It's a tail-wagging time at Memorial Coliseum this week as the Old Fort Cluster Dog Shows are back.
The shows began Wednesday and run through Sunday with a different show every day. The shows are a combined effort of the Northeastern Indiana Kennel Club, the LaPorte County Kennel Club, the Sturgis Kennel Club and the Marion Kennel Club.
Attendance is free, other than the $5 parking fee, and is a low-cost way to see uncommon dog breeds from toy sizes all the way up to the large mastiffs and St. Bernards. Portuguese water dogs were in the ring Wednesday morning. If the breed doesn't sound familiar, Bo and Sunny the presidential dogs might bring them to mind. With a "sunny" attitude in the ring they look a little bit like a poodle. The dogs were sporting a "lion cut," with their rear third clipped very short, leaving a bushy tip on the tail. The working class breed doesn't shed, so for people who suffer from allergies they are easy on the sinuses.
Dogs that will later end up in the ring at the Westminster Dog Show, at Madison Square Garden in New York, can be found right here this week. Top dog handlers from around the country are here with some of the same people who have appeared on TV at Westminster in recent years.
The show runs 8 a.m.-4 p.m. daily. Organizers are asking the public to bring a dog food item for donation to Community Harvest Food Bank. This weekend includes obedience and rally trails at the Holiday Inn Ft. Wayne-IPFW & Coliseum, 4111 Paul Shaffer Drive.