This week marks the end of our dog days of summer. Here in the South, men will hang up their seersucker jackets and women will put the white shoes away until Easter. (Does anyone really wear white shoes anymore?) Dog show enthusiasts know how to mark an occasion, and this Labor Day weekend will see 43 all-breed shows in five time zones and 14 different locations. Here’s where the action is.

In New England, head to Union ME on Thursday for four shows with the Central Maine Kennel Club & the Mid-Coast Kennel Club Of Maine. New Yorkers will start their weekend on Friday in Augusta NJ where the Newton Kennel Club will be set upon for two days, then pack up and move on to Morristown NJ for two more days with the Sussex Hills Kennel Club & the Schooley’s Mountain Kennel Club.

Great Lakes dog owners have multiple options starting with the Tonawanda Valley Kennel Club’s two shows in the upstate town of Albion NY. There’s also the Marquette Kennel Club’s three-day weekend, starting Friday, in its Michigan hometown. Illini will head for Georgetown IL for the Danville Illinois Kennel Club. In the Heartland, the place to be is Amana IA where the Tri-City Kennel Club & the Cedar Rapids Kennel Association will open a four-day run on Friday.

Here in the South, we will have to drive a little farther than our northern brethren, but we get to stay a while when we get there. In Raleigh NC, the Alamance Kennel Club, the Durham Kennel Club, the Raleigh Kennel Club & the Cary Kennel Club will team up for four shows beginning Friday. You can get a full five days running Thursday through Monday in Lexington KY, thanks to the Lexington Kennel Club, the Northern Kentucky Kennel Club & the Mid-Kentucky Kennel Club. Monroe LA is well inland and Hurricane Isaac will have already come and gone by Friday when the Bayou Kennel Club & the Vicksburg Kennel Club Of Mississippi open their four-day stop.

West of the Mississippi, you will have to drive even farther, but you will be able to seek out some doggy fun. Rocky Mountain residents will be in Cheyenne WY for the hometown kennel club’s two shows. In the Pacific Northwest, the place to be is St Helens OR for a weekend with the Longview-Kelso Kennel Club. Having lived in Northern California for 25 years, I can recommend a weekend with the Gold Country Kennel Club in Grass Valley CA. Down in SoCal (southern California), it’s two with the Cabrillo Kennel Club in Valley Center.

For those lucky enough to spend the week where it’s summer 365 days a year, there are three shows in Honolulu HI hosted by the Hawaiian Kennel Club & the Valley Isle Kennel Club Of Maui. So get one more wear out of that summer wardrobe, and head for your local dog show. Write me and tell me how beautiful the dogs looked and whether you saw any white shoes. And that’s today’s Back Story.