Part 4: Canfield or Bust!
By Jess Pearson
For the first time since March, we have two weekends in a row of dog shows, resulting in a few days between as exhibitors travel from one location to the next. The weather forecast could not be better as exhibitors arrive at the Canfield Fairgrounds for the Steel Valley Cluster. It has been a long road to get to this point, but nonetheless, our sport continues to move forward.
Canfield, Ohio is the setting for the show weekend. Completely outdoors and closed to the public, the club continues to follow AKC and state and local guidelines to maintain social distancing and mask requirements. The club has left no table unturned in preparation for this event with safety as the number once priority.
With almost 4,000 entries from all over the country and majors in so many breeds, it is no doubt that the weekend will provide comradery and excitement throughout the entire show grounds. With record breaking entries of 123 Goldens, 102 Labs, 82 Australian Shepherds, 73 Boxers, 82 Dobermans, and 71 Juniors, exhibitors have not seen entries across the board like this in quite some time.
In a turn of events, local health officials will be present at the show grounds to ensure health guidelines are being followed. This is not the first show during the pandemic that officials have attended. Exhibitors report that officials were also in Bloomsburg. Nevertheless, social media posts are trending with reminders to exhibitors to wear masks and social distance. With two other events recently held at the show grounds, here is hoping for the best that the show will go off without a hitch.
With the sad news of the Oberlin shows canceling shortly after closing, exhibitors look forward to being able to show this weekend. For some, the hope and wonder about when they will make it to the next show remains uncertain.
Whether deciding to stay home or venturing out to shows, we have seen both sides to this hobby. As we approach one of the most anticipated shows of the year, please remember to be patient, supportive of others’ decisions, and never lose sight of what this is all about: the dogs.