Nome Kennel Club’s first Dog Fair and Dog Show a big success
Nome’s first annual Dog Fair was held in beautiful weather conditions, which treated the crowd who attended to a great day with their four-legged companions. Sunshine and gentle breezes were a welcome change from the intense wind and rain of the previous days. The event was held outside the Nome Mini-Convention Center and about two hundred people showed up.
The Nome Dog Fair was organized and presented by the Nome Kennel Club, which dating to 1907, is one of the oldest kennel clubs in the USA. Mushing has from the very beginning been the focus of the club’s activity. This event is their first, which embraces dogs of all types doing things other than pull a sled through the snow.
The day began with the canicross race, a one-mile run down the beach and back for dog and a human friend. That was won by Tobin Hobbs, Nome’s top runner these days, and dog Drizzle, a dog from musher Stephanie Johnson’s kennel of sled dogs. Sixteen teams did the run, including Valerie Fuller with her dog Wookie and baby Cassie. The canicross race was followed by a shorter version for kids. Six fast kids with fast dogs competed. Fastest was Rosalie Richards with Tikaani. “Tikaani means wolf in Athabascan,” said Rosalie. “He is a Belgian shepherd dog. Tikaani can do tricks and he loves me. He saves me when I’m swimming and protects me when I’m berry picking.”
Her sister Amelia was right behind her with Winter, a “lion dog.” Winter is actually a rough collie, who often wears a lion disguise. “Winter is a very special dog and I love everything about her,” said Amelia. “She knows what a bear is and keeps me safe. I like to race with her, train her and read to her.”
Speaking of lions, a dog from Africa, land of lions, competed with owner Hilary Fello. Uchi is an African village dog Hilary adopted from the streets of Western Malawi when she was there in the Peace Corps. Uchi means “honey” in the local dialect in Malawi. Hilary reports Uchi showed his adaptability by putting on two pounds of fur and growing thick tufts of fur between his toes for his first winter in Nome. Uchi is a dog that has made the transition from equatorial Africa to near-Arctic Nome. His friend reports Uchi’s favorite hobbies include whining for no reason, licking doors to go outside, and rolling in malukenuk. He doesn’t seem to enjoy baths, which is related to his rolling in malukenuk. Hilary chose to participate in the Dog Fair “Because he’s my best friend and the epitome of fate bringing dog and owner together. I can’t remember life before Uchi.”
Sarah Bahnke, 13, did the canicross race with Pepper, a black lab Sarah runs and skis with. And they do yoga together. Pepper is a real working dog, who spends the day walking the floor and looking after the snow machines and four-wheelers at Wilderness Ski-Doo.
Nils Hahn built a dog house, demonstrating how easy it is to construct a quality shelter for one’s dog. Total construction time, including cutting the single sheet of plywood to size, was estimated at 45 minutes.
Next up was the Pooper Scooper race, complete with fake dog turds. Who knew you could buy fake dog turds? Especially when genuine ones are so common. Stephanie Johnson won that competition. Her dog Hero should have received an award for participating in the most events. The enthusiastic sled dog was borrowed by a number of people for the various competitions.
Next up was the Nome Dog Show, divided into three categories: Trail Class, where dogs and handlers navigated an easy obstacle course that ended with a jump onto the newly built dog house. The next category was showing off Senior dogs and the last was the Best of Nome Costume contest.
In the trail class the “mushers” negotiated a complicated course with their dog. Leif Erikson and his shepherd Oakley won that class. Kathryn Sawyer with 6-month-old Queeny took top spot in that class. Senior citizen dogs were showcased in the Senior Class. Heidi Secor showed 12-year old dog Puff, who was visiting from Phoenix with Heidi’s mother. Ethan Ahkvaluk showed Zoey, a dog out of Sue Steinacher’s pack, and they won.
Throughout the day the stereo played dog-related music including “Walk the Dog,” versions by Rufus Thomas and The Rolling Stones, “Hound Dog” by The King himself, and the unforgettable even if you try “Who Let the Dogs Out.” Hot dogs were served inside the Mini Convention Center along with drinks, chips, and cookies.
The first ever Nome Dog Fair was a big success and is a sure bet for next year. Kian Coxey, one young dog enthusiast with his dog Tippy, was so upbeat about it that he asked when the next one would be, hoping it was planned for next month.
Canicross race, 1-mile:
1. Tobin Hobbs and dog Drizzle, 7:29 min; 2. Orson Hoogendorn and dog Ruby, 8:46 min.; 3. Jon Smith and dog Nalla, 9:49 min.; 4. Audrey Bahnke and dog Bo; 5.Tim McGarry and dog Spirit, 11:17 min.; 6. Hilary Fello and dog Uchi, 12:11 min.; 7. Nancy Bahnke and dog Hero, 12:19 min; 8. Sarah Bahnke and dog Pepper, 12:41 min.; 9.Margaret Thomas and dog Girlfriend, 13:37 min.; 10. Elmer Johnson and dog Gracie, 13:42 min.; 11. Lizzy Hahn and dog Gidget, 14:14 min.; 12. Aries Bioff and dog Luke, 16:35 min.; 13. John Bioff and dog Xio, 20:37 min.; 14. Samantha Pellee, (dog name unknown), 22:39 min.; 15. Chandra Preator with Ellie and Lady, 22:40 min.; 16. Valerie Fuller, baby Cassie and dog Wookie, 22:41min.
Kid’s Dash,100 yards:
1. Rosalie Richards, Tikaani; 2. Amelia Richards, Winter; 3. Kathrynne Dixon, Gidget; 4. Nevelo Hoogendorn, Ruby; 5. Avery Young, Scout; 6. David Winston Chan, Hero.
Pooper Scooper Race:
1.Stephanie Johnson, 2. Gil Van Sciver, 3. Wyatt Jones, 4. Carl White, 5. Diana Haecker, 6. Caroline Olanna, 7. Hannah Callahan, 8. Aiden Jones, 9. Debbie Flint Daniel, 10. Kathrynne Dixon, 11. Ryan Michels, 12. Rosalie Richards, 13. Amelia Richards, 14. Jasmine Breitenstein, 15. Avery Young.
Nome Dog Show Trail Class:
1. Leif Erikson and Oakley; 2. Rosalie Richards and Tikaani; 3. Cootus Warnke and Olde Man Dog; 4. Kathrynne Dixon, Gidget, 5. Lizzy Hahn, Gidget, 6. Sue Steinacher, Zelda. Other participants: Wyatt Jones and Willow, Patty Burchell and Jasper, Tim McGrary and Hero, Nils Hahn and Sparky and Arrow, Valeri Fuller and Wookie, Amelia Richards and Winter, Kian Coxey and Tippy, Neil Strandberg and Ruby, Racheal Lee and Scout, Hilary Fello and Uchi, Elmer Johnson and Gracie, Ethan Ahkvaluk and Zeevon.
Nome Dog Show Senior Class:
1. Ethan Ahkvaluk and Zoey, 2. Hannah Callahan and Cookie; 3. Kathrynne Dixon and Wookie; 4. Cootus Warnke and Olde Man Dog; 5. Diana Haecker and Bruce; 6. Sue Steinacher and Zack. Other participants: Heidi Secor with Tinker and Puff, Margaret Thomas and Biscuit, Chandra Preator with Ellie and Lady, Neil Strandberg and Ruby.
1. Kathryn Sawyer and Queeny; 2. Neil Strandberg with LouieLouie and Iggy Pop, 3. Stephanie Johnson and Spirit aka grannie wolf dog, 4. Silas Wade and Hero, 5. Rosalie Richards and Tikaani, 6. Amelia Richards and Winter. Other participants: Kian Coxey and Tippy, Jana Varrati with Nick and the pugs Tommy, Paco and Maria.