would have happened if the club hadn’t been held together as a skeleton in those interim years and Mom hadn’t had the foresight to send that mailing to get people interested in joining and reviving it. Lots and lots of people have kept it going since then, for her contribution Mom was awarded an Honorary Membership when she stopped being a very active member. She always treasured that and was very happy that it let her keep up with the things the club and whippet people were doing in Chicago.
How we got in whippets.
My sister was in love with dog & horses. My parents decided that the horse game was too expensive for us to be in.
So they got her a beagle from Johjean kennels, which were owned by John and Jean Refieuna who were friends of my father. We showed Judge to his championship and I showed in Junior Showmanship. Their son had a whippet and so did Pat Brown,who became mutual friend. I liked the whippets and the beagles. One day at the International Kennel Club dog show we were watching the exhibition whippet racing and Dad turned to me and said “would you like to do that?” I said, “Yes! That looks like lots of fun.” Next Christmas I got a whippet for Christmas and the adventure began.
Del Wasso Memorial Race Meet.
As a teen living in Chicago, Del worked stock & dog shows to earn spending money, doing everything from shoveling cow and dog “droppings”, to birthing calves. Working at the International Amphitheater (this was in the back of the yards stock shows & IKC dog shows) he saw his first whippets at age 16, this was in 1962. He fell in love!!!!!!
Later, around 1965, he saw his first whippet race meet and that was the beginning of the end – or more accurately that was the start of a new beginning. He had to have one of those sprinting rockets! He obtained his first whippet that same year. Del started showing whippets in ’71 or ’72, his first real race contender was around ’74 or ’75. Since then a whippet has been by his side … if not more than one!
The three dogs out of Del’s past that he is the most proud of are (Poppy) Ch. Delphi Echo of Seymore (13 ARM pts) and her sire (Seymore…the wonder whippet) Lincolinway Blueprint CD, and (Jack, the giant killer) Ch. Alpine Applejack who can still be found in many pedigrees. Above photo taken of Del during a race meet taking the lure back.
Del & Maggie also bred Flag x CC to produced Timmee Delphi Dynamite WRCh, ORC and Indy WRChX, ORC. They also bred several other litters which provided many of us with wonderful pets, many of which did a great job of racing though not meet winners.
Their breeding, Indy (Delphi Rock U Like a Hurricane) , sired Bull (Windwalker Unbelievabull) and Tuff (Windwalker Cowboy Up).
Del and Maggie were active members of the GCWC for many years and Del was a charter member of the GCWC, attending the meeting in 1969 which formed the club. They have let the club use the race track on their property for race meets and practices since they purchased it. Del has always been an outspoken voice for whippets and whippet racing. Having been active in racing for so many years Del built up an extensive knowledge of whippets and race training all of which he was very generous in sharing with anyone who asked, or needed help with training.
Dawn, Waco , Vickie, Jasper and Pepper