Main Hall, Purina Farms

The first weekend in May is traditionally a major milestone on the dog show calendar. Most fanciers in the Northeast will head for West Windsor Township, NJ, centrally located between New York and Philadelphia for Sunday & Monday’s Trenton Kennel Club shows. The Central New Jersey Hound Association will offer limited-breed action Thursday, as will the Garden State All Terrier Club, & the Delaware Valley Toy Dog Fanciers Association on Friday. The all-breed action will get under way Saturday, in a fashion peculiar to that part of the U.S., with the Bucks County Kennel Club show in Erwinna, PA. Though it will involve a 90-minute side trip and repacking/unpacking the SUV, there are 2,200 points available to the winners. The TKC’s Sunday event will be even bigger with better than 2,500 entries. On Monday, there will remain 900 hard-core dog folk for TKC redux.

Our lone Southern offering is in the central Georgia town of Watkinsville where the Oconee River Kennel Club will set up for the weekend. Great Lakes residents will have their choice of two with the Crawford County Kennel Club in Bucyrus, OH, two hours southwest of Cleveland, or three with the Badger Kennel Club & the Janesville-Beloit Kennel Club in Jefferson, WI, an hour west of Milwaukee. In the Heartland, head for the Purina Farms site in Gray Summit, MO, near St. Louis for three all-breed shows: St. Louis Dog Breeders Association, the Spirit of the Heartland Kennel Club & the Jefferson County Kennel Club of Missouri. They even will throw in one limited-breed show on Thursday, courtesy of the Gateway Toy Dog Fanciers. Texans can choose between a weekend with the Big Spring Kennel Club in their hometown 300 miles west of Dallas, or two with the Caddo Kennel Club Of Texas, 150 miles east of Dallas in Marshall.

This week West Coast fanciers will have a virtual smorgasbord of shows to choose from. The Utah Valley Kennel Club & the Intermountain Kennel Club will team up for four shows in the Salt Lake City suburb of South Jordan. In the Pacific Northwest, head to Elma, WA, an hour southwest of Seattle for the Olympia Dog Fanciers Association’s two shows. In Northern California, try the Gavilan Kennel Club’s weekend in Tres Pinos, an hour south of San Jose. In the southern part of the state, exhibitors will take in the Rio Honda Kennel Club’s weekend in Pomona just a half hour from LAX airport.

That’s 27 chances to see an AKC all-breed dog show. If you are near any of these 11 sites this week, drop in on the world’s most beautiful dogs. I guarantee you will go away smiling. And that’s today’s Back Story.