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Fun with Fido

Eagle’s Trace celebrates man’s best friend at first annual Canine Cup

Created date

December 23rd, 2013
women with two dogs

When Marty Connelly’s wife Sandy came home from work with a ball of fur tucked in a cardboard box, Marty didn’t know if the dog would stay or go.

“Sandy told me absolutely no dogs in the house when we got married,” says Marty. “Then someone at the real estate office where she worked gave away a litter of bichon frise puppies. That was 12 years ago. The dog’s been with us ever since.”

After his initial surprise, Marty remarked, “That’s a real killer of a dog.” The name Killer stuck.

“When we started looking at retirement communities, our top priority was finding a place that welcomed pets,” says Marty, a retired elevator salesman and technician. “Killer was coming with us.”

The trio moved to their new apartment home at Trace, the Erickson Living community in West Houston, in October 2005.

“This is as much Killer’s home now as it is ours,” says Marty. “He fits right in.”

Pups on show

Marty and Killer recently participated in the community’s first Canine Cup, a scaled-down version of the Westminster Dog Show. Killer took top honors in the “best trick” category for his ability to sit and stay on command, as well as his self-control in resisting a treat placed under his nose.

“He knows more tricks than those,” says Marty. “But he was a bit distracted with so many other dogs close by.”

The panel of judges, including residents Dan Wagner and Ann Foster, along with Community Financial Analyst Stephanie Swedlund, handed out additional awards for “best dressed,” “best kiss,” and “best in show.”

Eileen Bennick’s Yorkshire terriers, Sierra and Bindi, swept the best dressed category as the dogs that best displayed their personalities through clothes. They were dressed in matching red-and-white outfits dotted with hearts.

“My husband and I call them our Bennick sweethearts,” said Eileen, cuddling Sierra and Bindi after the Canine Cup. “They bring joy, not just to us, but also to others in the community.”

Pet association

When Eileen and her husband Jerry moved to Eagle’s Trace in 2009, Eileen joined the community’s pet association and was soon named its co-chairperson.

“The pet association is made up of the community’s pet owners,” says Eileen. “We meet quarterly and often have guest speakers ranging from veterinarians to pet photographers.”

Eileen says the community’s pet owners are a close-knit group, often caring for each other’s animals in a pinch.

“I had knee surgery a while back and couldn’t walk the dogs for a while,” says Eileen. “Several residents stopped by to ask if they could take Sierra and Bindi for a walk. It’s nice to have that camaraderie among pet owners.”

Room to roam

For dogs like Killer, Sierra, and Bindi, Eagle’s Trace is a pet’s paradise. With more than 71 acres to explore, residents and their canine companions have room to roam.

“We have a good group of dogs living here,” says Eileen. “They’re part of the Eagle’s Trace family.”