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Collies strut their stuff at dog show

March 03, 2001

Collies strut their stuff at dog show



By LAURA ERNDE

laurae@herald-mail.com

Puppies will be puppies, even those on their way to becoming champion show dogs.

Exceedingly well-behaved by pet dog standards, the puppies competing in Saturday's Collie Club of Maryland 65th Specialty Show were entertainingly unpredictable in the judging ring compared to the older and more experienced show dogs.

A few barked.

One puppy nipped at his handler's blue jacket, knowing full well there was a treat in the pocket.

Others just wanted to play instead of standing still so the judge could examine how closely they resembled their breed standard.

More than 70 dogs and their handlers came from all over the East Coast to compete in the show at the Ramada Inn.

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For the handlers, it was serious business. All were hoping to earn points so their dogs can become champions.

The competition was originally scheduled to continue today, but organizers decided to move the judging to Saturday night because of an impending snowstorm.

Hagerstown has hosted the event for the last seven or eight years, said Collie Club of Maryland President Judy Pitt.

"A collie is like the average person's dog. It's a family dog and this is a family community," she said.

Janet Duvall of Williamsport said she bought her first collie because of wonderful childhood memories about a neighbor's dog.

"He was big and beautiful and golden," Duvall said.

Duvall's two 14-month-old pooches, A.J. and Brian, were all fluffed up for the competition.

Kathy Moll of Pittsboro, N.C., brought three dogs to the show with the help of her 9-year-old assistant, Stacey Neil. Neil watched on the sidelines as Moll shows Conner, an 8-month-old blue merle-colored collie.

The audience was quiet as the judge seemed to take an extra long look at the group before announcing the winners.

"It's a pretty tough decision. They were all pretty good," Neil whispers.

Moments later, judge Mary Hutchinson said essentially the same thing: "Each one of these dogs deserves a blue ribbon."

Conner didn't win the top prize this time. But there's always another show.

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