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Dogs show their stuff

February 26, 2006|by TIFFANY ARNOLD

tiffanya@herald-mail.com

WASHINGTON COUNTY - Among puppies, Best of Show went to Anthracite Antietam Annabelle, a bull mastiff.

Pi-Lee, a Great Pyrenees, took the top honors for the adults, beating out a Labrador retriever named Virgil and a whippet named Cherche Afterglow at Artemis.

But Virgil was the winner among the sporting breeds at Saturday's Mason & Dixon Kennel Club's American Kennel Club-sanctioned B Conformation All Breed Match at the Washington County Agricultural Education Center.

At least 160 dogs competed Saturday, match secretary Ron Webb said. The event also featured a photographer and an eye clinic for the dogs.

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The match comes just before one of the region's largest events, Webb said. The kennel club's annual all-breed show is scheduled for April 16 in Harrisburg, Pa. Three other kennel clubs will participate in the show, Webb said.

Last year, around 2,800 dogs competed, Webb said. And that figure doesn't include the dogs entered in the junior handler competition, Webb said.

Katie Bolling, 14, sauntered around the ring with her border collie, Mara. Katie already had won first prize in the junior handler competition with her dog Nia, a Pembroke Welsh corgi.

The Bolling family brought four dogs to the show - two border collies and two Pembroke Welsh corgis.

"That's the queen's dog," said Katie's mother, Carol Bolling, referring to the corgis. Carol Bolling originally is from England.

Carol Bolling said the show dogs received special care at home. She said she prepares at least two pounds of specially baked chicken for the dogs each week.

Katie Bolling, of Union Bridge, Md., said she started participating in dog shows when she was 12, just after she was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes.

Her first dog, Sandy, was trained to be a working dog. Katie said after going through all the training and discipline classes with Sandy, she decided she wanted to enter dog shows.

Dog handler Alyssia Black, 16, of Warfordsburg, Pa., won second prize in the junior handler division's open senior class with Rio, a golden retriever.

Dressed in a pinstriped suit, she also pranced around the ring with a French bulldog named Taboo.

Alyssia said becoming a great handler takes a lot of practice, though some of the best skills aren't easily taught in a classroom.

"Try to have fun," Alyssia said. "I keep it fun for me and keep it fun for the dog."

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