The most difficult part about judging Sunday’s Lazy Laker Dog Days Dog Show was not giving every dog top scores across the board.
About 20 tail-wagging canines and their owners were in attendance at the Elks Hall on Sunday for Williams Lake’s first ever dog show. The event charged a $5 minimum donation fee and was attended by dog enthusiasts of all ages. According to event organizer Shawna Allery, they raised approximately $800 for the Williams Lake Royal Canadian Sea Cadets.
My fellow judges, RCMP constable Taylor Callens and city councilwoman Sue Zacharias and I gave dogs scores from one to five as they pranced, bolted, or were urged and carried across the stage.
With five being the highest possible score, I didn’t give out anything under a three. With so many floppy-eared, drooling and happy faces gazing down at me, it was hard not to give some love to each of them.
The first category, “Best Dressed/Cutest” was the most popular by far, with 12 entrants eager to earn first place. Some wore costumes like tuxedos, tiaras or hot dogs and others relied on their natural charm to win over the judges.
And win us over they did. Exclamations of appreciation rang out from the judging table as every single dog took the stage.
In the end, it was Kash, a medium-sized tan and black dog with a flare for posing for the camera dressed as a spider with a dopey grin on his face that won us over, earning him a first place finish. Later in the afternoon, Kash proved he wasn’t just a pretty face with another first place ribbon in the “Best Trick” category, as he ran figure-eights between owner Lesley Allgrove’s legs and closed the stage door with a push to the doorknob.
Next up came the biggest of the big in the “Tallest” category. A giant, fluffy, white Great Pyrenees name Soda wowed us with her size and soft demeanor and took home some goodies along with a first place ribbon.
In stark contrast was Rukus, a three-pound teacup chihuahua who won our hearts and the title of shortest dog in town with a win in the next category, “Shortest” dog.
Mid-show there was a break to allow the dogs and owners outside for some fresh air, a pee break and a jaunt around the parking lot. There were door prizes donated from many business sponsors, including Bee Jay’s Auto Wrecking, Realm of Toys, Pawsitively Perfect, Chemo RV, The Barking Barber, and many more. The prizes were awarded to lucky winners as attendees enjoyed the musical stylings of Kamloops musician Kyle Cavanagh.
There were also two demonstrations in training and obedience. Alycia Rogel from Free Life Canine and her four-legged friend gave a presentation on sniff detection by correctly locating different essential oils hidden in boxes on the floor.
Rogel was followed by Keith Jones and his dog Hunter.
Jones and Hunter are members of the B.C. Search Dog Association and put on a show of off-leash obedience. The other dogs watched attentively as Hunter obeyed commands perfectly, despite the many doggy distractions in the hall.
After the break it was back to the judging table to decide on the “Fluffiest” winner. With four supremely soft fluff-balls to judge, we took every opportunity to run our hands through the fur of the contestants, deeming it necessary to giving an accurate score.
The teeny-tiny Evil Knievel ended up as the winner. We couldn’t even see his collar through all the fluff and his first place ribbon practically disappeared into his fur. A well-deserved win.
The final category was for the best trick and we saw some good contenders. As mentioned above, Kash took home first prize but a singing Evil Knievel and a well-behaved Chomper gave him a run for his money.
All agreed the show was a roaring success and are looking forward to meeting new dogs at next year’s show. Before leaving, Allery thanked the Elks Hall “for trusting me with their floor.”