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The New Normal

by Joan Harrigan

It’s year three at the Piers, and it now all seems familiar.  There are more tweaks—the vendors are a little more visible, and Cherrybrook has located its booth in the benching area at Pier 94, which makes a lot of sense.  Nearby, celebrity hairstylist Chaz Dean is selling “Wen for Dogs” – pricey conditioning cleansers and perfumed sprays that can be used by dogs and their owners alike.

Over at the rings, multiple flat screens at each ring make it easy to see the action, even if it seems a bit odd to watch action on television that is happening a few yards away. There’s not a lot of seating, but at least standing spectators can see the dogs as they are shown.

Over at Pier 94, the Icelandic Sheepdog people are having a bit of a party in the aisle—complete with cookies emblazoned with photographs of the breed.  It’s only 9 a.m. and they’re not judged until the afternoon.  Elsie (Ch Thordunu Leppatuska) is taking advantage of the downtime by catching a pre-show nap. Another breed might spend this time on a grooming table being brushed, combed, and sprayed, but Elsie is sprawled on her side on the cement floor of the Pier, wearing her day-to-day collar and lead.  She couldn’t be more at home, or less concerned about the people rushing down the aisle.

Owner Jo-Ann Secondino of Union Bridge, Md. regards 9-year old Elsie with obvious affection.  She’s been in the breed for 13 years, and was drawn to them by their “awesome” temperament.  “After my Keeshond died, I wanted another spitz-type dog, and my boyfriend wanted a herding breed.  I was leafing through a dog magazine, looking at breeds.  I saw a picture of an Icelandic Sheepdog and realized that this breed could satisfy both of us,” she says.  Secondino imported Elsie from Iceland as a puppy.  She’s gone on to produce offspring that excel in a variety of venues.  “One of her puppies is now an autism support service dog,” Secondino says with pride.  “She also has grandchildren showing in Finland and Germany.”   Even more important, she’s become a piece of Secondino’s heart:  “she’s my all-time favorite dog.”

When asked what prospective owners should know about the breed, Secondino points out that Icelandic Sheepdogs are active dogs that “can be talkative.”  They need very involved owners, she continues, and while they can enjoy simply “hanging out” around the house, in the field, they are “ready to roll.”  As if to prove her owner right, Elsie takes this cue to rise to her feet and stretch—ready to take on the day and her competition.

Short URL: http://caninechronicle.com/?p=71373

Posted by on Feb 16 2015. Filed under Featured, The Buzz. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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