By Karen Blackledge
The Danville News
DANVILLE — At home, he acts like a big puppy most of the time.
But Adan is a champion in the show ring.
Adan, a golden retriever owned by Carol Dunn, of Montour Township, has qualified to compete in the 137th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Show on Feb. 11-12 in New York City. Dogs must accumulate points to become champions in order to enter.
Show officials expect 3,200 entries, up from 2,000 last year. Sixty-three goldens are registered.
This will be Adan’s second time at the show. The dog, who turns 4 on Jan. 25, competed last year for the first time at Westminster.
He left Monday for the home of his handler, Mark Desrosiers, in the Catskills. Desrosiers showed Adan at Westminster last year. The dog received a Judge’s Award of Merit. Four of those awards were given.
Adan is listed among the top goldens in the country. He’s No. 4, making him the top male in the nation because the rest are females, Dunn said.
“He’s very energetic and so sweet. He loves everybody and everything,” she said.
Being among the top five in the country automatically got him an invite to Westminster, she said.
At Westminster, Adan will be judged in conformation related to his structure, temperament, movement and how he conforms to the standards of the breed, said Dunn, who will attend the show.
It’s probably been 30 to 40 years since a golden won at the show. She has no theory as to why that is.
“He’s my first champion. I’m thrilled he has gone on to do as well as he has. I never expected this to happen,” said Dunn, a Geisinger Medical Center nurse.
She’s had Adan since he was eight weeks old after a breeder friend gave him to her. “She knew he showed potential,” said Dunn, who showed Adan when he was a puppy and has competed in shows in the past.
“He was drop-dead gorgeous from the beginning,” Dunn said. Adan now weighs 75 to 80 pounds.
This will be Adan’s last Westminster show since Dunn plans to keep him home after that. Last year, he competed in shows from February through November.
“It was too hard with him gone for so long. I missed him too much,” she said.
After Westminster, “He will be going for agility lessons,” she said.
At home, Adan sleeps on the bed and will steal something from the sink and run with it if he can. The father of two litters will also snag toilet tissue if a bathroom door is open.
Six-year-old Teal, who rules among the family’s goldens and has an agility title, recently gave birth to 10 puppies. The puppies, which sell for $1,400 each, are already spoken for.
“I have people on a waiting list for puppies,” said Dunn whose kennel is Darby Hill.
Dunn and her husband, Fred Harner, also have Kennedy, an 18-month-old puppy of Teal and Adan, and two golden rescues named Joey, about 5, and Goldie, about 12. They own two cats they rescued — Kleber and Reebok.
An owner of goldens for 30 years, Dunn is a member of Autumn Valley Golden Retriever Rescue at autumnvalley.org.
“I fell in love with the breed. Goldens kind of steal your heart,” said Dunn who said she loves all animals and has been involved with animals her entire life.