38th Annual Canine Learning Experience, Allentown, PA

The Mid Atlantic Basenji Club (MABC) had a booth decorated to fit the theme, “Responsible Dog Ownership” at this year’s Canine Learning Experience. The weather forecast was for snow.  When the committee chair for the event asked for a contact phone number for each booth on Thursday, many of us thought the event might be canceled.  Ice and several inches of snow were on the ground as MABC volunteers got into their cars before dawn for the ride to go set up the booth.

 

Mid Atlantic Basenji Club Volunteers:

  •  LeeBeth Cranmer - Pilot
  • Jane Johnson – Zest & Velvet
  • Mark Baime – Grant & Archie
  • Barbara & Dennis Narehood – Stari & Zuri

LeeBeth and Jane were first to arrive and got the booth set up by 9:30.  The club’s “Responsible Dog Ownership” backdrop banner was held in place by a PVC frame and was flanked by folding room dividers featuring elephants and giraffes.  The PVC frame and banner went up easier than it came down as the bump on Mark Baime’s head can attest. There were over 20 handouts for visitors covering everything from the importance of basic training for your dog to understanding Basenji breed specific characteristics. Large 24” x 36” framed pictures highlighted some of the ways owners needed to be responsible if they owned a basenji.  These pictures showed good fencing, a soft dry bed to curl up in, and basic obedience training. A dog first aid kit, an emergency evacuation kit and a complete travel case were on display, also.  We placed emphasis on finding your Basenji if it should get loose. Each dog wore a collar with identification tags.  Material was available to show the proper way to make up a flyer in case your dog got lost, and brochures for microchips were on hand. 

Our booth had many visitors.  Some people came to see the different breeds of dogs while others came to investigate getting a new dog.  It was a fun atmosphere with visitors enjoying seeing all the many breeds of dogs.  During the day there were demonstrations which included the Parade of Breeds.  Mark Baime with Grant, Barbara Narehood with Stari and Dennis Narehood with Zuri were our shining examples of basenjis with their responsible owners during the parade. The CLE featured lectures on vaccinations, things to consider before breeding a dog and dogs and puppy manners. AKC Good Citizen testing was done in an adjacent building along with a demonstration of Hunt Testing for sporting breeds. Canine Blessings were available all day long, too.

 

We were notified that representatives from our booth needed to be in the exhibition ring at 1:00. We knew this meant our booth had won an award. There were many really beautifully decorated booths this year so the competition for a ribbon was tough.  It was such a surprise to be handed the first place ribbon along with a check that covered the fee our club had paid for booth space.  Our team does a great job every year and this was an awesome achievement.