Every man and his dog will be making their way to Camana Bay’s Festival Green on Saturday morning – and with good reason: it’s the Cayman Islands Humane Society’s annual Dog Show.
Now in its 22nd year, it’s a favourite of dogs and dog lovers across the island and with a new venue this year, far from the road and with plenty of parking, it promises to be better than ever.
Cathy Richardson first came up with the idea of a Dog Show in Cayman more than two decades ago. She wanted to do something to repay her devoted canine companion for the unconditional love he showered on her. A fun day out for families and their pets was the result.
Cathy tells us a little about what to expect on the day.
“This is no hoity toity kind of dog show,” she says. “It’s a fun, friendly, family event. You get people from absolutely all walks of life at this event, from the sophisticated ladies in their six inch heels to the dive masters in bare feet. It’s a chance for dog lovers to meet other dog lovers and it’s probably the only event in Cayman where you will see so many dogs of different breeds, shapes and sizes in one place.”
The Dog Show is not about raising funds, Cathy stresses. It’s a community event and it aims to raise public awareness of responsible pet ownership and the joys of canine companionship. St Matthew’s University, Animal House, local Vets, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the National Trust and the National Drug Council will all have booths at the show, promoting their activities.
Dog owners can enter their canine best friends in competitions in different categories. There will be 21 categories and there is a $5 fee to enter one’s dog in each category.
“You can enter your dog at any point up to the time the judging for that category begins. You’ll get a number, walk your dog into the ring, parade around and judges will call the final winner,” Cathy says. “We encourage people to enter several categories – most people put their dogs into about five categories.”
Categories include puppies, seniors, junior handlers, best spayed and neutered, best trick, most personality and more. The obstacle course category is always a crowd favourite, Cathy says, and St Matthew’s University students do a great job of setting up the courses: there’s one for small dogs and a separate one for large dogs.
There are various breed categories as well: terriers, sporting dogs, non-sporting dogs, cross breeds (you must know what your dog is crossed with though) and Cayman dogs.
There’s also a best rescue dog category. “To enter the rescue category the dog doesn’t necessarily needs to have been adopted from the Humane Society, it could just be one that wandered into your yard or that you found abandoned,” Cathy adds.
Perhaps the most anticipated category is the Best Costume category. “You can get really creative with this one,” she says. “I’ve dressed my dog as a goldfish, a hot dog and Rasta in the past.”
While most people take the family dog to the dog show, you are perfectly entitled to borrow someone else’s dog for the event, or even take a Humane Society dog out for the day.
Judges, rules and other stuff
The show opens at 9am and will wind up around 1pm. It is free to enter and there will be food and refreshments on sale, provided by the Humane Society.
Different people will be asked to judge each category. His Excellency the Governor is expected to judge the puppy category once again this year, and DJ Cory Willis of Rooster Radio will be emceeing the event.
All dogs must be kept on a leash at all times and those on the banned breed list are asked to wear a muzzle. Owners must take poop bags and clean up after their dogs. Please ensure your dog is in good health too.
Organisers reserve the right to ask any dog and owner to leave.
Not recommended for cats.
Caymanian doggie, Oreo Heath Watler, will be showcasing his first in a series of children’s books which his owner, Juliette Heath, has written about his adventures.
Hello My Name is Oreo – Puppy Dogs Tails will be on sale at the Cayman Islands Humane Society Annual Dog Show this Saturday, with 10 per cent of net profits going to support the shelter.
Puppy Dogs Tails is the first in a series of children’s books titled Hello My Name is Oreo, written from a dog’s perspective. It is a lighthearted humorous book that also addresses real life issues and brings awareness to the problems that unwanted puppies and stray dogs face. It also highlights the amazing works of the Cayman Islands Humane Society
Both Oreo and Juliette hope that the series will encourage people to consider adopting one of their four-legged friends currently living at the shelter, who are waiting to find their forever homes.
The series of books are written for children aged five to 14-years-old. Puppy Dogs Tails will be available to buy soon at both the humane society as well as in book stores across Island. Alternatively you can buy your copy online through Amazon, Kindle and Create Space.
Oreo is hoping to complete the second in the series, Oreo’s Tail, in time for the summer holidays.