This is not specifically related to photography but there are some images involved. The past weekend, the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship dog show was held in Orlando at the Orange County Convention Center. Over 4,000 dogs competed and, in conjunction with the show itself, the AKC invited all the parent Breed Clubs to participate in a Meet The Breeds exhibition. All of the 140+ Breed Clubs participated. The booth for the American Rottweiler Club was designed by my wife, Linda, with help from her sister, RoseAnn, our good friend Rudy Doria and RoseAnn's husband, Frank Mitchell. Oh, and I helped out a bit as well.
This year's theme was a Holiday Market in the open square in the City of Rottweil Germany, the birthplace of today's Rottweiler. Here's an overall image of the booth which was 20 feet by 10 feet.
All of the things in the booth were designed and created by us. The two green carts on either end also disguise dog crates for the dogs that worked the booth on Saturday and Sunday. Some of the details included RottieNutcrackers, soft-sculptures created by RoseAnn.
As well as a sleigh being pulled by our trusty friend, Rudy The Red-nosed Rottweiler.
The purpose of the booth is to provide information to people about the breed, correct some impressions that might not be accurate and to give people a chance to meet some of the best Rottweilers in the country. Here's Melanie Leon with Raven (GCH Marlo's All The Rage At Ringside). When Raven wasn't giving out puppy kisses, she showed and received one of the Awards of Excellence in the Rottweiler ring.
In addition, we gave lots of cart rides to the many children who attended the show.
And provided photo-ops for parents with out own Dr. Tommy Caisango resplendent in his lederhosen.
We even had two unusual visitors: two Rottweiler breeders who are actually from the town of Rottweil!! They loved the booth and asked for a photo with Raven.
At day's end on Sunday, the AKC presented their best booth awards and we were delighted to receive a third place ribbon in the Working Group. There were over 140 booths and only 28 awards were issued so we were very pleased that the judges liked our efforts. Here's Linda with the ribbon.
But, in the end, the objective of Meet The Breeds isn't awards. It's connecting people with the breed we love. Like this moment between Bandolero and Trevor.
Our job is to create better dogs. Our breed has come a long way and I spent a lot of hours this weekend with wonderful dogs I'd just met laying in my lap meeting people. We want to thank the AKC for giving us an opportunity to showcase these wonderful dogs and to help change some perceptions. We still emphasize that not every family should have a Rottweiler. In fact, most should not. But for many, a Rottweiler is a wonderful companion and a great pet.