photo of the week

Don't Be Fooled by the Wary Eye.

George the Staffordshire Bull Terrier casts a wary eye at the camera.  If he looks menacing, it is a ruse.  Staffordshire Bull Terriers are popularly known as the "Nanny Dog," according to Rebecca Gear from Fort Worth, the dog's handler and groomer.  "They love children and will be their protectors.  They are great family dogs."

Four-Legged Sweethearts

Sunday, February 2, 2014
Pine Buff, Arkansas

For many years now during the first weekend in February, the Southeast Arkansas Kennel Club has put on the “Sweetheart Dog Show” in the Pine Bluff Convention Center in, you guessed it, Pine Bluff, Arkansas.  It is a huge show and attracts participants nationwide.  It is the last show prior to the fabled Westminster Dog Show in which canine sweethearts can earn qualifying points for entry in the crown jewel of American dog shows.

Though the show is high in the dog-show pecking order, the organizers are generous enough to allow photographic interlopers such as myself to roam freely, record images, converse with handlers and groomers, and occasionally administer an ear scratch or two.  We are showing a few of those images this week.

If you take a moment to study these pictures, most of which were captured in the preparation area, you will see a lot of clutter you do not normally see in pictures on these pages.  What you have to remember here is that we are looking at a temporary setup on a tight schedule.  Think of how it would be if a photographer barged into your kitchen while you were in the midst of preparing Thanksgiving dinner.  At the show, all that counts takes place on the competition floor.  Just like at your big meal, what really matters sits nicely prepared and delicious on the dining room table.


Best of His Class

Behind all that hair is Jager, a Bouvier Desflander, literally, "Dog of Flanders."  Jager won his class Saturday and was in the mix for top honors on Sunday.


Ready to Rock

Blondie, a fine Cocker Spaniel, has the stoic look of a competitor ready to rock.


Cool When It Counts

Lena, a Pomeranian, is nearly ready for competition.  Though she seemed a bit nervous, she kept her cool and took a handfull of ribbons as Winner Bitch, Best of Opposite Sex in the Pomeranian Class.  That means a male won the Best of Breed, and she was the Best of Breed female.


Apple of Clarence's Eye

Clarence Jones, originally of Pine Bluff, now hails from Sand Springs, Oklahoma.  His homecoming was sweetened when Lena, his Pomeranian, took a handfull of ribbons as Winner Bitch, Best of Opposite Sex in the Pomeranian Class.  That means a male won the Best of Breed, and she was the Best of Breed female.


Sammy's Daughter Gracey

Lori Kopreski, my friend from Sherwood, Arkansas, brought a pair of Tibetan Spaniels to the show.  Here we see Gracey, daughter of the pair.  In the 2011 Sweetheart Dog Show, I photographed Lori’s Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Casey.


Father Knows Best

Sammy, Tibetan Spaniel father of Gracie, always knows best when it comes to a dog show.  Lori Kopreski is very proud of the old boy.


Meet Me in St. Louis

Buster, a Keeshond, made the trip all the way from St. Louis, Missouri, with her human, Denna Smith.


Akin to Cleo

Diana Edwards and Flint, her Alaskan Malemute, hail from St. Louis Missouri.  Both are congenial new acquaintences.  I discovered that Flint shares some characeristics with our Rottweiler, Cleo.  Both like to lick your face and grab your attention with a large front paw.


A Painter's Delight

Gordon Watkins of Rivendale Newfoundlands of Parthenon, Arkansas, shares a moment with Maya his Landfeer Newfoundland.  The dogs got the antecident Landfeer after a British artist, Sir Edwin Landfeer, who loved to paint the dogs and became famous for that admirable proclivity.


Let's Talk this Over.

A contestant and his diminutive charge are in conference prior to their last swing by the judge in their class.  The contestant has a couple of ribbons in his pocket already, which may bode well for the pair in this last hurrah.


Buds at Play!

George, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, cavorts with his Rottweiler bud, Merlot.  Rebecca Gear, their mutual human, let Merlot our of her crate after I mentioned that I share residential space with a Rotweiller.  Merlot greeted me enthusiastically and then turned her attention to George.

go to gallery 2014 2011

   Photo Galleries:  See our 2014 Sweetheart Dog Show gallery with 44 pictures.  You may also enjoy our 2011 Sweetheart Dog Show gallery as well.

Photo Notes

NIKON D7100, varying ISO settings, hand-held, Nikon AF-S VR Nikkor 18-200 G ED. Post-processed with Photoshop® CC.


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