2017 Scholarship Winner, Her Trip to the AKC National Dog Show


AKC Rep Mike Szabo congratulating Claire on her win

Award was given for the top two presentations: The Waukesha Kennel Club (WKC) offered two $500 college scholarships to two Waukesha County 7th grade middle school Students. The First Place is also awarded a trip to The AKC National Dog show in Orlando FL. The scholarships were granted based on a presentation prepared by the student on the student’s favorite American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized breed.

This year student first place was Claire Nickerson written on the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever  HER REPORT-   STUDENT 9

This is Claire’s Report on her trip to the Largest dog show in America:

Claire with the Best of Breed Winner

WKC member Jeri El Dissi with Claire in the NSDTR booth with her project

AKC Trip Report
By Claire Nickerson
I was lucky enough to go to the American Kennel Club Dog Show presented by Royal Canin, because I won an essay contest that asked me to write about my favorite purebred dog breed. I chose the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, (or Toller for short), because they are a dog that fascinates me and I wanted to learn more about them. The night that my family found out I had won was amazing. I was jumping up and down because I was so excited that I had won, (and that we get to go to Florida!)
On the first morning that we got to the convention center, my family and I met up with Jeri El Dissi. As she showed us around, I couldn’t have imagined such a big place! While this was not my first dog show, (I had gone to the Waukesha Kennel Club dog show before), I was stunned. There was so much to see and so much to do! We passed the agility rings, the meet the breed booths, the dock diving, the grooming areas, and all of the show rings. Most importantly, there were so many dogs! But before we could venture out and explore the wonderful dog show, we had to see the Tollers being showed! As all of the Tollers walked around the ring being judged I was amazed because before this trip, I had never seen a Toller in person before. It was so cool to see all of them and afterwards, I got to take a picture with the best in show Toller. It was amazing; the dog was so pretty. After that, we headed to the Toller booth to meet more of these wonderful dogs. I got to meet more of the Tollers and take some pictures with them. While there were so many, my favorite was probably the puppy named Zoom. Zoom was not one of the dogs being shown, (because she is too young), but I found out that she is going to become an agility dog! That is so cool because agility is my favorite dog sport to watch. After petting the Tollers, we went through all of the meet the breed booths. There were many cool dogs that I had never heard of before like the Kooikerhondje. We spent most of our day walking around the different breed booths while meeting, petting, and asking questions about the dog breeds. After that, we watched the fist part of the best in group dogs and unfortunately, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever did not win for the sporting group category. Then it was time to head back to the hotel for bed.
The next morning, I was so excited to head back to the show. We saw more dogs being showed that day and I thought that the perfection of these dogs were breathtaking. We walked around the booths some more. We stopped at the amazingly decorated Toller booth and everyone was so nice and friendly again today. The agility, dock diving, and disc dog demonstrations were all very fun and exciting to watch. All of the agility dogs were super fast and it was fun to watch them run through the course. The dock diving was also fun. I couldn’t believe that those dogs could jump so far. While we didn’t get around to seeing the obedience dogs, Sunday was amazing. Also because we wanted to get a good night’s sleep, we did not stay to see the final best in group competition or the best in show winner, but we will for sure be watching it on TV in January.
I am so grateful for this amazing opportunity and I am so happy that I was able to spend it with my mom, dad, and little sister, Rachel. I would definitely recommend going to the dog show if you like dogs and what to learn more about them. Thank you Waukesha Kennel Club and Jeri for an experience that I will cherish and remember forever.

Claire with her sister Rachel getting to know the breed in Orlando

See the other great student projects including 2nd place award winner Ella Marchan



Interested in a scholarship from WKC?

Claire in meet the breed booth loving the pups

Visit the scholarships page to learn more.