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 kelly.sullivan@peninsulaclarion.com.

More in News

Stickers are available for voters at the Kenai No. 1 precinct for Election Day on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna to hold ‘I Voted’ sticker design contest

City council members approved the program during their Wednesday night meeting

Bill seeking to bump use of Alaska Performance Scholarship clears the House with unanimous support

The money is awarded to high-performing high school graduates to help pay for postsecondary education at participating institutions in Alaska

Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities Commissioner Ryan Anderson answers questions from state senators during a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024 in Juneau, Alaska. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire)
State officials working to meet Friday deadline for revised transportation plan

The federal government rejected the plan on Feb. 9, citing numerous deficiencies

Travis Every, top left, speaks in support of fishing opportunity for the east side setnet fishery before the State Board of Fisheries at the Egan Convention Center in Anchorage, Alaska, on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Local fishers talk conservation, opportunity before Board of Fisheries in Anchorage

Local fishers from the Kenai Peninsula traveled to Anchorage this weekend to… Continue reading

Sen. Jesse Bjorkman, R-Nikiski, presents information on a bill establishing a voluntary buyback program for Cook Inlet’s east side setnet fishery on Monday, Feb. 19, 2024, in Juneau, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Bjorkman bill would pay bonuses to nationally certified teachers

The Alaska Department of Education and Early Development estimates that the bonus program would apply to about 215 of Alaska’s estimated 7,315 teachers — about 3%

Alaska senators meet with members of the media to discuss education legislation after a press conference by Gov. Mike Dunleavy on the topic on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024, in Juneau, Alaska. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire)
Dunleavy threatens veto of education bill if more of his priorities aren’t added

It is not certain there would be the 40 votes necessary to override a veto by the governor

A map displays a wide-ranging special weather statement, published Tuesday by the National Weather Service, covering Southcentral Alaska. (Map courtesy of National Weather Service)
Strong winds, low wind chills forecast through Friday

Wind chills over night may reach as low as -20 to -40 degrees in much of Southcentral

Snow falls atop the Central Peninsula Diabetes Center in Soldotna, Alaska, on Monday, Feb. 26, 2024. The office opened in October, but a grand opening was held this week. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Central Peninsula Hospital adds Diabetes Center

The center has been seeing patients since October and held a grand opening Monday

Gary Hollier pulls a sockeye salmon from a set gillnet at a test site for selective harvest setnet gear in Kenai, Alaska, on Tuesday, July 25, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Findings from pilot setnet fishery study inconclusive

The study sought to see whether shorter nets could selectively catch sockeye salmon while allowing king salmon to pass below

Most Read