By Samantha Foster
The phrase “you dirty dog” won’t be heard at the Capital City Circuit of All-Breed Dog Shows this week and next.
That is because these dogs are immaculately groomed and even spritzed with perfume by their owners and handlers.
The dogs, magnificent to behold, circled briskly around Landon Arena at Friday’s dog show. In an adjacent room, owners bathed, trimmed and combed their show dogs.
Marcy Wyrens, of Ceresco, Neb., said this part of the show was a beauty contest and compared it to prom.
“It’s a fun addiction for most of us,” Wyrens said.
Wyrens said she brings about 15 dogs to each show she attends, and she enjoys coming to Topeka. She said the Kansas Expocentre was a nice venue for the dog show.
Linda Briden, vice president of sales and marketing at Visit Topeka Inc., said dog shows have been good for the city’s economy.
After 9/11, Briden said, the city lost a lot of income because people were pulling back in several areas, including meetings and travel. Brainstorming resulted in the idea of having dog events come to the Expocentre.
She said this show is generating about 10 days worth of business from people coming in and out. The city is expecting about 2,000 attendees and more than 700 room nights at hotels. Briden said other dog shows have been scheduled for this year and next, and negotiations are under way for others.
For Wyrens and her friends, the shows are about having fun and loving their breeds.
Kerri Murphy, of Winfield, brought her Irish wolfhound, Feileacan (the Gaelic word for “butterfly”) to the show. Murphy has been attending dog shows for about 15 years.
Catherine Hoage, of St. Louis, is only 19 years old, but she has been showing dogs for seven years. She said she saw dog shows on TV when she was about 8 years old and told her mother she wanted to join in. Now she has four papillons and tries to attend a couple of dog shows each month.
The Capital City Circuit dog show is free to the public. It runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday this week and next week at the Expocentre. It is sponsored by the Topeka Kennel Club, the Manhattan Kansas Kennel Club, the Jesse James Kennel Club and the Greater Emporia Kennel Club.
Read more: THE CAPITAL-JOURNAL