The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


June 9, 2014

Dogs have their day

MIDDLEBURG — Dog owners from across the mid-Atlantic region came to Middleburg on Sunday morning to get their canine companions ready for an August competition that will attract dogs from across the country.

Sunday’s match was held at the Fireman’s Fairground, along Edmond Avenue, from 11 a.m. to about 12:30 p.m.

With a point show coming up in August, where competitors can be scored in an official American Kennel Club competition, Sunday’s event was intended mainly for training.

The point show in August will attract 600 to 700 dogs and will feature vendors and tent stands, said Cadie Pruss, match show chairwoman for the Mid Susquehanna Valley Kennel Club.

“Dogs from all over the country will come in August,” Pruss said. “This is kind of like a dress rehearsal.”

The dogs who won best overall puppy and best overall adult dog on Sunday were both owned by the same competitor, Linda Beamer, of McSherrystown. Both of her dogs, Ethan, the puppy, and Lily, the adult dog, are long-haired dachshunds.

The match also gave owners and dogs new to shows a chance to learn the ropes. The canines had the chance to learn how to be set up for a show and how to stand still while judges evaluated them based on a written standard for each breed.

“It’s important to practice for the point shows,” Pruss said. “It’s getting harder to find (practice) matches,” she added, as many local dog clubs see them as more effort than they’re worth.

Robert and Anita Dickie, of Reading, are 45-year veterans of dog shows and have made Middleburg a regular stop. “This is a nice show, a nice match,” said Robert Dickie, while Anita was showing their 9-month-old Afghan hound, Breezy. The husband and wife have shown “too many (dogs) to count” over their years competing.

“We know all the people,” he said, and the friends made in the hobby are one of the main reasons he and his wife keep coming back to it.

“It’s a wonderful sport,” he said.

Dru and Mark Katz, of Parton, Md., traveled 2 1/2 hours to be at Sunday’s match. They showed their three chihuahuas, all 6-year-old sisters, named Amorini Kittery, Amorini Sleigh Bells and Amorini Hot Sauce. “Amorini” is Italian for “little cherub.”

The father of the chihuahuas was previously a champion smooth-coat breed chihuahua.

“We’re hoping one of these will make her daddy proud,” Dru Katz said.

Amorini Kittery was named first in the “Toy” group of dog at Sunday’s match.

Dru Katz is a veterinarian with more than 20 years of experience, while Mark Katz has been a dog trainer for 40 years.

“Mark has trained just about every breed,” his wife said.

It’s the second time the Katzes have made the trip to Middleburg and both times they have been impressed by the facilities and participants.

“The people are so kind and generous,” Mark Katz said.

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