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July 15, 2009 > Niles dog show, a breed apart

Niles dog show, a breed apart

By Alyson Whitaker

When thinking of a dog show, one can't help but call to mind the excessively competitive and cut-throat competitions that make headlines. The 11th Annual Niles Dog Show is a different breed. The motto of the show, "No Pedigree, No Problem" says it all.

While a "Best in Show" award will be given, the most popular contests have more to do with the pooch's personality and owner's creativity than a spotless purebred pedigree.

The day will kick off with the "Best Costume" competition at 10 a.m. Ingenuity and levity often win the day. Past winners have included an owner dressed as a beekeeper, surrounded by bee-costumed "pocket pups". Judges will be looking for imaginative and unique costumes and themes.

Dogs who love the spotlight will be competing in the arena for title of "Best Performer." Awards will be given for crowd-pleasing tricks and handler/dog teams who work well together. To keep the show moving, a two-minute time limit will be set . . . this can be tough for newcomers since even pooches can experience a little stage fright and performance anxiety!

Three of the contests are divided by size, giving large and small breed dogs equal opportunity to claim the prize of "Best Veteran" (aka "Oldest Dog"), "Most Handsome Male" and "Prettiest Female." Don't have a purebred? No problem, judges will also award a prize to the "Most Unusual Mix."

The story of "Cane" and "Trina" is just one tale competing for Best Rescue Story. Two mixed breed pups that swam for three days during Hurricane Katrina, were adopted by Denise Labree of San Lorenzo. Their story will be shared over the lunch break.

Are you looking to adopt a dog? An "Adoption Parade" will give an opportunity to see various pooches available for adoption into a loving home from local rescue groups.

Happiness Country Kennels will offer an agility demonstration, and owners will have the opportunity to try out the course with their own dog as well.

Event Coordinator Deb Carey says, "There's never been a single fight . . . between dogs or humans. It's a day to enjoy the sun; people are smiling, and everyone there loves dogs!" The free event is targeted specifically at families and their furry friends.

The Niles Main Street Association has partnered with Ohlone Humane Society and will share proceeds from the event. Local sponsors have generously donated goods and services. Golden Gate Basset Rescue will have a micro-chip clinic to register your dog at the show. Ohlone Humane Society is offering free spay/neutering services for any Pit Bull Terrier.

A variety of vendors and informational booths will be on-site, all aimed at making yours and your dog's life the very best it can be.

Attendance at the event is free. However, there is a $15 Entrant Fee if you would like to enter your dog into one of the contests. Entrants will receive a canvas "goodie bag" filled with donated items, specifically for dogs. On-site registration will begin at 9 a.m. For a guaranteed spot, register early online-registration is limited to 200 dogs.

Whether you're a dog owner, or just a dog lover, this event is one that can't be missed!

Niles Dog Show
Saturday, July 18
10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Niles Community Park
3rd and H Streets, Niles District, Fremont
(510) 742-9868

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