MARION — The 64th annual Crab Orchard Kennel Club dog show brought nearly 500 dogs to town for the two-day event at Marion’s Pavilion.
Natalie Weasel of Harrisburg, a COKC member, showed her Coton de Tulear named “Egyptian Cotton Daimonds for Natalie,” known at home as Sia. Sia was raised by Tracy and Kent McKown of Herrin.
Weasel also showed off his black poodle named “Natalie’s No Doubt.”
Weasel has been showing dogs for 10 years. She said it took about five years to learn the role of a dog handler.
Both of his breeds require specialized grooming to look their best. For owners of short-haired, smooth-coated dogs, this seems a bit difficult. A poodle that is shown must have a certain cut. It takes hours to get them ready for the show ring.
Her little dog, Sia, has long white hair and also takes some grooming. Weasel said she brushes Sia every day to keep her hair in good shape.
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Pittsburgh club members Tom and Ruth Ann Rabideau showed two dogs. Ruth Ann Rabideau has Australian Shepherds and showed ‘Propwash Fired Up Patriot’. Tom showed off his Wirehaired Pointing Griffin named “Glacier’s Luck Be a Lady”, affectionately known as Frankie.
The competition pits each dog against their breed’s standards, which are determined by the American Kennel Club. Dogs are judged by age, gender and their victories. The judge chooses the best of each category to be judged best of breed.
The winner then steps into the ring for the best of the group contest. Dog breeds are divided into seven groups. Groups are Sporting, Hounds, Working, Terriers, Toy, Shepherds and Non-Sporting.
The winners of each group compete for the title of best of the show. The winner of the title is the dog that best exemplifies the standards of its breed.
Dogs compete in two classes, one includes professional handlers or agents. The other is for dogs shown by their owners. Each group selects its own Best of Breed, Group and Best in Show.
Although Ruth Ann Rabideau said Frankie doesn’t always behave for her, she replaced her husband to show Frankie on Sunday. The pair won Best of Breed and Best of Group to compete for Best of Show. They finished fourth.
Sunday’s best show winner was a Rottweiler called ‘Keeper’ presented by Holley Eldred.
Eldred won Best Show three years ago at the COKC Dog Show with Keeper’s grandfather. His father won Best Reserve, a title given to the best dog of the opposite sex as the winner. This year, Keeper kept Eldred’s reputation and family name alive by winning.
Eldred is an agent, which means she gets paid to show dogs to other owners. She works to make the dogs enjoy being with her in the ring. Keeper had to get a belly massage to celebrate the win.
The top reserve on Sunday was a Whippet named Adelle who was shown off by Cheslie Smithey.
A German Shepherd was named Best in Show on Saturday. Her name was Ruby and she was shown by Lennie Brown.
Club member Claire Stretch from Goreville introduced her two dogs, both Basset Fave de Bretagne. Their full names are ‘Salow D’Aahroo Boogity Boogity’, a male known as Boo, and ‘S. Héloïse du Rallye de Ramondens’, a female known as Bonnie.
They competed in the open category.
For more information about Crab Orchard Kennel Club, visit their Facebook page.
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