Dog Shows Are Serious Business - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

7/22/04

Dog Shows Are Serious Business

With a hectic travel schedule, a personal trainer and a full time hair dresser, expenses can quickly add up. No, we're not talking about the lives of movie stars but show dogs. This week more than 200 dogs are strutting their stuff at the coast coliseum making this year's Dolphin Cluster Shows the largest ever.

Kitty Sawyer says some breeds of dogs are fairly easy to train. Borzois aren't one of them. However, when it comes to the cost of doing shows she says all dogs are created equally.

"Just an entry fee for the day is like 24 or 26 dollars for each day's entry fees," said Sawyer. "Then you've go to get here and stay in a hotel if you're far away."

Breeders and owners say traveling the dog show circuit can take a big bite out of your wallet. It's common to spend $500 to $800 dollars in one weekend. With high gas prices, some people say they've cut back.

Beth Carr is a breeder. "A lot of people who wanted their dogs shown and had some money. They just can't afford it all. You know it's harder and it's a shame."

Then there's the expense that can't be measure in dollars and cents, time. A champion dog takes requires a lot of grooming. I found Kayla Kirby working on a dog.

"Completely bathing and drying him and ironing him out takes about 3 hours. We've been known to do it everyday or every other day."

On the other side of the fence, show organizers say the events are good news for the local economy.

Show Chairman Kathie Short said "So if you have 1,300 people here and they spent $73 dollars a day. It's a big economic boost."

Even though few shows offer prize money, many owners choose to focus less on the expense.. and more on the sport they love.

Judy Caprio enjoys showing Hungarian Puli as a sport. "Ask a golfer what it cost him or how much time it takes or a fisherman so it's the same kind of thing."

The dog show runs through Sunday.

by Danielle Thomas

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