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A casual offer from a handler to let Josie show a dog about three years ago became a first step with no looking back. Josie, who outgrew the allergy, said she enjoys the ritual of training “because I didn’t do sports at all.” She’s home-schooled, which provides her with a bit more flexibility in her day.
Junior handlers such as Josie are regarded as the future of dog shows, which are nowhere as cutthroat as some would have you think, she said. “I have so many friends.” Her mom also is impressed by the generosity of the older handlers when it comes to mentoring youngsters. “It’s the most welcoming environment for an activity we’ve ever seen,” she said.
This weekend’s show marks the 80th year of the Minneapolis Kennel Club. More than 1,100 dogs are entered on Saturday, and again on Sunday, representing more than 125 breeds. If you’re interested in seeing a particular breed, the judging schedule is posted at the club’s website, www.minneapoliskc.org.
Fannie is an old hand at 2½ years old. Her partner in all things canine is Zane, a nine-month-old who already is as big as Fannie and is far — oh, my goodness, far — more rambunctious. His day in the show ring will come. In the meantime, the pair act as if they were born loving Josie.
“When she leaves, they lie in the front hall and wait for her until she comes back,” her mom said.
Kim Ode • 612-673-7185