The largest AKC dog show in Maine, the Chickadee Classic Dog Show, was held in Cumberland.
More than 2,800 dogs were entered in the show. Puppies, obedience, best in show and more. Organizer, Nancy Daniels, makes sure that fun is emphasized more than showmanship.
"We're not real formal," Daniels said. "We try to make it fun even if you lose, which most people do."
The four-day event has multiple days worth of judging. First, placing the breeds individually, and then advancing each first-place breed dog to the group classes: the working, sporting, non-sporting, hound, terrier, toy and herding groups. The winner of each group then competes for the grand prize. Judge Charlotte McGowan is in charge of deciding best in show.
"You judge them on the breeds standard," McGowan said. "Each breed has a specific standard with specific requirements for that breed."
There's a sense of competitiveness leading up to first place, but there's also a sense of giving. The three clubs that put on the Chickadee Classic, Central Maine, Penobscot Valley and Lewiston Auburn Kennel Clubs, all do charity work in Maine. They're proud of the volunteering they do to help solve food insecurity in the state.
"Lewiston-Auburn collects food for their pantries in that area," Daniels said. "Penobscot County Kennel Club has provided food in three counties, 16 food pantries for over 10 years."
There can only be one winner. Seven dogs from each group showed off their disposition and movement for Judge McGowan during the first show of the weekend. She picked Beacon, a 3-year-old German Wirehaired Pointer, to win best in show. The dog is handled by Anne Marie Ruggieri.
"She's very sound, she's very close to her breeds standard," Ruggieri said. "She's a good dog all around. She shows well."
In addition to their donations to local food pantries, fundraising efforts by the Chickadee Classic also support the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation. The foundation is dedicated to preventing, treating and curing canine diseases.