Meet Wendy, the Bully Whippet

This is a post I’ve been aiming to write for a while. It has sat as a draft on my computer since I started the blog, and today I felt it was the right time for it to come out. It’s the emotional story of a sweet whippet girl, Wendy, trapped in an oversized, overmuscular body.

Although whippets are generally a very healthy breed, there is one terrible genetic disease that can affect them – and only them – the “Bully Whippet Syndrome”. Although it does not affect their general state of health, this syndrome leaves the very few whippets who are born with it looking unusually big and muscular. Labels such as ‘monsters’, ‘freaks of nature’, ‘mutants’ and even ‘Arnold Schwarzenegger of the canine world” have been eagerly attached to these poor creatures by inconsiderate people who would undoubtedly call nasty names to humans suffering from any kind of physical disability or disfigurement.

But what is the “Bully Whippet Syndrome”? It is a genetic disease manifested by a mutation in the myostatin gene, which causes double-muscling. The myostatin gene regulates muscle mass and affects muscle composition, which can increase racing speed. Whilst possessing one copy of this mutation seems to be an advantage for racing whippets and does not seem to be regarded as a defect, dogs that possess two copies are severely overmuscled, well beyond the limits of normality. This makes them look like the cattle suffering from the same mutation, hence the name of the syndrome. Since I am not a geneticist, I will not plunge into the scientific details of this syndrome, which I don’t fully understand. However, if you are interested in learning more about this double-muscling syndrome – which can also affect humans – you will find an interesting article here.

With this, we’ve come to the end and most exciting part of my post. It’s time to meet Wendy and the woman who saw beyond physical appearance and loves her for who she is inside.  

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24 Comments

Filed under Health

24 responses to “Meet Wendy, the Bully Whippet

  1. Wow, never heard of this condition. But once again, proof, that our unique qualities are what makes us able to serve the world in our own special way.

  2. I’ve never heard of this before, but I have seen pictures of a dog before that I’m sure had this disease. At the time, I figured that it was a Photoshop job or something. I’m so glad that Wendy has someone who loves her for who she is!

    • When I first found out about Wendy a couple of years ago, I too thought the photos were fake and messed with in Photoshop. Obviously, they’re not, and I thought Wendy’s case was worth publicising. Luckily, her condition does not affect her ability to lead a healthy, normal life and, as you say, she’s truly loved, which is all that matters.

  3. Your blog is always so educational! Thanks for giving Bully Whippets a “Bully Pulpit” for the day!

  4. I love hearing about Wendy 🙂 I remember being shocked after first seeing a photo of her, but learning about the condition made me view her in a different way.

  5. Wow, i wish i was that ripped. lol
    Seriously there is nothing wrong with that dog besides, it is perfectly healthy

    • Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment, Richard. I agree that there’s nothing wrong with her, but you’d be surprised at how many nasty comments I’ve read about her on various sites and forums. Off-topic, I’ve had a little browse through your blog. Very interesting, I love the different personas you’ve created and the way you use them in your artistic projects.

  6. I’ve never heard of this condition or seen it before. I’m so pleased Wendy has a Mum who loves her and thinks she’s beautiful. She has such lovely eyes, very soulful.

    • Thanks for your comment. I agree that Wendy has the most beautiful eyes, a proper sighthound through and through. Also, she is a lucky girl to have somebody recognise her inner beauty.
      Speaking of beautiful dogs, yours are gorgeous. I love greyhounds anyway, the only reason we didn’t get one ourselves was that they seemed too big for us when we started looking. I love your website, too, and that last post is very interesting. I tried to leave a comment, I hope it worked 🙂

      • I just went back through my last couple of blog posts and no, sorry, your comment didn’t show:( I’d love to know what you said;)

      • I tried to leave a comment on your “Only 6” post, to congratulate you on receiving the Stylish Blogger Award and share my opinion on the male/female dominance in the blogging world. I don’t know why, but WordPress doesn’t always like Blogspot. Weird…

      • For what’s it worth, I tried to leave a comment on the Greyhounds CAN Sit blog as well and I don’t think it went through. In addition to being a cool blog, I was drawn to it because my husband and I took a “trip-of-a-lifetime” to New Zealand and we feel in love with the country. Anyhow, not sure the message got through! So it’s not just you, Didi!

  7. I’ll admit, I had to double check the date of this post…thought it might be an April Fool’s post.

    Wendy is a stunner. I like to imagine she spends her evenings on the weight bench and drinking protein shakes. 😀

    So glad that she was found by someone who appreciates her uniqueness!

  8. I think Wendy is adorable. Her stomach in the video is crazy. Nice post Didi.

  9. I have heard and read about this condition before and it is fairly heartbreaking, mostly due to social stigma. But I know there are many health problems that come along with it.

    Wendy seems like a wonderful dog. Thank you for telling her story. There are just too many like this. The things we humans have done… I am glad Wendy won’t have to worry about anything any more.

    • She does seem like a nice girl, doesn’t she? There’s something really sweet in her eyes. Lucky girl, too, to have found true love. And don’t start me on what I think about (some) humans…

  10. Hi Didi, So glad to read this post you’ve had tucked away in Drafts. I think it really encompasses your big heart! And as you said, it’s why you started the blog. Now your blog is off and running, and even introducing people like me (with a fear of dogs) to the softer, gentler, almost human side of canines. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Pingback: Strongest Dog In The World, Wendy the Whippet! (Video) | GYM FLOW 100

  12. Pingback: Strongest Dog In The World, Wendy the Whippet! (Video) | dietandworkout.net

  13. Anna James

    I just love Wendy she is cool and Awesome I wish I can meet her! She seems just like a regular dog that loves to play and is just normal. I don’t care if she has muscle or if she’s pretty she is an ordinary dog which is really cool! First time I saw Wendy I told my brother if he thought it was real and he said no its photo shopped I said nope its totally real and I didn’t even read the description if it was it just looked real to me. Wendy is like the only dog I ever saw that is really strong.

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