Nodoggingit odoggingit atSummerClassic
CARRIEKELLY SpecialtotheSun Lastyear,itwasapugthat stoletheshow. And with hundreds of dog breeds appearing at the Alberta Kennel Club (AKC) Summer Classic at Spruce Meadows, it will likely be fiercecompetitionforbestin theshowonceagain. For more than 30 years, Canada's largestoutdoordog show has been held on the Augustlongweekend. About 2,000 dogs are expected daily at the July 29-Aug. 1 event, shown by both beginners and veteranswhoalllovetheirspecial purebredcanine. RhondaMousseauofOkotoks will be showing her champion bearded collie Scholar at the AKC Summer Classic. Last year, he won Group3atSpruceMeadows. Afterdecidingshewanted to add a dog to her family morethan20yearsago,MousseaubegantolookforanOld Englishsheepdog. She went to a dog show to meetbreedersandendedup falling in love with bearded collies. "They love everybody," Mousseau says of their personality."Theyalwayswantto play." She averages one show a monthwithherdogsandwill be showing two six-montholdpuppiesattheAKCSummer Classic, in addition to four-year-old Scholar, the PHOTOCOURTESYRHONDAMOUSSEAU Scholar,abeardedcollie ownedbyRhondaMousseau ofOkotoks,wonGroup3 attheAlbertaKennelClub SummerClassicatSpruce Meadowslastyear. pups'father. "It is what I love to do," Mousseausays. The puppies start trainingforshowsasearlyasfourweeks.Shehasbredthreelittersandhasaneyeforwhich oneswouldmakegoodshow dogs. "The dogs that are shown are supposed to be representingthebreed," Mousseau explains. Andalthoughshehasbeen showingdogsformanyyears, she says she is still learning andimproving. "The dogs and I do lots of handling training. It's ongoingallthetime."Shelovesintroducingpeople to the Beardie breed, whichmanyhaveneverseen before.Theirlonghairneeds to be brushed regularly to keep it free of matting, but Beardies'hairisnevercutor trimmed. Th eSpruceMeadowsshow is a great venue to learn all aboutvariousdogbreedsand to speak with breeders personally to find out about a dog'sspecialtraits,saysCorrie Horne, Alberta Kennel Club publicrelationschair. "If people are looking to addadog tothefamily,they canlearnsomuchby talking tothebreeders," shesays. The Calgary Sun is one of thesponsorsoftheAKCsummer show, which attracts exhibitors from throughout North America and judges comefromallovertheglobe. Many dogs that attend the famous Westminster show willbeatSpruceMeadows. The AKC is run by a dedicated group of dog enthusiasts, many who volunteer theirtimeattheshows. The shows are not only for those who have purebreddogs. All animal lovers, whether dog owners or not, enjoy attending the shows and watching the agility and obediencetrials. "It's a great inexpensive weekend for the family," Hornesays. Tickets can be purchased at the gate for $7 for adults, $3foryouthaged12to18.For those12andunder, aswellas seniors,admissionisfree. Vendors will have booths at the show selling all things relatedtopets. Th eAKCalsohasasecond showeachyear,heldthefirst weekendinFebruary. TheCalgarySun n WEDNESDAY,JUNE15,2011 PHOTOSCOURTESYCORRIEHORNE Attopleft,aGoldenRetrieverwaitshisturntocompetein theagilitytrialatlastyear'sAlbertaKennelClubSummer Classic.Above,aRhodesianRidgebackmakestheagilitytrial lookeasywhile,below,a CarinTerrierpatientlywaitsforhis categorytobeshown.Thisyear'sSummerClassicwillbeheld atSpruceMeadowsJuly29-Aug.1.