As I prepare to leave the Mile High City, I began going over the details of the last two days. While in many ways the Greeley Kennel Club’s two shows are pretty standard dog show fare, there are a few distinguishers that set them apart from the routine.

One, they have numbers. These days any club that can draw 2,000 or more dogs deserves respect. In many ways, the numbers are historically driven. If a club had a good entry last year, you assume it will have numbers this year, so you enter. However, many clubs have found to their chagrin, that you have to work to maintain the numbers. Besides, numbers are a symptom of what’s going on behind the scenes. So why does Greeley get good numbers?

Location, Location, location. It’s a real estate axiom, but it applies to our sport equally. The Greeley show venue is large enough to house everyone, but not so large to be a hassle getting around. Denver is centrally located and is easily accessible by air. Greeley is just a pleasant hour’s drive north. But here location means more to the locals than the tourists. There are not a lot of shows in the Mountain Time Zone, and the dog show hungry population tends to make the most of the ones they do have.

It’s that local participation that means so much. The Greeley Kennel Club benefited from multiple specialties and supported entries. I spoke with several of the local exhibitors, most of whom don’t travel much outside their area. They were enthusiastic, dedicated to their breeds, and exhibited little of the acrimony we see at many venues. All in all, they were having fun, a dog show benefit that many miss.

The surrounding wildfires kept me from getting a glimpse of my beloved mountains, but I suspect I might be back in this area again before too long. I had too good a time at the shows this weekend to stay away. The mountains will wait for me. And that’s today’s Back Story.