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

Kenai City Manager Paul Ostrander speaks at a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Kenai Municipal Airport on Friday, Aug. 6, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. A kiosk that will offer educational programming and interpretive products about the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge is coming to the airport. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsua Clarion)
Wildlife refuge kiosk coming to airport

Kenai National Wildlife Refuge stickers, T-shirts, magnets, travel stamps and enamel pins will be available.

This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. (CDC)
5 more COVID deaths reported

The total nationwide fatalities surpass population of Alaska.

Velda Geller fills goodie bags at the Kenai Senior Center on Friday, Oct. 22, 2021 for next weekend’s drive-through trick-or-treat event. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
‘This has been a lifesaver’

Seniors seek human connection as pandemic continues.

Kenai City Hall on Feb. 20, 2020, in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
‘A very slippery slope that we need to be careful of’

Approval of library grant postponed after Kenai council requests to preview book purchases

This undated photo released by the Alaska State Department of Public Safety shows Robin Pelkey just before her 18th birthday. The remains of a woman known for 37 years only as Horseshoe Harriet, one of 17 victims of a notorious Alaska serial killer, have been identified through DNA profiling as Robin Pelkey, authorities said Friday, Oct. 22, 2021. (Alaska State Department of Public Safety via AP)
DNA match IDs serial killer’s victim after 37 years

Robin Pelkey was 19 and living on the streets of Anchorage when she was killed by Robert Hansen in the early 1980s, investigators said.

A moose is photographed in Kalifornsky, Alaska, in July 2020. (Peninsula Clarion file)
Illegal moose harvest down from past 5 years

The large majority of moose this year were harvested from North and South Kasilof River areas.

Renee Behymer and Katelyn Behymer (right) of Anchorage win this week’s vaccine lottery college scholarship sweepstakes. (Photo provided)
Dillingham and Anchorage residents win 6th vaccine lottery

“Get it done,” one winner said. “Protect us all, protect our elders and our grandchildren.”

Most Read