Three-year-old Annie Fowler hugs her 8-week-old puppy, ...
July 16, 2012
Every dog has his day, and for the dogs and families living near the Northfield Park District, that day was Saturday, July 14.
West Highland white terriers, Rhodesian ridgebacks, Labrador retrievers, greyhounds and more participated in the annual Kids' Dog Show in Northfield.
The show hit the ground running at 10 a.m. at Clarkson Park, with more than 25 dogs and excitable kids participating in hopes of winning in at least one of the seven categories.
For some of the children, nerves kicked in as the pressure built to place first, second or third in any of the following categories: Best Behaved, Best Looking, Floppiest Ears, Fanciest Trick, Best Costume, Largest Dog and Smallest Dog.
Just like in a traditional dog show, the children were asked to line up with a number when their category was called to the stage so the judges could observe each dog's outstanding qualities.
Northfield resident Mia Moline, 8, and her yellow Lab, Deuce, have been practicing his new trick for the past two years in hopes of winning the Fanciest Trick category.
"I think [Deuce] could win," Moline said. "Deuce won two years ago with a trick where he put a treat on his nose."
"Mia likes doing this because she's been working so hard with Deuce," said Moline's aunt, Jenna Sheldon. "I think he could really win, Deuce is one of the best-behaved dogs I've ever seen."
But before Deuce could demonstrate his talents, Northfield Park District Recreation Supervisor Lara Piner started off the Floppiest Ears category.
A floppy-eared dog named Dexter, and his owner, Charlie Corral, took home a first-place prize and ribbon for the category.
Employees of Loving Care Grooming and Pet Services in Northfield served as the judges and sponsors of the show.
Prizes included a variety of dog treats and toys for the lucky winners.
"It's a cute little hometown American event," Piner said. "It's basic and simple, but it's just cute, and I think that's what makes it special. Friends and people without dogs come just to see the show."
The next category was Best Looking, and a German shepherd wearing a T-shirt took second place.
Then it was time for the Best Costume category, which contained little competition against the greyhound wearing a cardboard cutout of a Greyhound bus.
Finally it was time for Fanciest Trick, the category Moline and Deuce had been anxiously waiting for.
Some of the other contestants performed tricks like lie down, roll over and sit, but Moline and Deuce had an even better trick up their sleeves.
Moline pulled out a shimmering Hula-hoop, and with a treat in hand, she commanded Deuce to jump through it.
Deuce was hesitant at first, but Moline was patient, and Deuce jumped through with ease. The judges awarded him first place and gave him a bag of treats and a chew toy.
A Rhodesian ridgeback named Maggie May and her owner, Hailey Philips, took home second place in the Fanciest Trick category for lying down and rolling over.
Philips said her training methods are quite simple.
"Maggie May loves cheese. She only listens to me when I have string cheese," Philips said.
The last two categories were Largest and Smallest dog. The Largest Dog award was given to a Bernese mountain dog, and Smallest was won by Trouble, an 8-week-old black Labrador.
"I think this event is great for bringing neighbors and people together," Sheldon said. "It also good for kids to get up in front of people at a young age. It builds poise and self-confidence."
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