Photo by Kelly Sullivan/ Peninsula Clarion Cheryl Laudent and her dog Porter race through the weaving portion of the agility competition Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016 at the Kenai Little Fields in Kenai, Alaska.

Photo by Kelly Sullivan/ Peninsula Clarion Cheryl Laudent and her dog Porter race through the weaving portion of the agility competition Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016 at the Kenai Little Fields in Kenai, Alaska.

The dog show must go on

  • By Kelly Sullivan
  • Sunday, September 4, 2016 9:04pm
  • News

This weekend, members of the Kenai Kennel Club braved courses made treacherous by adverse weather for their shot at stocking qualifications for the 2016 American Kennel Club Agility Invitational.

For hours each day, owners and their animals ran through rain drenched grass, up slippery ramps and over high-set jumps, at the Kenai Little League Fields Sunday and will again Monday to try to rack up points and take home titles.

Sitting in a makeshift tent, under a blanket and warmed by a heater, Laura Pabst, Kenai Kennel Club instructor and event coordinator said most who showed up this weekend were hoping to make it to the national competition.

“This not ideal weather because the ground is a little wet,” she said. “Both people and dogs are a little bit at risk.”

Challenges see the courses they will run for the first time on the day of the competition, Pabst said.

They are given eight minutes to walk the routes, on which they are allowed no mistakes at this level of competition, she said.

The dogs are not judged on style or form, but must complete every obstacle cleanly.

Throughout the day, poles were periodically knocked off their holders and dogs bypassed their next obstacle and had to turn around.

Cindy Milderand, also under the protection of a dripping wet tent watched her husband, friends and many dogs she’s trained run the routes, some successfully, some who came out with failing grades. She said most of the times owners will notice the mistake that ends their chance at qualifying the route, but sometimes they don’t find out until the finish.

“Occasionally it is kind of a bummer surprise,” she said.

Many of the animals though do prefer the rain because it is refreshing and not as trying as running on a hot day, Milderand said.

Dog shows are a competition that anyone can enjoy, Milderand said. She has helped train handlers from ages 13-70 that have qualified in competitions, she said.

“More than anything it helps improve the owners relationship with their dog,” Milderand said.

The coursework is not natural for the animals, so it is up to the owners to make sure it is fun for both competitors and simultaneously a bonding experience, she said.

Reach Kelly Sullivan at

More in News

ASLC Seasonal Animal Care Specialist Emma Begalka interacts with Mist the Steller sea lion in the Underwater viewing area at the Alaska SeaLife Center during an enrichment session on November 30, 2022. Mist unexpectedly passed away on January 23, 2023 after staff observed seizure-like tremors. (Photo courtesy Kaiti Grant/Alaska SeaLife Center)
Young sea lion dies unexpectedly at SeaLife Center

Mist, who was approximately 2-and-a-half years old, had been socializing with three other Steller sea lions

Kristin Davis performs a dissection on a donated lynx on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023, at Kenai Central High School in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo provided by Kristin Davis)
KCHS students get rare opportunity to dissect lynx in class

“A local trapper let me know there was a lynx, would I want to have it?,” anatomy and biology teacher Kristin Davis said

Soldotna City Council members interview city manager applicant Elke Doom (on screen) during a special city council meeting on Monday, Jan. 30, 2023. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna council interviews city manager candidates

The city announced last November that Soldotna City Manager Stephanie Queen will be stepping down

A promotional graphic for Zach’s Fight (Facebook)
Zach’s Fight fundraiser to benefit Kenai athlete during Tuesday basketball

A fundraiser will be held for a sophomore diagnosed with leukemia.

The deadline for the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend, which comes from the fund managed by the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation, is coming up fast, landing on March 31, 2023. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)
2023 PFD filing available, ends March 31

Applications can be filed online through myAlaska, or by visiting

Seward Middle School students ride the chair lift at Alyeska Resort in Girdwood, Alaska, on Jan. 26, 2023. (Photo courtesy Myla Lijemark)
Hitting the slopes

Seward Middle School students get outside and onto the side of a mountain

Kachemak Emergency Services logo.
Lawsuit: Borough retaliated against harassment complaint

The suit says the borough violated the “covenant of good faith and fair dealing” and caused “severe emotional distress”

Flowers bloom at Soldotna City Hall on Wednesday, June 24, 2021, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna OKs bumps to city water, sewer rates

The changes are effective July 1

Most Read