Archive for the ‘Westminster’ Category

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11 Feb 12

Pre-Westminster Fashion Show! ...

By Nancy E. Hassel,

The much anticipated Pre-Westminster Fashion show was a huge hit Friday, February 10, 2012 at the Pennsylvania Hotel in New York City.  Hundreds of pet celebrities, pet lovers  and lots of paws flocked from all over NYC, surrounding boroughs, New Jersey, Connecticut, Long Island, and even from Canada to celebrate the love of dogs.  This is my 3rd time in attendance – and I thought last year was it was crowded with excited dog owners, dogs dressed up and many vendors – but I think this year even more spectacular!  The theme this year was a Venetian Masquerade Pet Fashion Theme by Ada Nieves and there was almost as many dogs wearing masks as people were!

While the fashion show and festivities at Pre-Westminster is a big part of the event – the event is a fundraiser and every year it is for a different animal not-for-profit organization.  This year’s event a portion of the proceeds went to the Animal Care & Control of NYC (AC&C).  The AC&C has shelter facilities in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Staten Island, and pet receiving centers in Queens and The Bronx.  AC&C is the largest pet welfare organization in the Northeast, caring for nearly 40,000 rescued animals each year.  They have been a non-profit organization since 1995 and is contracted with NYC to manage the City’s municipal shelter system.   Here is Collen a six month old shepherd mix who was totally hamming it up with one of their many volunteers:

This furtastic event is now a well oiled machine and much of that is due to Gregg R. Oehler and his team who coordinate the show.  Gregg R. Oehler is the Chairman of the event and the Publisher of Cesar’s Way Magazine – which is one of the 3 Best in Show sponsors along with Natural Balance Pet Food, Inc. and Petzlife.  The Pre-Westminster Fashion Show is such a great way to kick of the 136th Annual Westminster Kennel Club dog show, and know that you’re helping the animals in the shelter while doing so.  In addition to the many pet vendors at the event, there was also food and drinks, many treats for the pups and let’s just say you need a good amount of muscles to carry out the gift bag they give to all attendees!  My dog Max had his head in the bag checking out all the stuff as soon as I got home.  So mark your calendars for next year, and make a point to get to this show!  You will not be disappointed!
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21 Feb 11

LI Dogs at Westminster ...

By Nancy E. Hassel,

Living on Long Island we are very fortunate that once a year the most prestigious and biggest dog show comes to New York City.  The Westminster Dog Show draws thousands of dog lovers from around the world and is practically in our back yard.  With approximately 90 dogs entered from Long Island owners – some of which are breeders, owners, handlers – this year was a first time showing at Westminster for many of those dogs.  On Tuesday, February 15, 2011 a lot of the big dogs, and I mean this in size – not their status, took part in the competition.  One of those beautiful big dogs was the very handsome, playful and young Bull Mastiff “Brutus” (Bandog’s Brutus the II of Raven). Owned by Mike and Marilyn Schamroth of Hewlett – they were more than excited to see their boy in the ring – his first time at Westminster.  Mike & Marilyn have owned Bull Mastiffs before and have shown them – but it has been about 15-years since they have had the breed.  When I asked them, what made you get a back into the breed Marilyn Schamroth said, “We were in Florida and we happened to go to a dog show and saw the most beautiful brindle puppy and that pup let us to the breeder who we got Brutus from – it was kismet.”  Brutus who is now only 18-months old is already a champion and seasoned pro – he won the ‘Best of Winners’ at the Bull Mastiff Association Nationals in Massachusetts in Septembers 2010.  Brutus was led to that championship by his handler, Rolissa Nash – a long time Bull Mastiff breeder, owner, and professional handler, accomplished dog trainer and co-owner of Doggie U K9 Academy in Bay Shore, NY.  Mr. Schamroth said, “I can’t sing Rolissa’s praises enough – because with her it’s all about the dog, and the dog comes first – she has been fantastic to work with.”

Rolissa and Brutus in benching area.

Rolissa Nash said, “Brutus is a fantastic, even tempered, wonderful dog, eager to learn – a pleasure working with him and his owners.  They are more concerned about their dog being content and happy and if they thought their dog was unhappy doing dog a show, they would pull him out of the show without even thinking about it.   They want Brutus to be a well rounded dog so we have started him also in obedience and agility.”

Another new comer and Long Islander to show this year was “George” (CH BlacNFlat Burns and Allen) a Flat Coated Retriever owned by David and Carole Kralstein of Canine Club Getaway.  George started his show dog career at a single cluster of shows in tough North east competition in July of 2010 and in just 5 days earned his Championship title. He also won ‘Best of Breed’ and G2 (2nd Place of the sporting group), at the October 2010 Westbury Kennel Club show on Long Island. He also won 3 more Best of Breed titles at the Talbot Kennel Club, the Salisbury Maryland Kennel Club in November 2010, and Worchester Kennel Club in Massachussetts in December 2010.

George a very sweet and handsome boy is a willing and happy worker, while remaining the typical Flat-Coat goofball. He is currently dabbling in agility, and will begin working on field training in the spring.  George is also an accomplished Therapy Dog and has his Canine Good Citizen, his owners said, “George loves working with children as a therapy dog – he participates in a reading dog program where kids who may have trouble reading, read to him.” George who will be 3 years old in April is a tall boy and has a stable, solid temperament with both humans and other dogs.

George’s owner David said, “He had a great time and he looked great in the ring.  He was glad to get home and slept almost a whole day. He is now his goofball self.”  George also had a pretty big fan club at the Westminster show Frank Bonomo of Best Friends Dog Training, George’s trainer, and Dr. Keith Niesenbaum of Crawford Dog and Cat Hospital George’s veterinarian and his wife, who were all also first time visitors to the show.  They said they loved it and thought George did fantastic.

George in the ring at Westminster!

In one of the rings, the Newfoundland’s were showing and watching ringside, you could not take your eyes off the black and white or ‘Landseer’ newfie that was in the ring.  One of the spectators, Marcie Mackolin who is a new newfie owner said, “That’s my puppy’s father” beaming with pride. Marcie’s 8-month old puppy, Polly (Let Polly do the Printing) is also of the black and white variety and according to Marcie, “just the sweetest dog.”  Last year Marcie came to Westminster and saw Lancelot’s uncle in the ring, and well fell in love with the breed – and that led her to her Polly.  I asked Marcie if she is going to show her dog, and she said she’s contemplating it – then Lancelot won the group – and I said, “You have to show her now!”  Marcie was at Westminster this year to show support for Lancelot – and it seems to have worked.  Marcie is from Pennsylvania and got Polly’s breeder is from upstate NY, Lancelot lives in California – so maybe not from LI, but just shows that dogs come from all over to Westminster.


Polly, Lancelot's daughter.

This year there were six new breeds entered into Westminster: the  Boykin Spaniel; the Bluetick Coonhound; the Cane Corso; the Icelandic Sheepdog; the Leonberger; and the Redbone Coonhound.

Many of the breeds are actually old breeds, but new to the dog show.  The Cane Corso an Italian Mastiff had an impressive entry of 18 dogs and one more gorgeous than the next.  This breed’s popularity has taken off in the past 10-15 years and especially in the North East.  One of the handlers showing Vodoo, (see slide show), who is from Florida, said she was really surprised how many Corso’s were in the NY area.  I remember going to Rare Breed dog shows about 10 years ago to see them, it was great to see them in the ring at Westminster this year.

Cane Corso's for the first time at Westminster

The Leonbergers also a new, old breed – just amazing in to see in person.  Gentle giants in my opinion and just so beautiful to watch.  They also had a good showing of 13 dogs in the ring, although they were so big, it seemed like more than that.  I would not want to be a judge as they were all very impressive.

Leonberger's in the ring!

If you have never been to the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show – this is a must do for anyone interested in dogs, mark your calendars for next year as this is the Best in Show of dog shows!