The shows that close next Wednesday start off with a bang… or should I say with a hula dance? The Shasta and Butte County Kennel Clubs host the Bow-Wow Luau Cluster  May 30 through June 2, 2013, in Gridley, Calif., about an hour north of Sacramento. In keeping with their Hawaiian luau theme, they encourage all judges and exhibitors to dress in island attire for the four shows, and on Saturday night after Best in Show will host a luau! The evening event will include not only what sounds like a delicious dinner, but guests will also enjoy games, a hula hoop contest and prizes for best Hawaiian dog and handler costumes. The big party is just $15 per person.

To further show their appreciation for exhibitors, each breeder/owner-handler entered will receive a ticket each day of the cluster for a daily drawing, with a prize to be awarded to the winner prior to Group judging. The cluster also offers a self-serve dog wash area, a tattoo clinic, health clinics, and the services of the Grass Valley International Canine Semen Bank and Breeder’s Veterinary Services.

The International Palms Resort will be the site, the first weekend of June, for back-to-back shows hosted by the Toy Dog Club of Central Florida.

If you have Toy breeds and are within driving distance of Orlando, here’s a way you can combine a dog show with a little holiday. The Toy Dog Club of Central Florida  holds back-to-back shows at the International Palms Resort on June 1 and 2, and for starters they’ve gotten a special room rate for exhibitors of $69, almost $30 off the regular rate. Although not the newest hotel in Orlando, the International Palms is close to lots of restaurants and other entertainment venues (including Walt Disney
World, Universal and Sea World, all within 10 miles or less), and if guests prefer not to leave the hotel, there are restaurants, a bar, a huge swimming pool and even hammocks available right on the grounds. In addition to regular competition, the club is offering Best Bred-by-Exhibitor and Best Puppy competition, as well as rally, for those who are so inclined. A raffle will be held on Saturday.

On Monday I wrote about the big Memorial Day cluster in New Castle, Pa., and the shows that follow in the same general area are those of the Southern Tier Area Cluster,  which also bills itself as “The Great American Family Dog Show Weekend.” Four shows, hosted by the Olean and Conewango Valley Kennel Clubs, will be held at the Chautaugua County Agricultural and Fair Association in Dunkirk, N.Y.

Perhaps what’s most notable about this cluster is the emphasis on the amateur-owner-handler… and one very generous cash prize. Each day of the cluster competition will take place for Best Amateur-Owner-Handler at the breed, Group and Best in Show levels. On Sunday the four Best in Show AOH from each day will compete for Best Amateur-Owner-Handler in Cluster. The prizes alone should encourage participation; Best AOH in Show each day will receive a $300 cash prize, and Best AOH in Cluster will receive an amazing $1,400! Six hundred dollars is offered by Olean KC, $600 by Conewango Valley KC and $200 by James Pesce. If I were an amateur-owner-handler, I would absolutely enter and you’d find me in Orlando the first weekend of June!

Cash prizes are also offered for Group First through Fourth and Best in Show each day.

The clubs will hold a Best Junior Handler in Cluster competition on Sunday for the BJH winners from each all-breed show, with a $100 gift card as the prize. On Friday night after the show, they’ll host a complimentary party for exhibitors in the Best in Show ring, catered by Bob Evans restaurant. Golf carts are available for rent to make it easier to get around the show grounds, and there will be a “Best Decorated Golf Cart” contest, with a $50 gas card as the grand prize.

Friday through Sunday, the Lake Country Lure Coursers will offer a coursing trial as well as two Coursing Ability Tests – for any and all breeds – on the grounds. There will be obedience and rally trials during the weekend as well. Conewango Valley will hold a breed and obedience match on Saturday evening.

Entries may be down at some shows, but there are certainly plenty of clubs out there working hard to offer their exhibitors much more than just a dog show, and those club members are to be congratulated. If your club has anything interesting or unique going on, be sure to email me at