Archive for the ‘History’ Category

The History of LRKC

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

The Lakes Region Kennel Club was organized in April of 1953 at the then Laconia Tavern and turns 62 years old in 2015. Park Estabrook of Pittsfield was elected its first President, and meetings were held on Saturday nights in the clubroom of the Franklin Recreation Center. Although a small club, the Lakes Region Kennel Club is proud of its history and of the dedication of its members to educating the public about responsible dog ownership.

July 9, 1953 – Incorporated as a New Hampshire non-profit organization

August 23, 1953 – The club held its first AKC-sanctioned “A” Match at the Belknap Recreation Area (now known as Gunstock).

November 1, 1953 – Dog show/match held at the Laconia Armory

May 30, 1954 and August 29, 1954  – Class “B” Matches held at the Belknap Recreation Area

November 20, 1955 – Held a Class “A” Match at Odell Park in Franklin

September 23, 1956 – Held a Class “A” Match at Odell Park in Franklin

October 1956 – Carroll County Kennel Club offered LRKC a date to become part of the “New England Scenic Circuit”… five days of shows held in New Hampshire and Vermont.  LRKC’s shows were held at Odell Park in Franklin.

October 1962 – “The PawPrint” newsletter was first published by Secretary Robert Welch.

April 1963 – After a “contest” to select an emblem or logo for the club, the design submitted by Doris Phillips was chosen.  It appeared for the first time on The PawPrint in May of 1966.
Doris Phillips described it:  “A triangle enclosing the shape of New Hampshire, a pawprint in approximate area of LRKC (the pads could also represent the lakes of Lakes Region), a ribbon draped across carrying letters: LAKES REGION KENNEL CLUB INCORPORATED.”

1964 – Doris Phillips became the new editor of “The PawPrint”

1965 – LRKC had to find a new meeting place as the Franklin Recreation Center was to be torn down. Meetings were held at the Franklin Armory and then moved to Monday nights and held at the Pleasant Valley Country Club in Gilford. Matches were still held at Odell Park in Franklin.

1966 – Meetings were held at The Tavern in Laconia, and at the Tilton Inn.  Our AKC show was held at the Gunstock Recreation Area for the first time, and was held there each July for the next twenty years.  In later years the club held their shows at Hussey Field in North Conway, at the Sandwich Fairgrounds, in North Haverhill, and most recently at the Hopkinton Fairgrounds.

1970 – LRKC invited other NH dog clubs to join them in inspecting kennels and publishing a New Hampshire Dog Breeders Directory.  This booklet is still published today and distributed to New Hampshire veterinarians and pet supply businesses.

1971 – The Club voted to establish a scholarship fund as its major charity to show the club’s appreciation for their Veterinarians and to encourage New Hampshire students.  The Lakes Region Kennel Club Scholarship benefits New Hampshire students who are graduates of the University of New Hampshire studying for a degree in Veterinary Medicine.  The club had previously made donations to various area causes and charities:  the SPCA, the Franklin Recreation Area, the N.H. Humane Society, Franklin Hospital, Laconia (Lakes Region) Hospital, Cornell University, Crotched Mountain Rehabilitation Center, and Meredith Parks and Recreation.  The Club’s AKC Point Shows and Obedience Trials and Matches have been the major source of funding for its scholarship.  The first recipient was Jolyon Johnson of Wendell.  Among the past recipients, in 1979, was Dr. Rick Linnehan, NASA’s first Veterinarian Astronaut, who flew three missions aboard the space shuttle Columbia and who is scheduled for his next mission in February 2008.

1973 – The club became a member club of the American Kennel Club (AKC).  Doris Phillips was elected to represent the club as its first delegate at the AKC meetings in New York.  Doris served as the club’s delegate for fourteen years.

2003 – The Lakes Region Kennel Club, Inc. celebrated it’s 50th Anniversary.

2007 – We started the Pet Oxygen Mask Fund.  These masks are given to local emergency and rescue departments in the Lakes Region area to aid in resuscitation of small and large animals. The club also began offering Obedience Training classes to the general public. The classes were for 6 weeks, one night a week and held at the newly build Meredith Community Center which provided the club with a large indoor activity center and a dog friendly area to teach in.

2009 – We helped sponsor the first American Red Cross Pet First Aid Certification class in conjunction with LRG Healthcare.  This program enabled the club to instruct EMT’s on the use and care of the POM. Our obedience classes were now being offered with the addition of the AKC STAR Puppy program and extended to 7 weeks. Rally and Breed Handling classes were also offered. In the spring of 2010 classes were also being offered at the Gilford Youth Center.

TODAY – The Club still meets on the first Monday of each month (with a few exceptions).  After holding our meetings for many years at the Lochmere Community Hall, we now meet at the Meredith Center Fire Station on Meredith Center Road.  Educational programs are presented at most meetings.

Our annual AKC-sanctioned Matches, which were held at Prescott Park in Meredith for almost forty years, are held in early May.  The Club has also held two AKC Agility Trials.

In July each year we have held our AKC Point Shows and Obedience and Rally trials.  Since 1997 we have had back-to-back shows at Hopkinton Fairgrounds in Contoocook.  In 2010 the club changed to a new weekend date in late August and a new show site located at Brookwook Pet Resort in Canterbury.  A portion of the proceeds from our matches and shows still benefit our Scholarship Funds. The Club offers two scholarships which are awarded to residents of New Hampshire. The first is awarded to help a New Hampshire graduate of UNH achieve their goal of a degree in veterinary medicine. The second scholarship supports a resident of New Hampshire enrolled in the two year Veterinary Tech program at UNH. Some of these funds are also applied to our on going Pet Oxygen Mask Program.

The club has held several successful Responsible Dog Ownership Day events in September with ‘Meet The Breeds’ booths, TDI & CGC Testing, Dancing With Dogs, local K-9 demos, quest speakers, Health Clinics including Micro Chipping, Vaccination and general health check ups, Obedience & Rally Demos, AKC Educational Table, Raffles, dog related Vendors and lots of kids games including the very popular Musical Dog Walk competition and, weather permitting, a scavenger hunt..

Over the years LRKC has offered Obedience and Handling classes for the public, classes and testing for AKC’s Canine Good Citizen program and  Therapy Dog International certification.  Also, Tattoo, MicroChip and CERF eye clinics.  For many years we presented an educational program with our dogs for the pre-vet students at the University of New Hampshire.

Other Club activities have included pet photo days with Santa and poster contests for area students on responsible pet ownership. The Club has also donated protective vests to the K-9 units of area Police Departments. Our newest project, started in 2007 is raising funds to provide pet oxygen masks to area rescue squads and fire departments.  To date we have been able to donate approximately 75 sets of these masks that are used to resuscitate pets suffering from smoke inhalation.

The Lakes Region Kennel Club, Inc. celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2003.  Although still a small club, we are proud of our history and of the dedication of our members to offering community service and educating the public about responsible dog ownership.