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Tri County Collie Breeders Association participates in the AKC Meet the Breeds/Responsible Dog Ownership Day in New York City

By Jackie Caruso

The local New York collie clubs were called on to participate in the American Kennel Club Meet the Breeds / Responsible Dog Ownership Day in New York City in September. Being one of the closest in geographical location to NYC, the Tri County Collie Breeders Association agreed to participate. Space was limited so AKC only wanted a few people and only four dogs. Tri County members Mikki Dorsey and myself were joined by two Hartford-Springfield Collie Club members, Karen Martin and Kathy DeChello. We brought a sable rough, a blue rough, a sable smooth and a tri smooth.

It was a glorious autumn day in New York. The event was held at Madison Square Park, which is a beautiful oasis at the intersection of four streets, at the foot of the Flatiron building -- for anyone familiar with NYC architecture. The AKC did a good job of publicizing the event, and this park has a dog run, so it attracted crowds. It was a beautiful sunny day in Manhattan in the fall . . . the people were out. Dog owners paraded by, with dogs in all shapes and sizes, and were very eager for information on the various breeds.

The collies were truly
the social butterflies
of the event.

What we did that we found very effective was set up a display table with posters, which Mikki made from the pictures from the "Collie as a Family Dog" from the CCA website. The posters attracted crowds to the table. We then had printouts of the the chapters from the "Collie as a Family Dog," which would be of interest to people who wanted to know more about the breed, Varieties, Character, How to find a Breeder (CCA District Directors), What to Look for, etc. We printed out each two-page chapter as a back-to-back, single sheet for ease of handout.

We also made up little bags of dog biscuits and Mikki made these darling little tags that said "for more info on the collie . . . visit We had over 100 bags and they were gone by days end, as were all the handouts. We were busy answering questions about the collie all day long. In addition to the bags of biscuits Mikki made up, we handed out Collie coloring books and crayons to the children . . . the kids loved them!

Of course, the big hit of the day were the collies. We had them in an x-pen and out on leashes. It is so amazing to see how these dogs react to crowds of people -- old people, children, babies, and other dogs. Everybody has a collie story they want to share. The collies were truly the social butterflies of the event.

There were many AKC officials at this event since they still have offices in New York. Many of these officials visited the table, took handouts of the "Collie as a Family Dog," and several of them told us that this was one of the most informative and comprehensive descriptions of a breed done by any parent club and by far one of the most visually appealling. That was nice to hear and something for all of us, as CCA members, of which to be proud.

All in all it was a great day. It was worth all the effort if our information educated just one person. We hope that our presence will encourage those interested in the breed to look to the breeders, who are members of parent clubs, rather than pet stores.

For more information

Tri County Collie Breeders would like to make available the resources we used to any collie club or group who particpates in any event of this type. We can supply an original of each poster, a sheet of the tags and the original of the Collie Coloring Book. All we ask in return is the postage to mail it to you. For more information contact: Jackie Caruso at

About the author

Jackie Caruso is the Collie Club of America District Director for the great state of Connecticut. She is the Secretary for the Tri County Collie Breeders Association and her Devinwood Collies are award winners at both local and national specialties.

Photos by Mary Bloom and Karen Martin

View a photo gallery of this event >

The Collie presents an impressive, proud picture of true balance, each part being in harmonious proportion to every other part and to the whole.

– from the AKC Collie Breed Standard

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