Everett teen dog trainer heading to Westminster



EVERETT — An Everett teen has been invited to attend the Westminster Dog Show in February with two dogs.

Eighteen-year-old Anna Pearson has been participating in dog shows since she was a toddler, The Daily Herald reported in Monday’s newspaper.

The recent high school graduate will bring Oscar, a 5-year-old Chinook sled dog, and her Australian shepherd, Promise, to Westminster.

With Promise, she will be competing in the junior showmanship category. Oscar will be competing in his breed, which is a relatively rare sled dog.

Pearson explains that the competition with Promise is focused on how the handler presents the dog. With Oscar, it’s all about him.

She says she knew absolutely nothing about Chinooks until Oscar’s owner, Marleen Mandt, told her all about them, and then about a month before they were recognized by the American Kennel Club, she learned more at an educational seminar.

They’re similar to Siberian huskies, but with more muscle, Pearson said.

“One of the hardest things is that when we got him he (Oscar) wasn’t a puppy,” Pearson said. “I spent a whole year getting him ready to show, because he was crazy. I mean, he’s crazy now, too.”

Pearson notes that the only person who has ever beaten Oscar and her was her sister, Laura, with her Chinook. “But we don’t talk about that,” she added.

Training a Chinook is tough because they aren’t afraid of anything. Also Oscar is a high energy dog, so Pearson says she may have to run him before his time in front of the judges to calm him down.

Pearson is a student at Cascadia Community College, trying to decide whether to seek a degree in political science or English. She plans to go to law school after getting her undergraduate degree.

She also works several part-time jobs, in addition to school and dog shows.

Her favorite dog show is the Seattle Kennel Club show because she gets to show off what she does to her non-dog friends.

Pearson confirms that there was some truth mixed in with the amusing fiction in the movie “Best in Show.”

“Some of the judges that were in the movie are real judges, and some of the handlers in the group are real handlers,” she said. “My parents went to the movie as a date, and my dad leaned over and whispered to my mom, `The sad thing is you guys are exactly like that.”‘