VICKY CREAMER OF Belquest Kennels in Mount Airy is proud indeed these days.
American, Bermudan, Puerto Rican and 1997 World Champion Tabatha's Rollick at Carowby (Aaron), Creamer's 5-year-old black Labrador retriever, earned a well-deserved Award of Merit from the class of 30 champion Labs from all over the world Feb. 9 at the 123rd annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden in New York.
As his registered name proclaims, Aaron is America's top winning Labrador retriever, accumulating the most points in American Kennel Club (AKC) competitions in 1997 and 1998, and is leading in 1999 competitions.
He has made "breed history" by achieving more total points last year than any Labrador retriever in AKC history, and he is the only Labrador retriever from Maryland to have achieved such top honors.
"An Award of Merit is almost the same as being awarded Best of Breed," Creamer says. "What the judge is telling you is there was more than one `best dog' in the class, and they want to recognize that. Sometimes it comes down to almost a simple eeny, meeny, miney, moe. That's how close the difference is. Westminster is the top show in the country. I'm thrilled to have been recognized."
Winning at Westminster is the climax of a successful year for Creamer's Lab. He has hundreds of Best of Breed and Specialty wins, and numerous group wins and placings.
He was World Champion Lab at the 1997 World Championships in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and the winner of the prestigious Kal Kan Foods/Pedigree Best of the Best of Breeds award for 1997 and 1998.
"Although it sounds cliche, it really couldn't have happened to a nicer dog," says Creamer. "Aaron's not only handsome, he has, without a doubt, the best temperament I've ever seen in a dog. He's consistently the breeders' choice, meaning judges who are also breeders of Labrador retrievers recognize Aaron for his excellent quality in conformation and temperament.
"He's the kind of dog they would like to produce themselves," she says. "The Westminster Kennel Club judge, Ralph N. Del Deo of Bedminster, N.J., obviously liked what he saw."
What's next for Aaron? "We'll continue to `special' him," says Creamer. "He really likes to show. He loves being the center of attention. And of course we'll continue to breed him."
"His puppies are the same as he is. They love everything and everybody, and based on the number of championships and specialty wins they've already earned, everybody seems to love them, too," Creamer says. "Aaron and his offspring are continuing the Belquest tradition of championship quality with family pet temperament."
Belquest Kennels and Cattery of Mount Airy is a family-owned and operated boarding, grooming and training kennel for dogs, cats and exotic pets, and a top producer of champion Labrador and golden retrievers.
Information: 301-831-7507 or 410-795-8395.
Beanie baby bingo
The Taylorsville-Winfield Lions Club invites you to its Beanie Baby Bingo on March 5 at the Winfield Fire Hall, 1320 W. Old Liberty Road.
Doors will open at 6 p.m., and the games start at 7 p.m. Food will be available.
Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door.
Information: 410-795-4342 or 410-875-4299.
Library story programs
Experience "Wiggles and Giggles: In the Jungle" at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. tomorrow. This story program is designed for ages 2 to 3 with a caregiver. You and your child can explore the jungle with stories, music and movement activities. Registration is required.
Adults and children are invited to the featured story "In My Toy Box" at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday for the "Story Pals" story time at the Mount Airy library. This program is designed for children 2 to 3 who are accompanied by a caregiver. Registration is required.
For children ages 4 through 6, the library staff will offer the "In My Toy Box" story for the "Drop-in Read with Me" program at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1: 30 p.m. Wednesday and at 1: 30 p.m. March 5. No registration is required.
The library also will hold its "Drop-in Story Time: Bedtime Stories" program at 7 p.m. Thursday. Children up to 24 months old are invited with a caregiver. Registration is recommended.
Information: 410-795-1010 or 301-829-5290.
Donna Abel's Southwest Neighbors column appears each Friday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.
Pub Date: 2/26/99