Quad-City Creatures By Heidi Dahms Foster, Prescott Valley, Arizona A local blog all about pets and pet activities in the quad-city area.PV, Prescott and beyond.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Dog show smaller this year, but still full of fun
Heidi Dahms-Foster Special to the Tribune
Top, this dog's owners arent' bluffing - he won Best in Show in Prescott, too. Bottom, this Briard, a herding breed, was a standout. Photos by Heidi Dahms Foster
The Prescott Arizona Kennel Club dog show in Chino Valley was understandably smaller this year, given the state of the economy, but it was still great fun, and very well attended by local folks.
We went out on Saturday and while it was hot, the weather held all day and no one got drenched or nearly carried off in a wind gust, which can happen more often than not. At this show, you have to be prepared for all contingencies. But dog show people are as rabid (please excuse the pun) as golfers, and it takes a lot to make us back off.
The first thing we saw after we parked was a beautiful big rig with a photo of an Affenpinscher and a big ribbon, and the words "Best in Show" painted on virtually the entire back panel. Now, that's someone who is proud of the family dog, and I guess they should be, because little Champion Tamarin Tug did indeed, win best in show on Sunday.
We enjoyed checking out all the different breeds, and I always seem to come away with a favorite. This year, it was a lovely Briard, the only one, as it turns out, that showed. It was Champion Celebratia Vintageeightyfour, owned by Christi Leigh of Carlsbad, New Mexico. This was a very cool dog that was obviously enjoying the whole show thing.
I caught up with old acquaintances with whom I used to show Shetland Sheepdogs years ago. Jo and Ponder Virden of Loyal Shelties have been in the breed since I was a teenager, and that was a lot of dog shows ago! Jo now judges, as well as continuing to handle her own dogs.
One of my favorite things about big AKC dog shows is visiting the vendor booths to find out what's new. I always come away with the thought "what will they come up with next?" This year, it's the folding chairs with canopies that raise and lower to shade you while you sit! Not only that, but when you fold them up, they snap together in one neat little cover that's easy to carry and store. And...they have backpack straps. Yup, we bought a couple. I wanted hot pink but settled for camouflage since we'll use them during our birding forays!
For the second year, Toni Tenille of Captain and Tenille fame sang the National Anthem at the opening of Sunday's show. Toni loves Australian Shepherds, and she and her Aussie Smoky are part of the PAWS (Pets Are Warm Support) program at Yavapai Regional Medical Center. PAWS is part of the national Delta Society Therapy Dogs program and the group had a booth at the show.
Finally, Rally Obedience has caught on in AKC in a big way, and this show featured a trial. Unlike traditional obedience trials, in Rally, handlers can talk to their dogs throughout the course, which changes each show. The course is timed, and handlers read signs that tell them each exercise, which might be a circle, a recall, a down/stay, or any number of other maneuvers. It's fun and fast paced, and the dogs and handlers both seem to love it.
If you haven't been to one of these shows, plan to attend next fall. It's great spectator fun, especially trying to outguess the judges. My husband attended his first dog show with me when we were engaged. After the show, I asked him if he had fun. He said, "Yes, but for the life of me, I can't figure out what those judges are looking for!"
I had to tell him that after 35 years in dogs, most of the time, neither can I!