Club Donates Items for Military Dogs
Moore County Kennel Club has once again made donations of various items to the Camp Lejeune Canine Section Military Working Dogs.
"The club realizes how very valuable military canines and their devoted handlers are to the troops and our country," says a spokesman.
This year the club's Bob Forsyth, longtime board member, and Maryann Phillips, the club's military working dogs representative, were once again on hand to do the honors.
They met with the Kennel Master, Staff Sgt. Elizabeth Lopez, and were escorted to Headquarters and Support Battalion Headquarters. There they joined Commanding Officer Col. David Leppelmeier and Command Sgt. Major Michael Wooten and went on to the Kennel Complex where the Military Working Dogs (MWD) are housed and trained. They once again got to meet and converse with the hard-working and diligent young Marines who are in charge of these valuable canines.
This is the third time that the club has made donations to Camp Lejeune; they also make similar contributions to U.S. Army canine units stationed at Fort Bragg.
This year the club provided equipment for 21 dogs, such as Pup Tread Balls with rope, flexi giant retractable leashes, terry towels, nail clippers, training jackets with replacement sleeves and other training devices.
Phillips says she noticed an old fleece bed that the club took to the kennel two years ago, a bit worn and a little chewed but still serviceable. The handlers stated that they are quite grateful for the various donations they receive.
On each visit there is a welcome tour of the base kennel facility with a demonstration of the skills of the dogs and handlers. The facility is spotless, and canines are well cared for from the food preparation to veterinary care. Phillips says that the Marines have an awe-inspiring bond, a positive attitude and obvious pride about their individual dogs. The dogs' mission is the security of Camp Lejeune and the theaters of operation that the Marines support worldwide.
At this time there are many things that could not be discussed due to security reasons, says Forsyth.
But, he says, there was one story that could be told and it was particularly touching, about a handler/dog team.
They met Corporal Ryan Zamora and his (MWD) Lea, a 10-year-old female Malinois. The team was deployed, and when on duty both Zamora and Lea were wounded. As a result of this mission, these combat wounded veterans, Lea and Zamora, are both Purple Heart recipients.
Lea is being retired and is in the process of being adopted by Zamora. When they were wounded, both man and dog were given expert care and were able to return to the business of protecting and guarding fellow Marines. When the dogs reach the end of their careers, many of them are adopted, often by one of their previous handlers.
Bob Forsyth is a favorite with the Marines as he served as one of the very first dog handlers when the canine corps was established in 1943. Forsyth says he is both proud and humbled by his service in the Marines and by these young handlers he meets at each visit.
Kennel Master Staff Sgt. Elizabeth Lopez echoes his sentiment.
"I have the privilege of serving with the greatest canine section in the Marine Corps," she says.
Forsyth asked Leppelmeier if they could send two Marines and their dogs to the MCKC Show in September.
"How about four Marines and four dogs?" asked Leppelmeier.
On Saturday, Sept. 13, the club will have a demonstration with the dogs and handlers. There will be a MWD booth with information about the dogs and hopefully the opportunity to meet the young Marines.
The club uses the profits earned from the sale of the September Breed and Obedience Show Programs to help support their continuing donations to these deserving teams.
"It is the desire of the club to inspire other organizations to make similar contributions to this worthy endeavor," says Phillips. "The members find this amazing working partnership of man and dog is one that deserves the sponsorship of all."
Kennel Club Schedules Match
Moore County Kennel Club presents its annual All-Breed B Match Friday, March 21, in the Jim Graham Building at the N.C. Fair Grounds in Raleigh.
The Match begins 30 minutes after Durham Kennel Club's Best In Show. The Kennel Club welcomes anyone to participate in this annual event. Matches are a dress rehearsal for the big time dog shows and allows the puppies to wet their feet in the world of show dogs.
"These events are an essential step on the way to a championship," says a spokesman.
There will be a $100 cash prize for Best-in-Match.
Moore County Kennel Club reserves the right to substitute or add judges if required. No puppies are allowed in the building until after Best In Show.
Classes will not be divided by sex.
Entry fees are $7 in advance and $8 the day of the match. Mailed entries must be received by March 19.
Mail entries or direct questions to: Lisa Schrank-MCKC Match Secretary, 100 Wild Turkey Run, Pinehurst, NC 28374 or call (910) 295-5649.
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