Last week I reported that shows were closing on June 5 in 17 locations around the country. In contrast, only 10 states have all-breed shows closing next week, although several of those clusters and show weekends have a great deal to offer.

One of the bigger groups of shows is the Blue Crab Cluster at the Richmond Raceway Complex in Richmond, Va., on Friday, June 28 through Monday, July 1, 2013. The fun begins on Thursday with the Virginia Terrier and Potomac Hound club shows, and continues through Monday with two shows each hosted by the Southern Maryland and Rock Creek Kennel Clubs.

Since the cluster moved to the Raceway Complex last year, all judging at these shows is now indoors in air conditioning, pretty much a necessity these days in late June. This will be the fourth year that the cluster has hosted their “Silent Auction and Second Chance Treasures,” which they’ve also dubbed a “yard sale.” Fanciers are encouraged to take new or gently used items that they’d like to part with to donate to the yard sale, and I’ve heard that the silent auction always includes some great items. All proceeds go to Take the Lead. Lisa Miller, whose husband Harry is the show chairman for Southern Maryland, says the auction and sale have been very successful. “People bring stuff from all over, not just dog-related things,” she says. “We have a great time!”

Naturally, since it’s the “Blue Crab” Cluster, the ocean’s bounty will be part of the festivities. “We’re having our all-you-can-eat seafood feast, including steamed crab, shrimp and more,” Lisa says. In addition, on Friday evening exhibitors will have an opportunity to relax and partake in some laugh-therapy at a barbecue and comedy hypnosis show on the show grounds.

On Saturday the AKC Registered Handler Program will conduct a clinic for junior handlers that includes a free lunch. There will also be a flyball demonstration that day, with local teams showing spectators how that fun sport is done.

The clubs will hold an armband drawing every day for a $25 gas card, and there will be eye and cardiac clinics on site. A Coonhound bench show will take place after Potomac Hound on Thursday. Obedience and rally, along with Best Puppy, Best Bred-by and 4-to-6 Months Puppy competition, will round out the week’s offerings.

After Best in Show on Monday, the final competition for the cluster will take place when each day’s Best in Show winner, as well as the Group winners from Virginia Terrier and Potomac Hound, will compete for the title of Best of the Blue Crab Cluster. Bragging rights will be accompanied by a $500 cash prize!

Club members are working hard to create a cluster that exhibitors will want to come back to year after year. “We are very proud of our cluster, and do all we can each year to make it better,” Lisa says.

A whole batch of summer shows takes place in New England in June and July, beginning with four all-breeds in Cumberland, Maine, that close today, followed by the Crackerbarrel Cluster, four shows held at the Crackerbarrel Fairgrounds in Wrentham, Mass., Thursday, June 27 through Sunday June 30. The Wampanoag and Hockamock Kennel Clubs are the hosts here.

We’re becoming accustomed to finding health clinics for our dogs at so many shows these days, which makes it so much easier for fanciers to get the requisite testing done on their dogs. Dog show folk tend to think a lot more about the health of their dogs than themselves, I believe, but these two clubs are shifting the focus a bit by offering a blood pressure clinic for humans! This is a terrific way to encourage our fellow fanciers to do a little checkup on their own health, and I commend these clubs for the thought.

On Friday after Best in Show at the Crackerbarrel Cluster, professional handler Rose Chandless will conduct a 90-minute handling seminar for adults, and it will be at no charge. She’ll cover how to discover and highlight your dog’s virtues and other topics of interest.

There will be Best Bred-by and Best Puppy competition during the circuit, as well as an eye clinic and CGC testing. The International Canine Semen Bank will also be on site.

Out on the West Coast, the Mount Bachelor Kennel Club will hold three all-breed shows Friday, June 28, through Sunday, June 30, at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds in Redmond, Ore. The club has adopted a western theme for the shows, and everyone is encouraged to don appropriate attire.

Coursing ability, or CAT, tests, sponsored by the Chintimini Kennel Club, will take place Friday afternoon, and Saturday morning and afternoon, and are open to purebred dogs, as well as AKC Canine Partners or those wishing to become Canine Partners. Also on Saturday, after Group judging, Jane Devlin will provide a demonstration and information about dog scootering, or urban mushing. Jane competed with her sled dogs for about six years, and three years ago became involved with dog scootering as a way to keep her team in shape and to have fun during the months when there was no snow. She says that “It’s not just about Huskies; any dog that likes to pull would have fun doing this!”

Mount Bachelor will also include obedience and rally, as well as two obedience matches, with their shows.

The Lost Coast Kennel Club of California will also hold three all-breed shows, three obedience trials and two rally trials that weekend, in Ferndale, Calif., at the Humboldt County Fairgrounds.

Billed as “the friendly shows,” this weekend will include a free conformation handling class by AKC judge Doris Boyd on Friday, a lure-coursing demo and fun run on Friday and Saturday, and a canine tattoo clinic throughout the weekend. On Friday night there will be a barbecue after Best in Show judging is completed.

If your show or cluster has something fun, unique or interesting going on, write to me about it… we’d love to tell the fancy all about it! Email me at