(Contributed by Lori Whitwam)
We're planning to have a booth at the upcoming Land O'Lakes Kennel Club Dog Show on January 4, 5 and 6 at the River Centre in St. Paul. We haven't really done any events like this, but thought it would be a good way to get out and meet pet-lovers in the community, and also get the word out that we're out here as a holistic option for their pets' care. Plus, we get to spend the day surrounded by a whole bunch of wonderful dogs!
It's also a great opportunity for you to not only meet a lot of wonderful dogs and their trainers, handlers and breeders, but to get a wealth of valuable information, too. Besides the usual "dog show" that many people are familiar with from television, this event also features obedience competition, which is so much fun to watch.
Just think of all the things you can learn! If you want to train your dog, you can ask obedience competitors where they train and what methods they use. If you are considering adding a dog to your family, you can talk to experts in that breed. Besides their extensive knowledge of their breed, they love to "talk dogs." You'll find out the good points of the breed, as well as the drawbacks. These folks are passionate about their breed, but also are quick to point out that it is might not be the breed for everyone. You might find out that the breed you've set your mind on requires more coat care or exercise than you're able to handle, that it isn't typically good with children, may not do well alone at home through a long work day, or isn't likely to get along well with your other dogs or cats.
Many breed clubs and breed rescue groups will have booths at the event as well, and are good sources of information.
One word of caution, though! Be sure to ask the permission of the human at the end of the leash before touching any dog you encounter. Some of the obedience competitors are very focused and don't want to be distracted before going in the ring. The handlers of the dogs about to enter the conformation ring, however, may be even more opposed to having anyone touch the dogs. They have been meticulously groomed, so always, always ask, and it's best to approach someone after their breed is finished showing.
Above all, be sure to stop by our table and say hello!