Company of canines gathers for annual dog show

SANDS TOWNSHIP — Dog lovers and their four-legged friends gathered Friday morning at the Marquette County Fairgrounds to kick off the 39th annual Marquette Kennel Club dog show.

This year, the club is participating in a pilot program with the American Kennel Club which allows them to hold two of their four events back-to-back on Saturday. The all-breed shows, obedience trials and rally trials held throughout the weekend feature a wide variety of dogs.

“This is an AKC show, so you can see all the dogs you’ve never seen before. There’s normal common dogs, but there are quite a few exotic dogs — there’s only a few of them in the country — that are here,” said Marquette Kennel Club Treasurer Mary Lee Kirkum. “We have dogs from the Midwest — Ohio, Illinois, Indiana — and I know we have a dog right now that just came in from Washington state, so they travel a long way to get to this show.”

Visitors are encouraged to talk with owners and handlers at the show to find out more about their breeds and what they do to prepare for the show.

“We do ask you, before you pet a dog, to please ask permission beforehand,” Kirkum added. “These dogs take a lot of time to get prepared to go into the ring, and if you mess the hair up, the people will be kind of angry with you.”

Canines are competing in the various trials in hopes of earning the coveted best-of-breed title. The show continues through Sunday, and spectators can come watch the dogs strut their stuff for $4 per day for a carload or $10 for a three-day pass.

For more information, visit the Marquette Kennel Club’s website.