The Gold Coast turns into the Canine Coast when more than 600 dogs compete in obedience and rally trials, strive for best in show and more at the Ladies Kennel Association of America and Long Island Kennel Club All-Breed Dog Shows at Planting Fields in Oyster Bay May 18-20.
Guests are encouraged to bring their own dogs so they can get their paws on the “My Dog Can Do That” obstacle course or even go dock diving.
“A ball is thrown into the pool holding more than 25,000 gallons of water and each dog is judged on how far they jump,” says show coordinator Viola Burgos. “Crowds get a kick out it. Last year one jumped 15 feet.”
Here are the stories of six professional pups seeking to place:
Everybody Loves Emmett
WEIGHT 8 pounds
This bronze grand champion has a reputation for being a ham.
“Emmett has a little bit of an ego,” says owner Kara Hickey, 38, of Patchogue. “He thinks everything is all about him.”
His favorite thing is when the ice cream man comes down his block.
“When he hears those little bells, he runs toward the door,” says Hickey. “Occasionally, he’ll get a lick of ice cream.”
BREED Siberian husky
AGE 2 1⁄2
WEIGHT 44 pounds
This dog, who gets her name from her lovable nature, has been competing for a year and is close to reaching champion status.
Hickey and her boyfriend Bobby Cataldo take her to New England in the winter with her sister Foxy and brother Oreo and the trio pulls them in a sled.
“These dogs see the harnesses and they know by instinct what to do,” says Hickey. “They are bred to run thousands of miles.”
BREED Miniature pinscher
AGE 6 months
WEIGHT 7 pounds
Stemming from a strong bloodline, Coco is the daughter of the late Chase Manhattan, a champion black and tan minpin, and is showing for the first time.
“I see shades of Chase,” says owner MaryJo Trimarco, 59, of Manorville, cuddling her pet. “It means so much to me to have her.”
Coco is popular at Trimarco’s studio, Expressions in Dance in Port Jefferson Station.
“I take her to work with me and she plays with the kids,” says Trimarco. “She’s like the school mascot.”
Sweet as Frosting
WEIGHT 64 pounds
This bronze grand champion is full of friendly energy — her name refers to the white trimming along her fawn-colored body.
“Boxers are known as the Peter Pan of dogs,” says owner Francesca Illuzzi, 54, of Manorville. “They never get old and are always jumping around having fun.”
Even though she came from Seekonk, Massachusetts, Frosting enjoys Long Island living.
“She’s a real East End dog who loves the beach,” Illuzzi says. “She comes on our boat and jumps in Moriches Bay all the time.”
Simba the King
BREED Afghan Hound
WEIGHT 60 pounds
His regal name says it all — this dog was deemed a champion by 10 months old.
“A good dog is a good dog,” says handler Anna Stromberg. “As they get older, they get better — like wine.”
Although his personality is mellow and low maintenance, Simba’s long flowing fur is a lot to tackle.
“He involves a full grooming once a week, which includes a bath, blow dry and brushing,” Stromberg says. “The whole procedure takes three hours.”
Baby, I’m a Star
BREED Miniature poodle
WEIGHT 15 pounds
Here’s an obedient champion with a master’s in agility, a platinum silver body and perfectly coiffed top-knot ponytail, hence her name.
“Star’s a real competitor,” says owner Rena Dershowitz, 51, of West Hempstead. “In the house, she’s sedate, silly and playful. But in competition, she gets serious.”
ALL-BREED DOG SHOWS
WHEN | WHERE Ladies’ Kennel Association of America Shows: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday-Saturday, May 18-19; Long Island Kennel Club Show: 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Sunday, May 20, at Planting Fields Arboretum, 1395 Planting Fields Road, Oyster Bay
INFO 516-922-8600, plantingfields.org
ADMISSION $20 per car load