By Ryan Richardson
CARTHAGE, Mo. —
A Carthage second-grader’s dream of a dog show that doesn’t discriminate against mutts will become a reality Saturday with the Mutt-minster Dog Show in Central Park.
After being inspired by the pageantry of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York, 8-year-old Olivia Pierce asked her mom about entering her rat terrier, Princeton, in the famed show. When her mother, Keegan Pierce, explained that the show was for purebred dogs, Olivia thought that all dogs deserve a chance to be seen.
“Mutts don’t get a lot of time on TV, and I think they should,” Olivia said earlier this week. “I hope that the same people who love dogs will come to this and see that mutts are just as good as other dogs.”
Olivia put the event together to serve as a benefit for the Carthage Humane Society. She wants to raise $300. In the weeks leading up to the dog show, she has made her own signs to promote the event in addition to securing judges who have competition experience.
“I want this to become something that we do every year,” Olivia said. “I am having a lot of fun putting this together, and it makes me appreciate having a dog a lot, too.”
Keegan Pierce said her daughter had strong allergies as a child that prevented her from having a dog of her own. Olivia’s allergies even landed her in Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, but that didn’t deter her from figuring out a way to have a dog.
“She took her medicine and built up her immunities over time before getting a dog that was a rescue pup from the Joplin Humane Society,” Pierce said. “I think the work that she put into getting a dog makes her appreciate it that much more, and she wants to share that with everyone.”
Pierce said her daughter is always “thinking of others,” and that Saturday’s dog show is no exception.
“She buys art supplies for kids in the hospital, and she wants to see other people as happy as possible,” Pierce said. “It is humbling to see her think of other people before herself.”
Want to go?
THE MUTT-MINSTER DOG SHOW will start at 1 p.m. Saturday at the pavilion in Carthage’s Central Park. A $10 donation is suggested for entering a dog, with all proceeds going to the Carthage Humane Society.