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It was a dog day afternoon in Minerva

MINERVA - There was little barking, plenty of furry dog faces, and lots of "Good dog" heard on Saturday, Sept. 19 as Spinone dogs young and old from as far away as Florida converged in Minerva.

"A squarely built, active dog with a harsh, wiry coat" is often how Spinones are described. The Spinone is also known as Spinone Italiano or Italian Wire-haired Pointing Dog.

Spinone owners Pat and Steve Cuzzacrea of Minerva organized the large gathering of 40 dogs and 70 owners.

The Spinone is several hundred years old. They were originally used to hunt birds with nets. The dogs developed a unique style of pointing and then dropping to the ground when prey was located. Many Spinones retain this instinct today, although they are not always used to hunt.

At the Minerva gathering, these medium-sized dogs had the opportunity to practice their hunting prowess with wing decoys and live birds. Spinone owners were on hand to hear lectures on topics ranging from dog massage to training techniques.

Spinones are gentle dogs that are great with kids. They also get along well with each other, as was evident during the gathering. There was lots of tail-wagging, and little barking or crankiness.

Judith Bergcon of Cambridge, MA, who owns Nico commented that, "Spinones are loving and warm dogs, great with kids. We really appreciate Pat and Steve - they are so good with their dogs. The puppies they raise are like family."

Several owners commented on how much they appreciate Pat and Steve's efforts to breed these dogs and maintain contact with the new "parents" of the puppies. Pat and Steve are among the premier Spinone breeders in the Northeast.

Folks at the event appreciated being part of the Cuzzacrea Spinone family. There were at least nine Cuzzacrea-bred Spinones at the event.

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