EUGENE, Ore. — The Eugene Kennel Club is hosting its annual AKC Agility Trials at the Lane County Fairgrounds this weekend.
And a lot goes in to make the competition happen.
The kennel club hosts the event, but most members don’t actually participate in the agility competition. Instead, they help out with setting up, cleaning up and helping things run smoothly.
But even if they’re just on the sidelines, they say it’s something they enjoy doing together.
Group members will tell you they’re not exactly as agile as the dogs competing this weekend, but Trial Chairwoman Carol Ptak says they are a hard-working group.
“You look at the Eugene Kennel Club members and you may think ‘Gee, they’re older’ but they’re all out here and they’re working and setting bars and timing and scribing, and they’re very, very active,” Ptak said.
Lorraine still is helping on the clock.
She and her husband Al have been around the EKC longer than just about anybody.
“We were students at the university, and we bought a collie puppy for our first wedding anniversary present, and we showed her at the first Eugene Kennel Club Dog Show in 1948,” said EKC member Lorraine Still.
The pair spent their lives competing and breeding dozens of dogs over the last 65 years.
This club played a big part in their lives together until just recently.
“Well, my husband passed away this last month,” Still said.
Friends say this has been a difficult time for her, but they think participating this weekend will help her heal.
“I think as Lorraine is doing things here, I’m sure there are moments in which she thinks, oh well Al would be over here doing such and such a thing,” said EKC member Al Phillips.
“When we sent the sign-up sheet around. She says I’m going to be there, I’ll be there Friday and I’ll be there Saturday and we thought, wow, what an incredible lady,” Ptak said.
And Lorraine says she knows it’s good for her.
“You know it doesn’t do any good to sit home and dwell on it, so it’s better to be out an active,” Still said.
Being active is something her husband Al was very passionate about, especially being active in this kennel club for the dogs and for the friendship.
“Al would want us to keep on doing things, enjoying each other’s company, and that’s what we’re doing,”
Still and all the other EKC members are putting on quite a competition this weekend and it is free to the public.