Only 11 1/2 pounds, but he's still top dog


February 25, 2002|By Karen Nitkin | Karen Nitkin,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

IT'S QUITE POSSIBLE that Jake's ribbons and awards take up more space than he does.

The toy Manchester terrier weighing in at 11 1/2 pounds has won countless awards and has been named Best of Breed in many national competitions.

His status as top dog was recently ratified when he won Best of Breed in the toy Manchester terrier group at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City - for the third time.

Jake, owned by Jim Burrows of Ellicott City, shows under the name Ch Fwaggles Tapman at Burmack. But whether he goes by Jake or by his tongue-twisting full name, this dog has been making a name for himself since he won a national competition at the tender age of 11 months in 2000.

The competition, called a National Specialty, attracted toy Manchesters from all over the country. "It was really an unbelievable thing, because normally puppies don't win those kinds of events," Burrows said.

There are two categories of Manchester terriers: toy dogs, which can be up to 12 pounds, and standard dogs, which can be anywhere from 12 to 23 pounds. In National Specialty competitions, a winner is chosen in each category; then the two terriers compete against each other. Jake has won the overall championship in both 2000 and 2001.

This is also his third year winning at the prestigious Westminster show, a competition so fierce that even qualifying is difficult. Invitations are sent to the top five dogs of each breed, and a lottery is held for the remaining slots.

"It's probably the kennel club show of the year," Burrows said. "It has a lot of prestige centered around it, and it is truly an honor to be asked to show there."

Burrows, 35, has been interested in toy Manchesters since he was about 10 years old and took care of his neighbor's dog. "They would take me to shows and I would help with the dogs," he said.

When he graduated from Loyola College in 1988, he acquired his first toy Manchester, Marlboro's Lady Brittany, better known to friends and family as just plain Brittany.

Burrows now has five, and he estimates he goes to dog shows about three weekends out of every four. Toy Manchesters are wonderful dogs, said Burrows, who makes his living as a corporate communications officer.

"They're small enough and compact enough that they can go with you. They don't have a lot of hair, they don't need a lot of maintenance. ... They're very clean, they're very smart, and they're just real easy to live with," he said.

And of all the toy Manchesters, if his ribbons are to be believed, Jake is probably the best there is. So what is it about Jake that makes him such a champ?

"There are a lot of really nice toy Manchesters out there, but he's probably the closest to perfect you can get," Burrows said.

Centennial news

Centennial Lane Elementary School winners of the Reflections contest at the county level are Allison Smith and Vikranth Sivakumar for literature, and Catherine Fisher (first prize), Rose Wallace and Jennifer Jones in dance.

The children's entries will now go to the state level of the national competition, sponsored by the national PTA.

Meanwhile, kindergarten and first-grade registration for Centennial Lane will be from 8:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. today through March 1. Tomorrow, registration will be held until 6 p.m. Children must be 5 by Dec. 31 for kindergarten, and 6 by the end of the year for first grade.

Parents should bring proof of residency, birth certificate, immunization record (unless you have a religious exemption), Social Security number and a parent's identification with a photo. Children enrolled in Centennial Lane kindergarten do not need to register for first grade.

Poetry at Patapsco

Children at Patapsco Middle School recently learned about poetry from Lubo Nikolov, a poet-in-residence supplied by the Maryland Institute of the Arts. Nikolov helped sixth-graders create their own poetic styles, and the weeklong program culminated with a poetry mreading Feb. 12.

Sixth-grader Rachel Mueller's poetry was recently recognized in the Howard County Young Authors Contest. In the previous two years, she was among winners in the short story category.

Church history

Walter Watkins, one of the 59 original congregants of the Mount Hebron Presbyterian Church, will return to the church March 10 to talk about its founding 41 years ago.

The 10 a.m. service and the fellowship hour that will follow are open to the public.

From 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., the historic stone Hebron House will be open to the public. The church and the home are both on Mount Hebron Drive, just north of Route 99.

Information: 410-465-3993.

Basket bingo

The Elkridge Youth Organization is holding a basket bingo tournament to help raise money for the Elkridge Hurricanes, a baseball team of 12-year-old boys that is part of the Elkridge Youth Organization. The team plans to go to Cooperstown, N.Y., in July for a tournament against other teams from all over the country.

The bingo tourney will be March 9 at the Elkridge fire hall on Old Washington Boulevard. Winners will receive wicker baskets filled with goodies. The doors will open at 5 p.m. and games will begin at 6 p.m.

Tickets are $12 in advance or $15 at the door. For tickets, call Kathi Moore at 410-796-8692 or Dianna Liggitt at 410-379-5726.

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