Clipped From Journal and Courier
Story and photos by Frank Oliver Journal and Courier Kiyara Starina It wasn't quite the same feeling that you get when you enter Purdue's Elliott Hall of Music on a Saturday evening to watch the Northern Sin-fonia of England featuring Barry Tuckwell on the French horn. But there was an air of elitism at the Purdue Armory, just behind the Hall of Music, last weekend as contestants competed in the American Kennel Club-Sanctioned B Dog Match. The match was sponsored by the Greater Lafayette Kennel Club and featured 185 top-of-the-line pooches, who were fussed over like most people do their children. A case in point was the prim and proper Kiyara Starina, a miniature apricot poodle who hails from Hammond and has hair so soft and silken that the likes of Cyndi Lauper would be hard pressed to compete. But dogs just want to have fun. , Match chairman Joe Gaaf ar of Lafayette said the event basically was just practice for official shows which, in the scheme of things, are a step above matches. It gave the dogs and handlers time to work on techniques and exposed the animals to competition. The dogs were divided into seven groups sporting, non-sporting, working, herding, toy, terrier and hounds. The dogs ranged from two months to about two years old. Some dogs are finicky. Starina, for instance, prefers only women to handle her, owner Lucille Rueth said. Matches also are a beauty contest all the way down to the teeth. Judges pay attention to bite structure, head formation and ear length, among many other things. Money plays a prominent role, too. Gaafar said the least expensive puppy of show quality carries a $500 pricetag. He said it's not rare to spend $1,000 for a newborn. But if you can make it to the top, the rewards can be many. The dogs of Kal-Can dog food commercial fame bring their owners $100,000 plus royalties. But, Gaafer said, the real reason most people get involved in the hobby is purely love for the breed of dog they own.