Terriers in focus at show
Move over Westminster Kennel Club, the Heartland Toy Fox Terrier Club likes to treat its small dogs in a big way.
This past weekend, 10 toy fox terriers and their handlers competed in one of this year's semi-annual HTFT competitions at the Leavenworth County Fairgrounds.
Many of the dogs were from the area or came from neighboring states, but some came from as far as Minnesota to compete.
Donna Temple-Burgess and her 16-year-old daughter Lynsey Burgess, started their 7-hour car trip from Eagle Lake, Minn., to Tonganoxie on Friday to compete this weekend.
"It was one of the most fun shows I've been to," Temple-Burgess said. "The people that were at that show, most of them have been into toy fox terriers for 20, 30 or 40 years."
What makes this competition different from other dog shows is the fact that this show is not open to other breeds, but is specific to the toy fox terrier.
"We like our little show," said Cindy Werner, HTFT club president.
Werner knows that opening up the competition to more breeds would mean greater attendance, but said that would take away from the spirit of the show and its relaxed atmosphere.
"We'd like having a few more people come and have a little more competition, but we like our specialty because we just like having our little dogs there," Werner said.
Werner doesn't have a problem with other breeds, but thinks it's easier for HTFT's older members to compete with smaller dogs.
"It's more like a bi-yearly get-together," she said.
The dogs were judged on how well they fit the breed standard, including weight, size and shape.
Nelda Shoemake, this year's judge, had the terriers parade around inside the 4-H building to make sure their feet and back were straight and also had them stand on a table so she could inspect their teeth, making sure they were straight.
The terriers competed in different classes and moved their way up to the class competition to win Champion of Champion. Points and awards were given to the winners of each class. The point totals were given to the United Kennel Club for record keeping.
Young and old dogs could compete in the competition. Dorothy West's 6-month-old terrier, Pancake, won the male puppy competition.
The nearly 2-year-old Maldonfox Cleopatra, one of Temple-Burgess' terriers, won the Champion of Champion class on Saturday, and Chevelade, 3, won Best of Breed on both days.
"It's fun when we take our dogs out knowing they represent the breed as they should be," Temple-Burgess said. "It makes you feel good."
The next toy fox terrier competition will be on the third weekend of July in the 4-H building at the Leavenworth County Fairgrounds.