Melrose produces its very own dog show

... curious flix of canines and their pet people

from Don Norris

Actually, this is the fourth K9 Kaper in a row, all of which are the brilliant idea
of no less than the mayor himself, Rob Dolan. They  are the production, however, of
Melrose's own 'dog lady, Diane Kurkjian, whose official title is something like, The
Melrose Health Department Office of Animal Control chief.

She's the one who takes care of the stray dogs, cats, horses, snakes and other
miscellaneous pets that go astray. And such care is done with great humanity and
feeling both for those pets as well as their possibly errant owners.

And so the show continues for the fourth time. There isn't too much organization,
and for judges of some dozen different categories, Ms Kurkjian depends on her
audience. They who yell the loudest and longest determine what canine gets the
prize. From experience we hear that a large contingent of very enthusiastic (and
knowledgeable) young girls dominate the voting.

When humans -- owners -- sign in, they themselves determine which class their pooch
will compete in. Examples are prettiest, ugliest, oldest, biggest, largest ...
Prizes are such as stuffed animals, perhaps dog biscuits ...

The location of this canine happening is the baseball diamond called Monk Field,
opposite a Tremont Street office building that used to be called "Cutler Motors".
The park is a beautiful place for either baseball or doggie parades, which reflects
the touch of Mayor Dolan and the current park department people. EmmCee for the day
on the portable loudspeaker was former alderman, now representative, Paul Brodeuer.

As for the contestants themselves, they came in all sizes, colors, hues, hairiness,
flop-eared or straight-up, long tails and short -- but all concerned (including the
canines) seemed to recognize that this was a party, and certainly not a day to pick
a fight. It was a beautiful show.

The photos below are of the dogs themselves, with ittle attention paid to their

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