It might have been the nicest weekend the Kenai Kennel Club has ever had since they began hosting dog shows in 1970. Thursday and Friday clear blue skies and gentle breezes made for perfect canine performances at the Skyview campus and ideal camping conditions for the 500 some participants that came from all over the lower 48 for the show. “We’re very appealing to dog lovers from all over because it’s a fun place to visit, bring their show dogs and do some fishing while they’re here enjoying the beautiful scenery,” said Kenai Kennel Chief Steward Rickie Daniels after the first day of show. Daniels, who has been doing dog shows for over thirty years estimated that with 355 entries just in the confirmation classes alone and agility classes having another 300 entries plus the obedience rally that well over 500 people were here to participate in the show not including spectators. “Agility has become very popular for spectators whether they have an entry or not, watching those little dogs and the big ones too go through the tunnels over the ramps and up the ladders so fast is truly entertaining and brings a lot of people out to watch,” she said.
After Friday’s judging the Best of Show went to an Irish Setter named “Remi” shown by Stevie Collins of Wasilla and owned by Cookie Sheehan of Anchorage. Reserve Best of Show was a rough collie named “Secret” from Palmer, shown by Laurie Jeff of Flagstaff, Arizona. “I’m a full time professional handler and I do over 150 shows a year, my grandmother had show dogs so I’ve being doing it since I was a kid. The Kenai show is a great excuse to come to Alaska for vacation and escape the desert heat,” said Jeff. According to Laurie the key to being a good handler is being an exceptionally good groomer, “They have to also know how to groom and present the dog and have to have a good way with the dog itself and the way they train them. A professional can pretty much show any dog. Some of the breeds are harder than others and have to spend more time with their handlers but it varies from breed to breed. My grandmother bred collies so I’m naturally partial to collies and I first met Secret at a show in Arizona so it’s a pleasure to come and show her here in Kenai,” she said.
Check out all the activities of the Kenai Kennel Club at their website at www.kenaikennelclub.com or like them on facebook.