Around Dutchland, May 1999

by Penny Pyrbred

The humans are late again with this, the April issue of the Pyr-A-Scoop. A lot has happened in Dutchland since Penny last set paws to keyboard, so here we go with some of the highlights.

The Annual Meeting took place on a beautiful March day and was attended by quite a number of Pyrs for a people-only event. Chelsea Unger was a charming hostess, ably assisted by honorary Pyr, Tinker, and both Pyrs and people had a great time. The people even managed to get some business accomplished, planning some wonderful events for the 1999 Club year.

This was followed by an outstanding GPCA National Specialty in Chicago. Penny, bicoastal by nature, usually eschews attendance at events in the great interior of the country. But taking a tip from Dianne Migas (who managed to lure Barb Bowes onto a plane for the first time in her life to attend this event), Penny managed to find a reasonable rate for air travel to the Windy City, first class, of course. Those corn-fed Midwestern Pyrs sure do know how to party (click here for photos)!

One of the highlights of this National had to be the apPyrance of our own Ms. Clondike, baiting for brussels sprouts (click here for details). Dave Simon had groomed her to Pyrfection and she really thrilled the crowd, even if stacking is a concept completely foreign to her nature. At 8:30 am she was lucky to place second in a class of two. Mary Beth Vaudrin, a Minnesota fan of Clondike's exploits in cyberspace, had prepared about 50 lapel pins featuring the famous brussels sprouts, and these were proudly worn by Clondike's many friends and fans (click here for photos).

The Midwestern show dogs were magnificent, but Penny wants to congratulate some of our winning Penn-Dutchies. The hunky Dickens Coombs (Maranatha Pyreau's C. Dickens) took Winners Dog, Cory Coombs-Champion (CH Maranatha Cormoryn O'Brygyn) received an Award of Merit, and Bonny Cox (Hollow Hill Bonne Amie) took the 6-9 month Puppy Bitch class.

In April Penn-Dutch conducted a Rescue Awareness Day at the Petco in Bethlehem. This was a fun event and very well received by the public. While a little early in the day for Penny to attend, many Penn-Dutch Pyrs and their people participated, including birthday boy, Conrad Gill (click here for photos).

On May 2nd Penn-Dutch participated in the Chester County SPCA's Walk for Paws. Ten people and 7 dogs helped introduce our breed to the public, with lots of information packets being distributed. The weather cooperated with beautiful conditions and what with the walk, the band and the dog games, there was something to interest everyone. Penn-Dutch has been invited back next year.

May 15th brought the Spring Walk-in-the-Woods at Lake Nockamixon, and again the weather cooperated, providing a spectacular day. Fourteen dogs and 22 people participated including: Barb Bowes and her father with Molly; Patti and Jeff Bechtel with Loki and Snickers; Marty and Kimberly Crew with Casey; Judy and David Heffelfinger with Oakie; Dorothy Maxwell; Karl and Ann Edinger with Lillie; Ben and Kathy Gress with Brutus and Kayla; Greta Osterman with Bubba and Lil Pearl; Joe and Patti Lamoureaux with Rupert; Judy Skorup with Christy; Fred and Stephanie Unger with Chelsea and Tristan; and Bobbie and David Blackwell with Sasha. Much scenery was admired and food consumed by Pyrs and people alike, and a great time was had by all.

While the details weren't set at press time, planning is progressing feverishly for another standout Pyrenean Fun Day, scheduled for 11:00 am on Saturday, July 31st in Lancaster Central Park. Note that this is a change from the tentative date mentioned in the last issue. Mark those calendars now! There will be educational events, food, dog games and more! Penny hopes to see everyone there.

Sometime in late Summer or early Fall the Delta Society will be presenting a workshop on pet therapy for members of the Penn-Dutch and National Capital Area Great Pyrenees Clubs and the Potomac Valley Tibetan Spaniel Club. Penn-Dutchie Stephanie Alleman is making the arrangements for this event to be held at the Coombs' farm in Gettysburg. As soon as the date is set it will be posted on the Events page of the Penn-Dutch Web site, and we expect more details to be available for the July Pyr-A-Scoop. The Delta Society has the most rigorous standards of the organizations that certify dogs for therapy work, and Penny thinks this should be a fascinating workshop both for those contemplating therapy, and for those already engaged in therapy activities.

Have a great summer!

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