Great Country Mutt Show thrives in year five

Winner in the “Best Senior” category needed a nap during his competition.

Natalia Zukerman

Great Country Mutt Show thrives in year five

SALISBURY — The Little Guild’s Great Country Mutt Show, held Sunday, June 9, was a resounding success, drawing dog lovers and their furry friends for an entertaining day of fun and festivities. This was the 5th annual event of this “Westminster-style” dog show which celebrates all breeds and the humans who love and care for them.

From 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Lime Rock Park was alive with the sound of barking, laughter, and live music. Dogs of all shapes, sizes and breeds competed in a variety of charming categories under the big tent including Junior (for humans under 12), Most Unidentifiable Mix, Sweetest Pair of Dogs, Best Ears, Best Trick, Best Lap Dog Over 40 Lbs., Best Senior, Best Kisser, and Waggiest Tail. The event culminated in the much-anticipated Best in Show Parade, where every participating dog had the chance to strut their stuff.

Participants at The Great Country Mutt Show taking the category of “Dog That Looks Most Like its Owner” very seriously.Natalia Zukerman

Bill Berloni, renowned animal behaviorist and trainer, served as the Chief Judge. Berloni, who has trained many animals for stage and screen, brought his expertise and warmth to the event. Nicole Nalepa, anchor of Connecticut’s top morning newscast “Eyewitness News This Morning,” added a touch of celebrity as the Mistress of Ceremonies, engaging the crowd with lively commentary.

Jenny Langendoerfer, executive director of The Little Guild, emphasized the importance of the Mutt Show for the community: “This event is free and open to the public. It’s all about reaching out to the community and thanking them for the support they give us.” She also highlighted The Little Guild’s mission, stating, “We are a no-kill shelter with one of the highest save rates in the nation, over 99% this year.”

Langendoerfer shared news about the future of The Little Guild and the construction of a new facility in West Cornwall. “In one year, we’ll be up and running,” she explained. “We were in a renovated home for the last 35 years. There’s a lot of wear and tear, so this isn’t a much bigger shelter, it’s just a better shelter.”

Spooner, 13, a Little Guild alumni, was rescued 10 years ago by his human, Sarah Kenyon from Mount Washington, Massachusetts, and won “Most Unidentifiable Mix” at this year’s Great Country Mutt Show.Natalia Zukerman

Outside the competition ring, attendees enjoyed live music from the Joint Chiefs, delicious offerings from local food trucks, and a raffle. Tito’s Handmade Vodka, a sponsor of the event, added to the festivities with a specialty drink tent and activities for both dogs and their owners.

More than just a dog show; the Great Country Mutt Show is a testament to the bond between pets and people and a celebration of community spirit.

Langendoerfer expressed her gratitude, saying, “The support from our community is overwhelming, and events like these help us continue our mission of rescuing, healing, and nurturing homeless dogs and cats.”

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