Discovering Dryden: Local girl competes at dog show

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Makenna Ramsay, a senior at Dryden High School, competed in the American Kennel Club National Championship dog show over the weekend of Dec. 15 and Dec. 16 in Orlando.


Ramsay’s journey into dog showmanship began in 2010. Bored of various crafting clubs, Ramsay and her parents sought a new type of hobby for her. Dog training her pet dogs with the 4H club seemed just the right fit. After years of dog training, with the encouragement of friends who show dogs, Ramsay began to participate in American Kennel Club dog shows. She trained and showed various dog breeds owned by friends and other breeders, being judged in categories such as obedience, agility, and showmanship. Then in 2014, for her 14th birthday, Ramsay’s parents gifted her a yellow Labrador puppy. She named her new dog Zoey and relished the opportunity to train her own dog from puppy-age onward. Ramsay trained Zoey starting at 8 weeks of age and then showed her in 2015 in the Novice class at an American Kennel Club dog show.


“Junior showmanship,” Ramsay explained of the shows she’s competed in thus far. “It’s divided into Novice and Open classes. And then it’s divided into age groups. One group is Junior which is 9 to 12, Intermediate is 12 to 15, and Senior is 15 to 18.” Over the Dec. 15 weekend, Ramsay participated in the Open Senior show. To qualify for the event itself is very competitive. Ramsay had to have five first place wins in her dog-showing class from previous competition and have a grade point average of at least 3.0 or equivalent at school.


At the Junior level, the showmanship participants are judged on their handling of their dogs through various scenarios. The showman will show their dog through obedience skills such as responding to various commands, agility skills like running through tunnels and jumping, and showmanship, the way the showman handles and interacts with their dog. As Ramsay moves out of Junior level, she will compete in Conformation dog showing. Whereas Junior showmanship focuses more on developing and honing the showman’s skills, Conformation dog showing focuses on judging individual dogs against a physical and behavioral standard for that particular breed.


Dog showing is commonly a sport that is passed through generations. In Ramsay’s case, she is the first in her family. Ramsay has been accepted to Cornell University where she will begin her studies in Animal Science in the fall of 2019. She plans to become a veterinarian. But she also plans to continue to show dogs after college and perhaps breed dogs as well.


The American Kennel Club dog show that Ramsay participated in will be shown on the Animal Planet tv channel on New Year’s Day. We won’t see Ramsay and her dog on the tv (there were over 5,000 competing dogs with their owners!) but it’s fun to watch and an opportunity to learn about dog shows. Congratulations to Makenna Ramsay!


Neighborhood Watch Program in Freeville
If you drive through Freeville, you may notice the new Neighborhood Watch signs. Drivers entering the village from either end of Route 366 or Route 38 are now greeted with new Neighborhood Watch signs, assuring that Freeville’s residents are vigilant and connected when it comes to suspicious activity.


With the efforts of Deputy Sheriff Karl Bowers and Mayor David Fogel, The Village of Freeville, with the support of the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Department, is the fifth community in Tompkins County to establish a registered Neighborhood Watch Program.


The Neighborhood Watch Program is about connecting people in the community and encouraging joint vigilance. The goal is to make it a safer, more enjoyable place for everyone to live. The program utilizes a community listserv and social media to connect residents to one another. In addition, the lines of communication between the Sheriff’s office and the community are open, each alerting the other to crime and suspicious activity.


If a community member witnesses something or someone unsettling, contact the Freeville Watch Coordinator, Stephanie Goddard, at freevilleneighborhoodwatch@twc.com. Goddard will spread the alert through the listserv and share it with the Sheriff.


It’s extremely important for all to understand that a Neighborhood Watch Program is not a replacement for 911 calls. Nor it is meant to encourage active patrolling of neighborhoods by community members. Simply speak up if you have reason; “See something, Say something”. Be a good neighbor. Deputy Sheriff Karl Bowers advises that if you are alarmed by something you see or hear, do not hesitate to call 911. A response to a false alarm is more favorable than no response to a real problem.


How can you and your family promote safety in your neighborhood?
Know your neighbors. Meet and greet newcomers. Try to include all residents in the Neighborhood Watch Program. The more informed, involved, and active everyone is, the better for everyone. Keep your neighbors informed. Going away for the holiday? Let them know. Hired a pet sitter to stop by your house while you’re gone? Clue your neighbors in so they can keep an eye out. Lock your cars. If you see something worrisome, call 911. Don’t second guess yourself. Finally, if your neighborhood does not have its own Neighborhood Watch Program, contact your local Sheriff’s office to set one up.

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