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Scottsbluff Kennel Club to host AKC dog enthusiasts
March 26, 2015 Jerry Purvis   

Read more by Jerry Purvis
This weekend it’s a dog’s life at the Scotts Bluff County Events Center in Mitchell when the Scottsbluff Kennel Club hosts hundreds of dog lovers and their four-legged friends at its annual AKC Dog Show.
Dog competitors and their owners will be busy in prepration with perfumed baths, blow dry stylings and obedience dress rehearsals before official competition begins on Friday, March 27.

The event runs each day through Sunday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Best puppy competitions and best breed by exhibitor events have been scheduled for the show. Ribbons will be awarded in regular classes, obedience cases, variety groups and non-regular classes.

All-breed dog shows, obedience trials, rally trials and unbenched obedience and rally entries are open to all-American dogs listed in the American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Partners Program.

An inside dog wash will be available for exhibitors this year. There will also be a building for food and dog equipment vendors on-site during the show.

According to publicity chairperson Suzanne Lilja-Kingma, the local kennel club organized in the late 1960s and worked their way up to AKC show status in the early 1980s. Since that first show, it’s been held at the county fairgrounds.

“We have almost 800 entries from people this weekend,” she said. “They primarily come from North and South Dakota, Colorado and Nebraska. But we’ve also had people come from Canada, California, and Illinois.”

She added the annual dog show brings in a lot of interest from the community and also tourism as people travel to the area and stay for three days.

“We’re very good for the local economy, Suzanne said. “It brings in about $100,000 a day between hotels, gas food and other necessities.”
Karla Niedan-Streeks said the show has continued to grow over the years and has become a great source of return business for the community.

“The show covers three days, but some of the breeders and show people come in even a couple of days early,” Karla said. “The overall impact on the local economy is substantial on the entire area.”
Shannon Brunner at Monument Inns and Suites said the show judges will be staying in Gering for the event and all the motels are booked for the weekend.

“Having a full house for the dog show benefits the whole community,” Shannon said. “People spend money here in our restaurants, for shopping, for gas and more. We’ve received lots of comments from people who love the area and think the dog show is one of the nicest they attend. All the feedback has been very positive.”

Suzanne said they have a good sized show for the area. “A lot of our exhibitors said they like it because it’s a small, friendly show. And some of the entrants and judges have stayed in the area an extra day to visit some of our historical areas.”

The grooming area is open to the public for those who would like to watch the details of how dogs are prepared for showing.

“If someone is interested in a particular breed, this is a good place to go and ask questions,” Suzanne said. “All the exhibitors are more than happy to share their knowledge and experience about the breed. It’s good information to have because not every breed is a good match for a person or a family. The exhibitors live with that breed and know the dog’s personality and how they work with different people.”
There is a parking fee of $3 per car, but the dog shows are free. Judging starts each day at 8 a.m. Go to the website onofrio.com for a schedule of which breeds will be showing when.

Baby strollers are not allowed in the show building, and consider bringing your own folding chairs. More information is available by calling (308) 632-4271.
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