Dog lovers in Ketchikan gathered Saturday at the Pioneers Home to have fun with their canine friends. The first-ever dog show at the home featured plenty of treats and wagging tails.
An old English bulldog named Tinker Bell won Best in Show. She was one of about 20 canines in the show, which featured a wide variety of breeds, ages, sizes and, well, obedience levels.
Tinker Bell appeared pleased, but a little breathless after winning the big prize.
The competition was lighthearted fun for the residents, visitors and dogs. Hilary Koch said it was the second dog show she’s organized. The first was many years ago at Island View Manor, Ketchikan’s senior home before the Pioneers Home existed.
“That was actually an ugly dog show,” she said. “And we did have the ugliest dog. It got a standing ovation. It was so ugly. It was a chihuahua who just had had pups and had incredibly crooked teeth.”
Koch said Pioneers Home residents like dogs, and some therapy dogs visit on a regular basis. She thought a dog show would be fun for everyone. They made up some categories, such as best trick, best looking, largest, smallest and best costume.
Koch’s two dogs were among the contestants.
“Mine are going to go in the most handsome, I think,” she said. “I’m not a judge. But my dogs are here early, so they’re getting acclimated with the judges. They’re schmoozing.”
Pioneers Home residents watched, clapped and “aww-ed” as dog owners paraded their pups through the recreation room. Contestants ranged in size from a 100-plus pound great Pyrenees to a 4-month-old, 1.4-pound Yorkshire terrier puppy.
There were tricks, too. Keely the goldendoodle leapt repeatedly over owner Carol Stanton’s leg, and Australian shepherd Sidney showed off her obedience training. Buddy the beagle-basset mix kept his nose glued to the floor, tracking for treats.
“Alright, this is Bertram Samuel Anglin McQuerry, also known as Buddy,” said emcee Jackson Landis, who introduced each dog. “(He) is a beagle-basset mix, 10 years old, and moved to Ketchikan when he was 3. He came from Seattle Basset Rescue. His favorite activities are eating, napping in the sun and going for walks.”
Judges were picked from among Pioneers Home residents. Judge Ilona Brady spent time before the contest holding several of the small dogs on her lap, and petting the large ones. She said she loves dogs.
“I like their actions and the way they are,” she said. “We raised a lot of dogs when we were kids. We’d have sometimes a mother dog would have three or four pups and mom would say, ‘Oh, no.’ Because there was six of us kids, and we all claimed a puppy.”
Another judge, Bob Lewis, said he used to breed west Highland white terriers. A well-groomed dog scores well with him.
“I’ll look for how they’re brushed,” he said. “I used to be a judge. A real judge. We took our dogs to New York.”
There were no losers in Saturday’s event. Each dog went home with a medal for participating, and a goodie bag filled with treats and toys.