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Mountain Home Magazine

Dancin' with the Dogs

Jul 01, 2023 09:00AM ● By Kelly Stemcosky

A diminutive Shih Tzu prances on her hind legs, pink bows adorning her ears. A golden retriever bounds after tennis balls with seemingly limitless energy. A larger-than-life mastiff plods slowly through the ring. A pit bull shakes his rump to the delight of the crowd. A Heinz-57 looks up adoringly at the human child who’s proudly showing off their best friend.

These are just some of the doggie delights to see at the Show Off on Saturday, July 29, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Grand Canyon Veterinary grounds, 11765 Route 6, Wellsboro (across from Weis). All proceeds from the event benefit Second Chance Animal Sanctuaries, which has helped homeless and at-risk dogs and cats in Tioga County for more than twenty years.

“The Show Off is a first-ever, one-of-a-kind event celebrating dogs of all breeds and mixes, sizes, ages, and abilities,” says Jim Howe, event organizer and president of Second Chance’s board of directors. “So, if your dog’s a show off, or you just want to watch other dogs show off, we hope to see you there.”

“This event perfectly embodies the spirit of Second Chance, and it couldn’t come at a better time,” says Sue Cook, the organization’s founder and the board’s secretary/treasurer. “Being the only free-standing animal shelter in the county, we’re seeing a huge influx of not only animals needing homes, but also pet owners needing help with vet bills. Fundraisers like the Show Off are what allow us to help more animals.”

The event is centered around fourteen competitions for dogs, with categories like “Waggiest Tail,” “Best Singer,” and “Ball-Crazed.”

“What we’re hoping to see are dogs just being themselves,” says Jim. “Even though each category is judged, they’re first and foremost about the dogs having fun and getting to show off the traits or abilities that make them special.”

Some of those traits may be a dog’s size, like entrants to “Gentle Giants” or “Tiny Show Offs,” or their age, like “Best Veteran.” Others celebrate special relationships, like “You’re Kiddin’ Me,” for kids and their pups; “Best 6 Legs,” for adults and their best friends; and “Best Buddies,” for two canine pals.

It culminates with “Struttin’ Down the Runway,” which Jim describes as “Tioga County’s premier dog fashion show.” The winner in each category will receive a special prize, and those winners will be entered into a random drawing to be crowned “Top Dog.”

Even if you don’t own a dog, or yours isn’t into competing, there will be plenty to do. “Tail Gating” will feature pulled pork sandwiches, hot dogs, and dishes from local restaurants. Vendors will be selling dog-related items, and demonstrations from trainers, veterinarians, sled dogs, and search and rescue dogs, and more will take place throughout the day. Kids can play “Dog House Games” for prizes, color a dog mask, “adopt” a stuffed dog, and have their picture taken at photo scenes with props.

A canine competitor’s first event is fifteen dollars. Each additional event is five dollars, up to four total events per dog. Registration comes with a T-shirt, a matching dog bandana, and free general admission to the rest of the activities at the Show Off. To participate, register online at

General admission is ten dollars (dogs are free), and a Tail Gating meal plus general admission is twenty bucks. For more information, visit or Facebook.

Events will be spaced out on level parts of the open lawn and in both fenced-in dog parks. Initial parking will be at the smaller lot by Grand Canyon’s surgery center, with overflow parking at the neighboring assistance office. Organizers ask that visitors not park at Weis and attempt to cross Route 6 on foot.

Any dogs attending, whether for competitions or just to watch the other show offs with their owners, should be up to date on vaccinations and leashed at all times. Please bring proof of current vaccinations.

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