Pilot story and photos by Lynn Davis
About three dozen pets and their people met at the Port of Brookings Harbor for the seventh-annual K-9 Kapers dog show.
They did their best to strut their stuff on the boardwalk in hopes of winning a ribbon or prize for being the prettiest, most obedient, looking the most like its companion, or for being the most talented.
The summer dog show is the brainchild of Pat Silveria, owner of Slugs 'n Stones 'n Ice Cream Cones. A long-time supporter of animal causes, Silveria organized with other Chetco Village Merchants to bring a community of dog lovers together for a fun afternoon of competition, while benefiting the animals of the South Coast Humane Society at the same time.
Willa Jones, Georgia Poole-Alexander, and Jennifer Branton served as judges for the contest.
Entertainment was provided by the Renegade Line Dancers, and of course by some of the dogs and even a few children who were in attendance. Professional dog trainer Robyn King gave an informative presentation on how to train your dog with kindness and respect.
This year's event raised just over $200 for the shelter, and brought some exposure to programs like Greyhound Rescue, Farrel Cat Trapping and Rescue, and Humane Society adoptions.
Silveria said, "Even though it was a little smaller this year, I think it was better." Despite the decrease in attendance, she said, Saturday's event actually brought in more dollars than last year. She attributes the increased bottom line to a few generous anonymous donations.
Silveria donated stuffed animal toys, slug puppets, and key rings that were handed out for first, second and third places, and the prize for Best of Show was a Pet Portrait T-shirt, donated by Mory's.
In addition organizing many events that benefit the Humane Society, she was involved with making the new SCHS shelter a reality, and is happy to see all of the animals that are now being helped by the facility.
Board President Jennifer Branton, explained, "We rely totally on donations. Its taken every cent we have to take care of the animals and give them what they need."
"For right now, all of our bills are paid, but we are in desperate need of funds," Branton said. "We are looking for people who want to help with fundraising efforts," she said.
Branton invited anyone interested in getting involved, to attend a meeting at the shelter Tuesday, July 8, at 6:30 p.m. She also mentioned an upcoming book sale at the Humane Society Thrift Store, scheduled for July 19, from 8 a.m to 10 p.m.
The Humane Society also had a booth on hand at the show with everything from pet care pamphlets and coloring books, adoption information, to an offering of handmade jewelry and other arts and crafts donated by well-wishers for the welfare of the community's critters.
Emcee for the event was KURY Radio personality Steve Braun.
It was the first time Braun served as ringleader for the K-9 Kaper show, and he did a great job keeping the pace going, and adding some comic relief.
Winners of the show were as follows:
In the Prettiest Small Dog competition, Lilly, a 3-year-old bichon frise, owned by Stu Creps took first place; second was awarded to Cupcake, a 14 year-old shitzu, owned by Sharon Castelan; and third went to Doxie, a 4-month-old dachshund.
Five year-old contestant, Audrey Allen, did her best to show-off April a black toy poodle, owned by professional dog groomer Bobi Goyer.
"It was great! I liked it when I was walking around," she said.
"I wasn't here in time to show her," Goyer explained. "I saw this little girl and she looked bored, so I let her enter my dog."
"It was fun for me, and it was fun for her," she smiled.
Prettiest Large Dog honors went to Annie, an 8-year-old wolfhound mix, owned by Michele and Marty Coppola.
Coming in second was Pooh, an 18-month-old chow, adopted three days ago from a Portland shelter.
His owner, Tommy Green, said the dog lived with a Russian family before being placed for adoption and only "spoke" Russian. Green said it has been a challenge to communicate with him and give him basic commands, but they are working it out.
Third place went to Dusty, a 2-year-old airedale, owned by Jill Storm.
One of the most entertaining categories was Pooch-Owner Look-a-Like. At first, only two people were gutsy enough to step into the ring, but emcee Braun soon rounded up a few more to make it a competition.
Placing first was Bill Schlichting with his dog Missy, a 4-year-old cocker/springer mix he had adopted through Curry County Animal Shelter. Second Place went to Robyn King, showing her 3-year-old blue heeler Boo, and Third was given to Lee Townsend and Chief, his 9-year-old Golden Retriever.
Schlichting offered up a few thoughts on his peculiar victory. "I was kind of surprised. I knew I was a shoe-in when there were only two people, but after they added more, I was really surprised."
He laughed, "Missy was insulted at the fact the judges thought she looked like me."
Susan White also entered the look-a-like contest with her 1-year-old Jack Russell terrier Molly Dolly. The two were dressed the same and wore huge sunglasses. Though they didn't win the contest, Molly Dolly stole the hearts of the judges and audience, alike, when White explained that her dog has been deaf since birth and has learned to communicate through sign language.
Best shelter/Pound Dog brought out fine examples of why adoption is a great way to gain a family friend. Heidi, a 5-year-old wolf/husky mix, owned by John Eason, placed first; Lilly a 4-year-old Black Lab, owned by Steve Knudson came in second; and Shasta an 8-month-old German shepherd mix owned by Caroline Brisbin placed third.
Having the least amount of entrants (two for kids ages 12 and under, and three for the adult 13 years and older class) was the Most Obedient Category. Judges struggled with their decision, but eventually the awards went as follows: Kids 12 and under Tiffy Rosei, a 2 year-old Jack Russell terrier owned by Wendy White, placed first, and second went to Oliver, a 1-year-old pug, owned by Chris Haglund; Adults 13 and over - first place was given to Rio a 5-year-old doberman owned by Karen Mihaljevich, coming in second was Rae, a mixed breed, owned by Claudine Boyce, and third place went to Bradley, a 2 year-old Jack Russell Terrier, owned by Susan White.
When White signed-up her 2-year-old Jack Russell Terrier, Bradley, for Most Obedient category, she had high hopes, but soon found she may have made a mistake. Right after emcee, Braun, asked her to give her former Sacramento pound puppy the command to "sit," Bradley, instead, wrapped himself around her as many times as he could, until he ran out of leash.
Deciding he was stuck, the pup just stood in between his masters legs, staring up at her as she bent over to talk, giving him a comforting word.
"I think they should give him an award for most comical." laughed White, as she worked to undo the tangled two-some.
"We know who the boss is, anyway, and its not us" shouted fellow contestant, Claudine Boyce, from Williams.
Boyce, too, entered a dog whom had been rescued. Her daughter-in-law, Laurie, found the pup in the classifieds, and subsequently adopted it on Feb. 3 after it had been abandoned in a California desert.
Boyce was impressed with the show and remarked, "I think its fantastic for the community. They need more things like this. It gets people out of their shells!"
Karen Mihaljevich, owner of 5-year-old Champion Nightbird's Tritton, CGC, the doberman otherwise known as Rio, was a crowd pleaser. The dog placed first in the Obedience class, and was just plain gorgeous to look at. Mihaljevich and her friends were in town for the weekend and heard about the show on the radio. Rio's confirmation has earned him a national AKC championship title, in addition to being a first place winner in Brookings.
"He has been certified with Jackson County's Search and Rescue Canine Unit for three years," said Mihaljevich. "It shows champions can do something constructive."
Also visiting the Brookings-Harbor area, was Jim Gammell who entered Best Shelter/Pound Dog. He didn't win, but he explained he was just there to have fun and enjoy time with his little black Poodle, Macho. He lives in Central California and is loving his summer-long stay in Oregon's Banana Belt.
"We've had him since the day he was born," Gammell said of his little pup.
The owner converted the basket on his scooter into a dog carrier/seat so that Macho can go just about everywhere with him.
"See how well he heals?" laughed the owner as he buzzed his little dog carrier/people scooter into the ring.
"I liked the show, it was a lot of fun," he said. "Its a really good show, there are some beautiful dogs here. The best part is, that it raises some needed money for the animal shelter."
Visiting from Canada was Sarah Ferguson, who brought her golden retriever Belle to the port for a day of fun in the sun. As onlookers soon found out, Belle makes her own kind of fun.
According to Ferguson, Belle has been chasing water reflections, shadows and spots since she was a just a pup. She spent a good part of Saturday doing just that.
"It keeps her entertained, its quite funny."