Top dogs Pups put their best paw forward at Lititz Farmers Market
LAURIE KNOWLES CALLANAN Record Express Correspondent
, Staff Writer
More than a dozen canines were up for top dog awards at Lititz Farmers Market on Saturday.
It was the annual Dog Days of Summer dog show and the participating pups ranged from tiny Chihuahuas and Terriers to giant Great Danes and Mastiffs.
The dogs competed in categories that included Dog that Looks Most Like Owner, Dog that Does the Best Tricks, Biggest Dog, Smallest Dog, Most Unusual Coloring, Longest Tail, Shortest Tail and Longest Ears. Judges were dog-lovers Bill Barry and Mike Peiffer.
Shortly before the show got started, organizer Kelly Withum expressed some concern about the dark clouds and threats of rain. There weren’t very many contestants on-hand. Then, as it was almost time for the show, some 25 dogs were ready to compete.
"The weather looked OK and so we decided to come over to market, just for fun," said Monica Hough, who brought her Weimaraner Wilbur to compete in the longest ears category.
It was a lot more relaxed than Westminster, even though a few competitors did the traditional dog run with their pets, "just for fun." A few contestants suffered from stage fright, despite their owners best efforts to get them to play soccer, roll over and play dead or beg for treats.
Angie Piazza’s service dog Charlie, a very smart Yellow Lab, took top honors for Best Trick when he picked up his own leash and carried it over to Piazza. Just before the show, Piazza explained that Charlie was a helpful friend who picks things up for her, reaches things that are too high or far away and even stands guard over her.
Charlie can even carry items to the counter at a store and pay for them, even though he doesn’t have his own checking account. And if there was ever an emergency, Charlie is trained to get help.
"I can’t put into words how awesome Charlie is," said Piazza, adding that she has only had her new best buddy for six months.
Another winner in the dog show was Liberty, a mixed Australian Shepherd, Cattle Dog and Beagle. With her cute blonde ears, she was a look-alike with her owner, 8-year-old Piper Hepler, wearing matching blonde pigtails.
There was no doubt that at 130 pounds, Great Dane Phoenix was the biggest dog in the show. He stood well above any of the the other big dogs, with his huge paws and head. Owned by Shawn Houchin, the gentle giant was busy making friends with dogs much smaller than him.
The tiniest dog was little Stella May, a two-pound Chihuahua with a distinctive red marl coat and one blue eye and one brown eye. Her owner Diana Stauffer entered Stella May as smallest dog, of course, but was also in the running for looking like her dog, with her red hair and wide eyes.
"Stella May is a very special and unique dog," said Stauffer.
The dog who won for Most Unusual Coloring was Lily, a brindle colored Greyhound, owned by Chris Shenk, of Paw Print’s shop in Lititz. Lily’s coat of brown and gray was a real eye-catcher for the judges.
Another Greyhound was the winner of the Longest Tail competition. Ace, owned by Nicole Formica-O’Neill, was a lovely black dog with a long, slender tail that brought a prize to the classy pup.
When you have no tail at all, you’re a shoe-in for Shortest Tail. Tailless Cooper, an Australian Shepherd and Corgi mix, took top prize for Shortest Tail with owner Aaron Hartman.
As for Longest Ears, Wilbur the Weimaraner got just what he deserved: a blue ribbon for his floppy silver gray ears.
All eight winning dogs received blue ribbons, but all of the participants were winners in their own right. Pax, a Chocolate Lab puppy in training as a service dog was a star for demonstrating how to give a high five.
Matching Coton de Tulears and twin sisters, snowy white Sunny and Mable, were fashionably dressed in white and navy coats and leashes with their respective owners Molly Cahill and Abbie Smoker. They tried for Smallest Dog, but were beaten by a good eight pounds by tiny Stella May.
Another small dog was Prancer, a long-haired Dachshund, owned by Holly Hendricks. Yorkie Poo Cassie Ann Louise, with 9-year-old Stephanie Carson, and Daisy, another little Yorkie Poo, owned by Janelle Kershner, also hoped to win for Smallest, as did Daisy, a Bichon owned by Sue Bingeman.
"I’m a dog walker, so I thought I might see some of my clients," said Kelly Kephart, who brought along Charlie, a Toy Fox Terrier. "It’s fun to see all the different dogs at market."
What started off as a quiet market day got a boost from the dog show, as shoppers brought her pets and stopped by to purchase everything from fresh blueberries, onions, green beans, lettuce and tomatoes to noodles, jams, jellies, mustards, scones, breads and cupcakes.
It was Dog Days at Lititz Market and the dogs even had their own stand with doggy treats to reward them for a job well done.
The Lititz Farmers Market is open every Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon in the first block of North Water Street.
More DOG SHOW, page A16