Being the numbers nerd I am, I spend a good portion of my time here on the Back Story and over on my Dog Show Poop site focusing on the dog with the most points and the shows with the most entries. However, I have also been a staunch defender of what I like to call “boutique” shows, the smaller shows that leave time to enjoy the day, rather than rushing from ring to ring.

Every now and then, one of these show committees comes up with something really special. Such was Sunday’s South New Jersey Kennel Club show. Although the entry was not huge, it wasn’t tiny either, but a healthy 750 dogs. What really distinguished this show was its dedication to a cause, Breast Cancer Awareness. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. My regular readers know that my wife of 42 years is a breast cancer survivor. It’s a status that is shared by almost 12 percent of US women.

The club has several members who are survivors, and today’s show was dedicated to a longtime member and show chair of the SNJKC, Patsy Barber, who lost her battle with the disease this year. The show’s theme this year was “Paws in the Pink.” In addition to the usual doggy features, the club auctioned off baskets and other items with a pink theme, sold pink ribbons for display to honor survivors and remember those who have been lost, and signed up supporters for their “Paws in the Pink” walk next weekend at Cooper River Park in Camden NJ. All funds will benefit the American Cancer Society’s Breast Cancer Awareness program.

Additional fun items were a Best Dressed in Pink contest for both humans and canines. One of the especially poignant features of the show was the pink ribbon cordon surrounding Patsy’s regular RV parking spot. The spot will be reserved in her memory at all the club’s future shows at the site.

In addition to raising money for a good cause, the club drew some of the finest dogs in the US to its show including three of our Top Ten Dogs All Breeds, the Number Three Dog, the Doberman Pinscher, GCH CH Protocol’s Veni Vidi Vici; the Number Five Dog, the Affenpinscher, GCH CH Banana Joe V Tani Kazari; and the Number Ten Dog, the American Foxhound, GCH CH Kiarry’s Pandora’s Box. Today’s BIS was the Kerry Blue Terrier, GCH CH Class Act by Hallsblu, and the RBIS was the Black Cocker Spaniel, GCH CH Sovran’s Aranjuez.

Shows like this one remind me why I love this sport. It’s populated by good people with good hearts who actually take action. I wish we could get more of our neighbors, friends and co-workers involved in the sport. I think our world would be the better for it. Our thanks to Angela Stein for all the pink photos. And that’s today’s Back Story.