Breckan completes the high jump during Capital Kennel Club of Juneau’s obedience trials, Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020 in the covered play area outside Auke Bay Elementary School while United Kennel Club judge Gina Vose and owner Jill Grose look on. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

Breckan completes the high jump during Capital Kennel Club of Juneau’s obedience trials, Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020 in the covered play area outside Auke Bay Elementary School while United Kennel Club judge Gina Vose and owner Jill Grose look on. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

Capital Kennel Club of Juneau stays dogged, holds first post-pandemic trials

Past events had been scratched — and not behind the ears.

This article has been updated to include award information.

COVID-19 has derailed the best-laid schemes of mice and men — and their dogs — but on Saturday Capital Kennel Club of Juneau was able to have its first trials event since the pandemic began.

Obedience trials were possible thanks to a covered play area outside of Auke Bay Elementary School, the presence of a local United Kennel Club judge, masks and some cooperative weather that meant two solid walls and a roof provided adequate shelter for people and dogs alike.

“We’re just happy we pulled this off,” said Sandy Harris, club president. A trial planned for May had previously been canceled due to the coronavirus, she said.

Marty Phelan, whose dog Kaya competed Saturday, said club members had been practicing regularly outdoors for months and often using the covered play area. Under normal conditions, the kennel club rents out indoor spaces such as Mount Jumbo Gym.

“That’s our biggest challenge is finding somewhere,” Phelan said.

Kaya was among the dogs who participated in Capital Kennel Club of Juneau’s obedience trials on Saturday, Aug. 29 at Auke Bay Elementary School. A total of eight dogs competed across three different levels. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

Kaya was among the dogs who participated in Capital Kennel Club of Juneau’s obedience trials on Saturday, Aug. 29 at Auke Bay Elementary School. A total of eight dogs competed across three different levels. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

However, a mild morning meant neither howling wind nor puddles were going to be a distraction during obedience trials.

[Dog registration: It’s required by law, saves lives and isn’t very popular]

Obedience trials consist of a series of exercises performed at the command of a handler. Exercises performed Saturday included things like sitting, staying and heeling but also more complex actions like jumping over obstacles, retrieving items and lying still while another nearby dog performed exercises.

A total of eight dogs competed at three different levels —utility, open and novice —which club members said put the event on the smaller end of the spectrum.

The dogs that were present ranged in size with the largest being a Bernese mountain dog and the smallest a West Highland white terrier.

That dog isn’t simply luxuriating. Stein was among the dogs to participate in Capital Kennel Club of Juneau’s obedience trials on Saturday, Aug. 29. Among the exercises was honoring, which requires one dog to remain stationary in the ring while another dog goes through working exercises. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

That dog isn’t simply luxuriating. Stein was among the dogs to participate in Capital Kennel Club of Juneau’s obedience trials on Saturday, Aug. 29. Among the exercises was honoring, which requires one dog to remain stationary in the ring while another dog goes through working exercises. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

Jill Grose, who owns the Westie, said while Breckan did well at lower levels of obedience trials some of the more advanced tasks Saturday proved to be too much for her dog. However, she wasn’t discouraged.

“I was pleased with the performance,” Grose said.

Abother of Grose’s Westies, Odin, wound up as the day’s lone qualifier with a 178 at the novice level.

Plus, Grose, like many other human participants at the event, said in a year that’s been exceptionally odd, it was just pleasant to do something fun that approached pre-coronavirus normal.

“It feels good just to be doing something in dog sports again,” Grose said.

• Contact Ben Hohenstatt at (907)308-4895 or bhohenstatt@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt.

More in Sports

This combination photo shows all five division-winning teams from the recent 3v3 Pre-Season Tournament at Thunder Mountain High School. (Upper left) Team 7, (upper right) Hoopsters, (lower left) 3 Amigos; (lower center) Lucky Ladies and (lower right) 3 of a Kind. (Courtesy Photos)
3v3 Tournament crowns division winners

Thunder Mountain High School boys basketball and Hooprats recently hosted the 13th… Continue reading

Bree Lee Lo, June Enele, Lemoe Eneliko and Moira Anemia pose for a photo taken by Alexandra and Barron Anemia. All were on hand to celebrate Samoa's Rugby League World Cup run. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
Local rugby fans celebrate Samoa’s World Cup run

“Win our lose, we’re still proud.”

Matthew Wendel, Mike Kreis, Kasey Watts, Courtney Kreis, Tami Wahto and Todd Schur wore costumes during the 2021 Turkey Trot. Why’d they wear costumes? “Why not?” asked Schur. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Strut your speed at upcoming annual Turkey Trot

Stuff the starting line Thanksgiving morning

The 2022-23 Thunder Mountain girls varsity volleyball team poses for a group photo during 2022 3A/4A Volleyball State Championships in Anchorage on Thursday and Friday, Nov. 10 and 11. (Courtesy Photo / Julie Herman)
TMHS volleyball wraps up stellar season

Falcons fall short of finals at State tournament

Glacier Swim Club finds success in Petersburg

Twenty Juneau students competed in the November swim meet hosted in Petersburg over the weekend.

TMHS stands for team photo after state tournament at Bartlett High School in Anchorage on Saturday, Nov. 5. (Courtesy Photo / Josiah Loseby)
Juneau swim teams make a splash at state championship

“We all performed well and we all had a good time.”

Juneau Skating Club Forget-Me-Not team featured in last year’s spring event. The team is traveling to Irvine, California to compete in the Glacier Falls Classic on Saturday, Nov. 12. (Courtesy Photo / Kim Hort)
Forget-Me-Not skaters return to California

Juneau Skating Club team competes in Glacier Fall Classic.

Thunder Mountain girls varsity volleyball team celebrating their championship victory against JDHS on Saturday, Nov. 5. TMHS now heads to the state tournament in Anchorage to face Colony in the first round on Thursday, Nov. 10. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)
TMHS volleyball team advances to state tournament

Falcons will take on Colony in Anchorage Nov. 11

Large crowds turned out to support high school swimmers through Alaska at the Region V meet on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 28, 29 at in Juneau at Dimond Park Aquatic Center. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)
Prep swim teams score big at Region V meet

TMHS and JDHS swim teams score big at Region V meet

JDHS junior Mila Hargrave winds up to spike the ball while TMHS junior Ashlyn Gates attempts to deflect it. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
Volleyball wraps up regular season

Region tournament set for Nov. 4 and Nov. 5

A volleyball makes its way through the air. TMHS and JDHS are set for a pair of cross-town contests on Friday and Saturday. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Volleyball senior nights set for cross-town matches

Will there be a bump in attendance or a spike?