Meet the Breeds at the 2017 AKC National Championship
Around 200,000 Canaan Dogs could comfortably fit into the cavernous Orlando-Orange County Convention Center, home of the 2017 AKC National Championship. But since the other 199,996 Canaan Dogs were unavailable, Roy, Salina, Anni, and Avihad to work extra hard at the two-day Meet the Breeds event held in conjunction with the Championship. After all, there were over 160 other breeds represented on December 16 and 17, so they had to demonstrate to the thousands of visitors the qualities that make Canaan Dogs so special.
This year the CDCA had a prime corner booth, outfitted with LED-illuminated banners of desert scenes, tomb paintings, and famous and loved Canaans, as well as a fancy digital picture frame scrolling photos submitted by club members. But the stars of the show—what the crowds really wanted to see—were the dogs themselves. Ably assisted by Keith and Cheryl Shank, Bryna Comsky, Richard Vulliet, and David Golden, Roy and Salina were the hardest workers, spending hours greeting the public from their faux-fur-covered dais as the humans explained the breed’s incredible history. Anni periodically relieved Salina, while keeping a watchful eye on Roy who really wanted to be her friend. And Avi made an appearance on Sunday after slacking off the previous day at the spa.
Many of the visitors to the booth were thrilled to finally meet real, live Canaan Dogs. Even some of the 5,000+ exhibitors and competitors at the AKC Championship had never had that opportunity before. A few had seen Canaans in action and were so impressed that they asked for breeder referrals (dozens of CDCA brochures were distributed). Some quietly puzzled over the “Kelev Kna’ani” on the Beni Hasan tomb painting banner before asking (the giant “CANAAN DOG” sign and CDCA logo right above the banner didn’t seem to help). And still others had never heard of the breed, but were drawn to the booth by the handsome dogs and stayed to hear some history. And what history. Just a month earlier a new archaeological report had been published showing ancient rock carvings in the Saudi desert of hunters with leashed dogs that the scientists said “resembled the modern breed of Canaan dogs.” Only at the CDCA booth could people pet a 9000-year-old dog.
The attractive dogs also drew the attention of a film crew shooting short breed videos for the AKC’s website. In addition to the canine glamor shots, the crew conducted a brief interview with some of the human crew, focusing on the breed and its fascinating history.
After two full days, greeting thousands of visitors, and walking miles back and forth across the convention center, the dogs were tired and the humans were exhausted and hoarse. But it was all worth it to show and tell so many people about the extraordinary Canaan Dog.
Kochav Mazel Tov Lil Roy Me Toro, CH Eastland Salina So Special RN CGC TKN, GCH Pleasant Hill Anni Aharona of Carters Creek, and DOTY GCHS Pleasant Hill Avram of Carters Creek CDCA-HCX.