As much as I enjoy spending time with my fellow dog fanciers, it is a bit like belonging to a secret society replete with its own language, e.g., “typey”; wardrobe, e.g., grooming smock, not by Kate Spade; and gang signs, e.g., throw the bait. For some time now, I have been grounding myself with exposure to the non-show-going public. Of course, I can’t just walk up to stranger at Whole Foods and announce that I attend dog shows. I have to have some common ground and some common language. Like sitting at the dog park and asking the guy with the rescue Greyhound, “Did you see that dog show on TV last night?” There’s the opener for a possible conversion.

While I only rarely meet people who have not heard of the Westminster Kennel Club show, other events have virtually no visibility to the public at large. I would like to remedy that. That’s why I’ve added the Oklahoma City Summer Classic to my schedule of dog show clusters I will visit this year. It is exactly the kind of dog show experience that both show folk and the general dog-loving public can enjoy. The four-show set, hosted by the Mid-Del-Tinker Kennel Club and the Oklahoma City Kennel Club for the last seven years will be held June 28-July 1 this year. In the past, the Saturday event was taped for broadcast, but it has struggled to find a network sponsor and will not be televised this year.

The OKC Summer Classic offers everything exhibitors and spectators want in a multi-show venue. The cluster boasts a central, easily accessible location and a state of the art facility close to some of the best dining, shopping and lodging options you will see all year. There are large, all-breed events with several specialty events and supported entries, providing multiple chances at majors. Spectators and exhibitors alike will enjoy the fun-themed days. This year’s cluster has a tropical, island theme and will give exhibitors a chance to pull out the cruise wardrobe with prizes each day for best dressed. There will be “Meet The Breeds” for spectators and multiple seminars for exhibitors who want to expand their knowledge.

Onofrio Dog Shows is in charge of entries, which close on June 13. So come back to the islands with me, and enjoy four fun days in Oklahoma City. Check back here for more details. And that’s today’s Back Story.