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Unique competition at Seattle Kennel Club Dog Show

Janine Prindle will be competing with her yellow lab Cranberry in the obedience competition at Century Link Field. Prindle is legally blind. Cranberry is her guide dog. (Photo courtesy Seattle Kennel Club)

More than 10,000 dog lovers are expected at Century Link Field this weekend for the 75th annual Seattle Kennel Club Dog Show.

Among the dogs taking to the floor will be a 6-year-old yellow lab named Cranberry. She’s not your average competitor. Cranberry is a guide dog, owned and showed by her handler Janine Prindle.

Prindle’s love of dogs started when she was just a little girl. When she had children of her own, her family started raising puppies as part of a 4H project. Over they years, they raised 30 dogs for “Guide Dogs for the Blind.”

Little did she know, her doctor would diagnose Janine with a degenerative eye disease that would eventually leave her in need of a guide dog of her own.

She is now legally blind. Her field of vision just about ten-percent of what a healthy person enjoys.

“Being a dog lover that I am, I couldn’t imagine me going around with a white cane,” says Prindle. “I can work with my dog, and we can go just about anywhere together.”

That includes dog shows. Janine has been all over the country showing her guide dogs over the years. This weekend, she’ll be bringing Cranberry to Century Link Field for the obedience competition at the Seattle Kennel Club Dog Show.

“She’s a yellow lab. She’s rather a calm dog compared to many labs, and she’s a great little worker,” says Prindle.

Cranberry may be the one directing Janine at home, but the roles are reversed in the ring. Prindle says the lab knows that she’s working when she is wearing her harness.

“When she has just her training collar on, then she knows that I’m calling the shots and she needs to do what I tell her,” Prindle says.

Two thousand dogs are expected to compete this weekend with over 13,000 spectators watching.

Aside from the usual competition breed, agility and obedience competitions, there will be demonstrations by Seattle Police K9’s and dog and human dancing teams.

Tickets for the dog show are $14 for adults, $7 for kids, children 4 and under are free. The show runs from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

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