ASTC Booth Wins Second in Toy Group at 2017 Westminster/AKC Meet and Compete

by Jo Ann White

As usual, New York City “went to the dogs” during the week of the Westminster Kennel Club Show. Despite the snowy weather, purebred dogs and their fans were everywhere. On Saturday, February 11, they thronged the annual AKC Meet the Breeds booths. This was the third year that the event was combined with Westminster’s Masters Agility Championship event, giving spectators a chance to watch the exciting agility competition as well as learn about more than 150 breeds from the experts.

At times, it seemed like most of the thousands of spectators visited the Shih Tzu booth. They wanted to show us pictures of their Shih Tzu, pet and photograph the dogs at the booth, receive grooming demonstrations, and ask questions about whether this was the right breed for them and how to find a responsible breeder who could mentor them for the life of the furry creature they wanted to add to their household. Our demonstration dogs, ranging from puppies to adults in full show coat and cute clips, performed admirably…as one would expect from the sociable Shih Tzu! The booth was well decorated to provide information about the history and characteristics of the breed, earning it second place in the Toy Group in the booth competition! Also provided were a lot of ASTC brochures pertaining to the breed in addition to the basic flier provided by the AKC.

A huge thank you to ASTC members Mark and Jackie Stempel and Kathy Kwait and her husband, and to Kathy’s friends Margaret Scancarello and Pete and Marge Varetoni, who came in from New Jersey to help out. They were all great ambassadors for our breed—knowledgeable and personable long-time fans. Once again, Meet the Breeds was a wonderful way to educate the dog-loving public about our wonderful breed.