By Pamela Brownstein
Eight-year-old Chadwick Pickatey kept her cool as she faced a crowd of fourth and fifth graders at Beaufort Elementary School. With her ribbons and awards proudly displayed on stage, she performed perfectly and didn’t let the pressure get to her.
And for her good behavior she was given a small piece of raw venison.
That’s because this 8-year-old also happens to have a fur coat and four legs and is a breed of dog known as a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
Owner Pam Taub brought her beloved pet to the school to show the students what it’s like to prepare a show dog. With Chadwick Pickatey atop a grooming table, Taub demonstrated how to brush the dog’s long hair. Students asked many questions, including if the dog does any tricks. “The only trick she does is to be sweet,” Taub said with a smile.
On stage, Taub showed what judges will look for at a dog show. Chadwick Pickatey has won Best in Breed at many American Kennel Club shows.
Beaufort Elementary educator Julie LaGrone, who invited Taub to give the presentation, acted as the judge. LaGrone is in charge of the Tail Waggers program, where therapy dogs come to fourth and fifth grade classes. Each class has its own dog, which vary from labs to mutts to Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.