Dogs visit the Free Press before the Detroit Kennel Club show
February 16, 2009

Dogs visit the Free Press before the Detroit Kennel Club show

By Martha Thierry
Free Press Staff Writer

The show dogs couldn’t wait for the show, so they brought the show to us.

As an annual treat for Free Press staffers, a few dog owners participating in the 2009 Detroit Kennel Club’s dog shows Feb. 28 and March 1 brought their dogs in for a visit.

Here’s a little about the dogs that took a little tour through the Free Press newsroom. First the bloodhounds:

The poster dog for the Detroit Kennel Club’s 2009 dog shows is Dalton, a 7-year-old bloodhound. Jim and Jenny Osborne of Davisburg described the breed as pretty good all-around family dogs that enjoy squeaky toys. Their elder household pet, Riggs, won’t attend the dog shows. At 11, a benched show can be pretty taxing.

Their background as scent hounds gives bloodhounds the distinction as the only breed whose testimony is admissible in some courtrooms. They have to prove their training and background and their handler has to be sworn in, not the dog. Another great use for that nose is their ability to do search and rescue and have proven valuable in locating missing children and elderly Alzheimer’s patients.

They are built to sniff. Their ears and dewlaps help gather and retain scent near the nose and the moisture they generate in their slobber can actually refresh a trail. The Osborne’s say they are pretty low-key when on to a scent, unlike the way they are often depicted in movies.

Another interesting feature about bloodhounds, they are great swimmers. They have webbed feet and use their scimitar-shaped tail as a rudder.

They love kids and don’t require a lot of grooming, but they do shed and slobber, so neat freaks, beware.

Want to brush up on the breed? The Osbornes recommend “The New Complete Bloodhound” by Catherine F. Brey and Lena F. Reed.

Three generations: Wendy Rollins-Evans, her daughter, 91/2-year-old Breanna Faye-Evans, and Breanna’s grandmother Marjorie Rollins make the dog show a family activity.

Breanna is new to the scene, but already is very successful in the ring with the family dog, Bishop, a 10-year-old English Springer spaniel. They say that an older dog is great for a junior handler. With a first place ribbon in a show last weekend in Indiana, Bishop is on his way to helping Breanna realize her dream of qualifying for a spot at the Westminster Kennel Club Show in New York City next year, one of the most prestigious dog shows in the country. Breanna’s mother, Wendy says they show dogs three out of four weekends throughout the year.

Breanna’s recommended reading? The American Kennel Club’s breed books and “The New Complete English Springer Spaniel” by Edward K. Roggenkamp III & Julia Gasow.

Happy Legs Who’s Your Tiger is better known as Grandy at home, short for Curtis Granderson. The bullmastiff’s owner and breeder, Chris Lezotte and her husband, Alan Kalter of the Detroit Kennel Club are clearly Detroit Tigers fans.

Grandy, an 11-month-old Bullmastiff, already weighs 100 pounds. Males grow to 130 pounds, females are a little smaller. He is a happy guy and typical of the breed. Chris says they are not for everyone. They can be stubborn and not so good at being obedient. It takes a confident owner to manage and train. In spite of their good nature, you have to be the boss.

In Great Britain, this blend of the mastiff and bulldog was known as the game keeper’s night dog. Grandy is a great example of the breed’s original brindle coloring which acts as camouflage at night. ”The Bullmastiff: Peerless Protector” by Geraldine M. Roach and Jack Shastid is Chris’s pick of books on her favorite breed.

Jamie is a one-of-a-kind dog. He will be the sole representative at the Detroit Kennel Club shows of a newly recognized American Kennel Club, the Irish red and white Setter. His proud owners, Keith and Corlie Eldred describe Jamie as a high-energy dog who knows the rules. Jamie has an AKC Jr. Hunter title, advance rally obedience title and intermediate agility title. He will compete in conformation, agility and rally obedience at Cobo Center.

The Irish Red and White Setter Association has campaigned for the ancient Irish breed to be recognized since 1997. They are good with kids, smart and need activities. Patricia Brigden's “The Irish Red and White Setter” is a good reference book to learn about the breed.

The 102nd and 103rd Detroit Kennel Club’s 2009 dog shows are scheduled for Feb. 28 and March 1 at Cobo Center. One of a handful of benched shows, dogs are kept at benches for public viewing between competition in the ring. Breeders, owners and handlers are available to discuss their breed and educate visitors.

Over 2,000 dogs will represent 161 dog breeds at the show. Special guests include beagle Uno, last year’s Westminster Kennel Club winner and a yellow Labrador retriever from the movie “Marley & Me.”

Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for children (under 12) and senior citizens (60 and over). Children under the age of 2 are free. Family packs (2 adults, 3 children) are on sale for $35. Hours for demonstrations and benched dogs are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sat. and Sun., with the Best In Show judging at around 6 p.m. each day.

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