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Competing canines put on the dog at collie show

March 03, 2003|by ANDREA ROWLAND

andrear@herald-mail.com

The show dog's name was Karal Color Me Perfect - and owner Judy Porter did.

Porter pulled a black magic marker from her grooming kit to darken her 2-year-old collie's brown facial markings before the dog entered the ring to compete in the Collie Club of Maryland's 67th Specialty Show on Saturday. The show was at the Millholland National Guard Armory on Roxbury Road south of Hagerstown.

"The brown sometimes detracts from her expression so I darken it a little bit," said Porter, of Catonsville, Md.

Other dog owners used spray starch to make white fur whiter and stiffer.

Like patrons in a beauty salon, many of the 45 dogs competing Saturday for points needed to earn championship status in the show circuit got snipped, brushed, moussed, sprayed, filed and powdered before strutting their stuff among their canine peers.

"The grooming takes hours," said owner Annette Miller of Bedford, Va., who worked styling mousse through the soft fur around Colliecove Love Token's ears to make the collie's hair stand up.

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The primping only enhanced the natural breed features that the show's judges examined to pick the day's winners.

"This is our bible," said judge Patricia Trotter, holding the American Kennel Club's list of standards for the breed. "We're looking for the dog that has the best collection of virtues that apply to the standard."

Standing in the middle of the ring, Trotter scrutinized the proportions and planes of the collie competitors' heads, the shapes of their muzzles and eyes, their stances and their gaits. In the ring, looks were more important than behavior.

"They just have to behave and gait well enough to be observed," Trotter said.

Owner John G. Buddie's Tartanside Bacardi took top honors among the 9- to 12-month-old male rough collies competing Saturday.

"You just put a lot of hard work into your dogs and then hope for the best," said Buddie of Pottstown, Pa., who has been breeding and showing collies for about 40 years. Tartanside Bacardi's strong showing on Saturday will carry him into a planned 50-show season with three points toward a championship under his collar.

The winning collie is among 41 dogs registered to compete in the Collie Club of Maryland's 68th Specialty Show today starting at 10 a.m.

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