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The Terrier Super Bowl

I am a Terrier owner. That admission is part boast, part confession. I and my dogs resist house breaking and will sulk for days if spoken to harshly. We are suspicious of strangers and loathe all forms of vermin. We also tend to be a little argumentative. The late Anne Rogers Clark once said, “You always know where the Scotties are in the show hall. They’re the ones using the bad language.” However, we are loyal to a fault and are the ones to have on your side in a fight. Terrier people have many idiosyncrasies other than a penchant for tweed and comfortable shoes. Among the best is the annual Montgomery County Kennel Club show dedicated to Terriers in Blue Bell PA, a suburb of Philadelphia. I know there are other group gropes supported by the rest of dogdom. However, only the Terrier world, which counts among its registry only two breeds in the AKC top 50, can muster 1500 or more for a limited breed show

We Terrier enthusiasts spend much of the year in the company of just a few of our fellow Terrier exhibitors. Only occasionally do Terrier entries exceed 100 dogs at a show. However, every October we are drawn like moths to a flame to our Terrier Super Bowl. If the Westminster Kennel Club show is my Christmas, the all Terrier Montgomery County show is my birthday. I was first introduced to Montgomery County in the early 1970s while living in New York. I was showing a Maltese at the time and was taken back by the fact that the first weekend in October had no all breed show on Sunday in the area. One of my friends at the time said, “That’s Montgomery County weekend. Sunday is Terriers only. You should check it out. It’s like nothing you have ever seen.”  What an understatement. In those days entries at the annual Terrier Tussle would routinely reach 3000. I could go all year and not see a Sealyham Terrier at my local shows, but at Montgomery County there were more than 50. I made up my mind then and there that I would be a Terrier owner as soon as I moved out my apartment into a house. In the early 1980s we moved to the San Francisco Bay area and I bought a Sealyham. I’ve been a Terrier owner ever since.

This year, I’ll be taking my Best In Show Daily tour to Pennsylvania for the 78th annual iteration of the Montgomery County Kennel Club show. I will spending Thursday & Friday in Wrightstown PA with the Hatboro Kennel Club and Saturday in Ludwigs Corner PA for the Devon Dog Show Association’s show. Before Between now and then I will be giving you a look at the favorites and a report on the entries when they come in.  So check back with me for more on Montgomery County and If you are anywhere near Philadelphia on October 7th, put on your Harris Tweed Jacket and your Hushpuppies, jump in the Jag, and motor on out to Blue Bell, PA and join me. You’ll be speaking with a brogue by day’s end.  And that’s today’s Back Story.

Written by

Billy Wheeler has been attending dog shows as a spectator and exhibitor for over 40 years. Billy is the man behind the popular Dog Show Poop. He is a retired management consultant who has advised multiple organizations affiliated with the AKC and the Cat Fanciers Association on business management, long range planning, customer service, and legislative matters. After 25 years of living in the big cities of New York, San Francisco, and Washington, DC, he now resides in his hometown of Memphis TN with his wife, Brenda, her Toy Poodle and his Cairn, Scottie, & IG. When he is not blogging, Billy can be found in the kitchen cooking, and listening to opera.
  • Roberta Berman September 7, 2012 at 10:39 AM

    And don’t forget, if you are a true terrier maniac, the week before Montgomery boasts 4 days of Terrier only Agility in Kimberton, PA (up the road a piece from Blue Bell) and one all terrier only Rally and Obedience trial. Isn’t it wonderful when the majority of the dogs are under 20″, the largest breed entry is small and white and the only Border Collies to be found are guests?

  • Virginia September 7, 2012 at 4:13 PM

    Great article, Billy! See you there. I’ll be there with bells on – blue bells, I suppose. ;-) year 28 for me.

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