“Terrible misunderstanding” ends dog show event in Petrolia

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Sarnia Kennel Club officials say a “terrible misunderstanding” means they won’t be hosting a dog event at Greenwood Park this weekend.

The kennel club had their annual dog show in Petrolia last year – the weekend after Canada Day – and liked the facility so much, they booked it for the next five years.

Anne Smith of the Sarnia Kennel Club says the Canadian Kennel Club permanently assigned the 26th week of the year to Sarnia for its show

But the plan hit a snag in September when organizers were called to town hall for a meeting. David Menzies, director of facilities and community services told the group the town had decided to continue holding Canada Day at Greenwood Park since it had worked so well in 2015 when rain forced the town to move from Bridgeview.

The problem was, in 2016, the 26th week of the year was the Canada Day weekend. Smith says the town told the kennel club it wouldn’t be able to have the weekend. An official from the Petrolia-Enniskillen Agricultural Society who was at the meeting suggested they try Forest or Wyoming.

Smith says the group reiterated several times they couldn’t change their show date but left the September meeting saying they would still host an event in Petrolia on the weekend of July 9.

The Town of Petrolia was advertising the dog show up until the Canada weekend. Then, town officials saw in local news coverage the event had taken place on in Forest.

Menzies called the club saying he had cancelled their booking because the show had taken place. Menzies told The Independent a soccer camp was also taking place that weekend so he told them they could “spread themselves around” because there would be no dog show.

But Smith says the group had expected to use the ground and made plans to host a public event for dog owners July 9.

A flyer posted on the clubs Facebook page says there would be simple training exercises, grooming tips, a dog photographer and a chance for dog owners to run their puppies through their paces.

Smith says the group had to call all the vendors who were expected for the one-day event and tell them not to come. “It’s really unfortunate…we were really excited about doing it…it would be all fun things.”

Menzies says he wasn’t aware of the other event.

Smith added the club wanted to do something in Petrolia because they had enjoyed their experience there so much last year. Marti St. Jean, one of the organizers of the show, added the kennel club had worked out an arrangement to bring another dog show to Petrolia for 2017 for the weekend after Canada Day.

Smith adds Menzies told them the entire five years would be cancelled as well. “It is their right to have whatever they want whenever they want to have it…but this is just a terrible misunderstanding.

“This is really disappointing,” says Smith “and it is sad Petrolia has this bad idea of this’ we really had all this planned.

“Our fault (in this) is communication…we should have kept in better contact,” she added. “If Petrolia wants us back, we could consider it next year.”

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