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Gone to the dogs

Man’s best friend takes center stage at Parkville Canine Cup

Created date

December 23rd, 2013
two women with dog
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There’s a saying that if you can look at a dog and not feel vicarious excitement and affection, then you must be a cat. 

With not a cat in sight, dog lovers turned out in droves at this year’s Canine Cup, the annual dog show held at Crest, an Erickson Living community in Parkville, Md. 

The friendly competition, open to all Oak Crest community members and their dogs, as well as staff members whose dogs are registered through Oak Crest’s volunteer program, showcased more than a dozen dogs competing in categories for Best Trick, Best Kiss, Best Dressed, and Best in Show. 

“Let’s face it: dog owners will tell you their beloved canines are part of the family,” says Oak Crest Public Affairs Manager Jeff Getek, who organized the show.  “This was the perfect opportunity for them to show off their furry family members.”

More than 120 dog lovers watched from their seats as a variety of breeds from pomeranians to pugs and corgis to cockapoos paraded across the stage. 

No bones about it

Dick and Marge Yates’ dog Cassie, a havanese, didn’t take home any prizes but had a doggone good time nonetheless. 

“This was our first time competing in the canine cup,” says Marge. “It was a lot of fun. We have already begun practicing a trick that we hope will get Cassie a ribbon next year.”

Oak Crest’s pet-friendly environment was one of the things that attracted Dick and Marge to the community two years ago.  

“We would not have come to Oak Crest had they not welcomed pets,” says Marge. “Cassie loves to walk around the pond and the nature trail.”

Nancy Hoover and her four-year-old corgi Gibbs, named after actor Mark Harmon’s character on the television drama NCIS, competed in the Best Dressed category donning an orange-and-black candy corn bandana. 

“I adopted Gibbs from a friend of mine who loves corgis,” says Nancy, who moved to Oak Crest in August 2013. “A breeder had relinquished him because his one ear wouldn’t stand up the way it was supposed to. I guess you could say he was less than perfect. But I’m less than perfect myself so it was a perfect fit. He’s the best-natured dog. He’s a big hit with everyone.”  

Winning the title of Best Kiss was all in a day’s work for seven-year-old German shepherd Zoey and her owner Catherine Cohen, a social work manager at Oak Crest. Zoey has volunteered as a therapy dog at the community since she was six months old.  

“She absolutely loves visiting with the staff and the residents, and they love seeing her,” says Cohen. “I think she really sees it as her job.” 

This was Zoey’s second time competing in the Canine Cup. 

“It is a great excuse for the staff and residents to get together and celebrate our dogs,” says Cohen. “I enjoy seeing the creativity of all of the other contestants.”

Three guest judges decided the winners of the Canine Cup: Oak Crest Executive Director Gary Hibbs; Danielle Singley, a home team program manager at the Baltimore Department of Aging; and Jennifer Williams, Web news editor at The Catholic Review. They judged contestants according to a four-paw scoring system, with four paws being the highest mark. 

Local sponsors included Perry Hall Animal Hospital; Dr. Dianna Burton, DVM; the Baltimore Humane Society; and PetSmart, which provided gift baskets and other goodies for the participants.

Top dog

Flo Trimble’s ten-year-old poodle Suzie won two categories: Best Dressed and Best in Show. Wearing a hot pink wig, Becky Burke, a massage therapist at Oak Crest accompanied Suzie, who wore a matching pink outfit. 

“Becky’s office is across the hall from my apartment, and she and Suzie have developed a special bond,” says Flo. “Becky made Suzie’s outfit for the show. She loves to dress up. That was just one of many outfits she wears.”

Suzie received a basket full of treats, toys, and a six-month supply of dog food from PetSmart for winning Best in Show, a title she seems to have been rehearsing for her entire life.   

“She loves to go for walks and look for rabbits and squirrels—sometimes for up to an hour at a time, because everyone wants to stop and say hi to her,” says Flo. “I honestly think more people at Oak Crest know her name than they do mine.”

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