America’s Family Pet Expo was held in Southern California for 30 years. The annual family-friendly event featured all creatures cute, cuddly, furry, feathered and scaled of all sizes, shapes and colors. The West Coast’s Largest Pet Expo featured cats, dogs plus fish, birds, frogs…and more! They also included a variety of educational presentations, family fun pet entertainment, and exhibitors offering show specials while showcasing the latest and greatest in pet products.

The SCWTCSC felt it was very important to be there to represent our Wheatens in the “Meet The Breed” section of the show. Club members volunteered to bring their dogs and introduce them to the public in a booth that provided information about the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier. For eight years Laura Virant organized our Wheatens and their people to volunteer for the event. She setup and decorated the booth. The following is a writeup that appeared in “Benchmarks.”

Every year, I look forward to Chairing our SCWTCSC Pet Expo Booth and this year was no exception. This year’s Pet Expo was held the last weekend in April at the Orange County Fairgrounds. What a great opportunity for our Club to educate the public about our lovely breed, their health issues, care and maintenance and the importance of purchasing from a reputable breeder. There are so many memories of the weekend that are vivid in my memory. First, I need to thank so many club members, who volunteered to help in our booth over the three day show. Much thanks to Dorothy and Dave Eck, Ronda, Dave and Malory Rhodes, Rich Huberman, my husband Conrad, Miriam Kahan, Kathy, Ben and Erin Fawley, Mimi Tibbs, Lisa and Rachel Rosenbusch, Chris Bronstein, Paul Van Wig, Kay Baird, Debbie Bowen, Tom, Diane and Maisy Coffin, Hiromi Kenjo, Jim and Karla Cohen, and Ken and Cecily Skinner. Thank you for sharing your beautiful Wheatens! Secondly, our Booth was awarded 1st Place out of all the Breed Booths, which was a thrill! Did I mention 1st prize was $125!!!

Lastly, I’d like to share a sweet memory. On Sunday, a mother and her daughter Peyton stepped up to our booth and asked where was my Wheaten Winston. I usually have Winston in the Booth Sunday during the 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm shift. This year, he only did a Friday shift due to he was grieving his big sister Sophie who passed four days before the show. Luckily, I recognized the little girl from the year before. In fact, I had a picture I took of her the year before with Winston. I asked her mom, Jamie if I could text her the picture. She gave me her number and I texted her the picture. I asked Peyton if she’d like to take a picture with Kody and Zoey, who were in the booth, and once again I took her picture and texted it to her mom. She was so thrilled. She hugged me and told me she really loves my Winston and is saving up money to buy a Wheaten just like him. Later that night, I took a picture of Winston with a sign that said, Hi Peyton, I’m sorry I missed you today at the Pet Expo! Love, Winston and texted it to Peyton’s mom. I got a call right away saying how thrilled Peyton was to get a text from Winston. It’s moments like these that show how important Meet the Breeds are. I am already looking forward to next year’s Pet Expo. If you have an opportunity to share your Wheaten, I strongly encourage you to participate, as moments like these are precious.
All the Best,
Laura Virant