By DIANE R
Photo: OBSERVER?Photo by Diane R. Chodan. Victoria Meek of Hamilton, Ontario, was awarded the ribbon for Best Amateur-Owner-Handler in the show at the Southern Tier Cluster dog show held at the fairgrounds in Dunkirk. Her dog was a young Dalmatian.
There were about 3,500 entries in the cluster dog show that ran from Thursday through Sunday at the Chautauqua County Fairgrounds in Dunkirk.
The Southern Tier Cluster, consisting of the Olean Kennel Club and the Conewango Valley Kennel Club, sponsored the event.
James Pesce, though tired near the end of the show Sunday, was pleased. “The show was excellent. We had a great turnout; everyone seemed to like the facility.”
Many agreed with Pesce. Judy Hartley, the co-chair said, “There is much more room here. I like it being indoors.”
Diane Small of Hamburg said, “The facility has a lot more spaces (than Stockton). Even on a hot day, it is better. There is a huge fan we can use. People seem to be more comfortable here.”
Amy Lent of Randolph, a vendor whose two border collies and one golden retriever sat calmly at her feet, disagreed. ” There is not enough aisle space here. Stockton was outside and I liked it.”
Lindsey Bartholf of Batavia said, “(Stockton and Dunkirk) were about equal for me. We went back and forth (to Batavia) each day.”
Victoria Meek of Hamilton, Ontario, who eventually won the best Amateur-Owner-Handler in show, had no basis for comparison. She has only been showing for six months so didn’t attend the show in Stockton last year. However, even before her final win, she was obviously enjoying herself.
She said, “I have been here since Thursday. The weather was beautiful. I love the facility and the staff has been great.”
She obviously did a great job. She and her young dalmatian seemed to have a connection. At the end of the competition after her win, Small told her, “That dog is just going to get better as it matures.”
Competitors were very willing to explain about their dogs.
Sara Heavens who showed a Polish lowland sheepdog said she had chosen the dog because her last dog was a border collie and she wanted something similar, “but not the same.” She said Flo was a wonderful dog, but conceded that as official information warned, she could be a little stubborn. The dog is an old breed and as its name indicates comes from Poland. During World War II, the breed was almost lost. It is relatively new in the United States.
A fan of Skye Terriers explained that the breed comes from the Isle of Skye off the west coast of Scotland. He said there are only about 41 of this breed in the United States. He explained the breed is twice as long as it is high. A very devoted dog, one Skye Terrier, Bobby, is famous for guarding his master’s grave in Edinburgh for 14 years. A statue to the dog was erected in Edinburgh in 1873. Books and movies have been made about Greyfriars Bobby.
Lindsey Bartholf won her first amateur-owner-handler award in the hound class. Her dog, Rush, was a long-haired dachshund. He was unusual because of his cream color, perfectly legal, but not often shown according to Lindsey. Lindsey got some sleep between competitions, but Rush stayed alert and had perfect manners.
A fan of Norfolk terriers (Roxanne) said, “They are sweet and cute and are a nice size.”
At the other end of the spectrum were the large dogs like a Giant schanuzer who struck a magnificent pose.
Pesce indicated that he would like to return next year.