OA: Kennel club’s annual get-together lets proud owners, canines compete, have fun

Hannah Martin plays with Gimli, a 3-year-old Pembroke Welsh Corgi. Martin, 12, has been showing dogs for four years. Martin and Gimli will participate in the Breed Conformation and Junior Showmanship events at The Grand Valley Kennel Club’s All Breed Dog Show this weekend.

Trim, blow dry, fluff, repeat.

Ahhh, the life of a show dog, it sure can be ruff.

The Grand Valley Kennel Club holds its 37th annual All Breed Dog Show and Obedience Trial on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 20–21, at the Mesa County Fairgrounds.

A K-9 Health Fair with health screenings open to dogs in the community will also be offered at the show.

The public can see all breeds of dogs, watch dog and handler teams and browse vendors selling dog-related supplies such as grooming supplies, pet photography services, massages, jewelry, pet food and more.

Gimli, a 3-year-old Pembroke Welsh Corgi, is the best dog in the world to his 12-year-old owner and junior intermediate show handler Hannah Martin of Orchard Mesa.

The two have been winning the hearts of judges in dog shows across the state.

“He’s a show boy,” Martin said, patting Gimli on the head. “He doesn’t think he’s a dog.”

Martin and Gimli (his official registered name is Misty Ridge Lord Gimli) will compete in Breed Conformation and Junior Showmanship at the dog show this weekend.

Gimli doesn’t know many tricks, but he sheds, plays fetch and totally loves Puperoni treats or anything chicken or liver flavored, Martin said.

His favorite toy is a stuffed cow.

Martin started showing dogs when she was 8 years old, then the minimum age for Junior Showmanship competitions with American Kennel Club, she said. (The minimum age is now 9.)

Before that, she pulled a stuffed toy Corgi around on a leash for practice.

Martin is a dedicated and serious 12-year-old. At shows she often wears suits.

“I just like showing in suits,” she said. “It makes me look more professional and older.”

Recently, Martin won Best Junior Handler at the Corgi Specialty in Greeley.

She got into dog shows through 4-H and with the help of her mentor and 4-H and AKC dog leader, Noelle Blair.

Martin is the first in her family to show dogs. Her mother Lisa has since started.

If someone is new to showmanship and is interested in show dogs and handling, Martin’s advice is to pick a friendly breeder, research the breed, prepare for hard work and be a good sport.

She has learned “you don’t win all the time” as well as discipline, responsibility and how to groom a dog.

Dog shows can be noisy and hectic, Margin said, but “it’s a cool place to buy dog stuff.”

It’s also a great environment to learn about breeds and talk to breeders, she said.

And sometimes dog owners, handlers and dogs do get a little crazy, as the in the 2000 comedy “Best in Show,” she said.

At Gimli’s first dog show, he barked the national anthem along with the singer, she said.

“(Corgis) have their own personalities,” Martin said. Her family has a few.

“Corgis are like potato chips,” she said. “You can’t have just one.”


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