The Saanich Fairground will be a dog lover’s delight this weekend, at the 85th annual Vancouver Island Dog Fanciers Association’s dog show.
A small collection of the breeds that will be shown over the weekend gathered for a photo at the North Saanich home of DR. Joanne Helm, a member of the club since 2009 and one of the event organizers (not to mention a freshly-minted sculptor of a bronze daschund). She said the group is the second-oldest dog club on the Island and have been putting on their show at the Saanich Fairground in Central Saanich for years.
This weekend, the show gets under way Friday, May 25 at 10 a.m. and runs until around 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, everything starts at 9 a.m. and ends at around 4 p.m. For full details, visit www.vidfa.ca. Over three rings of activity, handlers and owners from newcomers to seasoned pros, will march their dogs in a variety of groups: Sporting Breeds, Toy Breeds, Herding Groups and more.
“Think New York’s Westminster Dog Show,” Helm said, who raises Airedale terriers and has a puppy Standard Wire daschund at home.
All kinds of breeds are represented in the show, from owners and handlers up and down the Island. There’s even an All-British component to the event, in which only breeds from the UK can enter.
“Those who come try to win points,” Helm explained, “and ribbons and, ultimately, a breed championship, like Best in Group, or Best in Show.”
Those points assign status to the dog and to breeders who can say their dogs are up to the standard.
“All dogs have a purpose,” Helm added. “Even the Toys were created to be lapdogs, or companion dogs.”
Helm said the show will appeal to any dog lover. It’s a free event, and families are welcome. And unless they are actually entered in the show, people are asked to leave their own pets at home.