Westminster Whippet Missing

Whippet owners asking for assistance in locating the lost dog.

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Below is a letter about the search for Vivi courtesy of Paul Lepiane
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Hello to everyone,

I just returned home to California from New York last night. I am sorry that I am not able to respond individually to the hundreds of kind and concerned e-mails, so I am sending this detailed summary of what has been happening for the last 19 days.

Vivi
Photo of Vivi, Lost on Feb. 15, 2006

On Thursday, Feb. 9th Bo Bengtson and I left for New York for the Westminster Kennel Club dog show. Jil Walton and her friends and family flew in with Vivi (Ch. Bohem Cest La Vie, whom Jil and I co-own) on Friday. I got Vivi and her crate from Jil on Monday evening so I could bathe and prepare her for showing on Tuesday Morning. She spent the night sleeping in either the crate or our beds. She did well at the show and received one of the two Awards of Merit offered in Whippets. Jil took her back to her hotel that evening.

For her flight home, Jil and her sister Jamie got to JFK International Airport on Wednesday, Feb. 15, and checked their baggage and Vivi in at about 9:45 AM at Delta Airlines. At about 11:40 AM when Jil was on the plane watching Vivis crate being loaded, she noticed one of the baggage handlers peering into the crate. Jil assumed he was talking to Vivi. A few minutes later one of the flight attendants told Jil there was no dog in the crate. Jil assumed Vivi was loose in the baggage area below and went to get her (she's very good about coming when called). When she got down there she found out that Vivi had escaped earlier and that she had already been followed by car for about two miles along an airport perimeter fence (the driver said she was running at 25 miles per hour). She then slipped through some coiled razor-wire fencing at the end of the runway that leads into marshland and then Jamaica Bay. That was the last she had been seen.

We do not know how she got out of her crate. The spring-loaded latch appears broken. It could have been dropped, other baggage could have slammed into it, or ?????

Port Authority Police (Port Authority is the organization the owns and manages the entire airport, as well as ports, etc.) drove Jil and Jamie (and later Bo when he arrived) all around the airport and especially the area where Vivi was last seen so they could call and look  for her. At Jils insistence helicopters were sent up trying to locate her from above.

Bo and I were on our way to the airport when we received a call from friends in California that they had heard a Whippet was loose at the airport. We called Jil and found out that it was Vivi. We met Jil and Jamie there about 5:00 PM. We also called local New York friends Honi and Carol Reisman since they know so much more than any of us about the lay of the land in that area.

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