My Other Life: Cindy Wentzel, show dog handler

Cindy Wentzel, salon owner. In her other life: show dog owner and handler.



Nail tech Cindy Wentzel says you have to spell the word “motor home” around her house so as not to raise the hopes of her two Great Danes who are crazy about their outings to distant dog shows. Wentzel, the owner of Nails at the Carriage House in Newmanstown, Pa., recently took time off from her ongoing project — the painstaking restoration of her Victorian home to period accuracy — to learn to drive the giant home on wheels.

It’s 2-year-old Zoya who does the competing. Four-year old Oliver is along to provide support and companionship. “He’s a rescue dog, and he sometimes has issues with people he doesn’t know,” says Wentzel. Zoya, a black female, was named after the polish line, but her “pedigree” name is Rhodesend’s Cause For Applause, a reference to the kennel that bred her.

“I just love the personality of Great Danes,” says Wentzel. “They are totally convinced they are human and love to be with their people. They usually don’t realize their size and think they are lap dogs.”

Until last year, Zoya was shown by a professional handler, but “she is such a ‘mama’s baby’ that she gets anxious when she’s taken from me to go into the ring,” says Wentzel, who has stepped in to take over those duties.

To date, Zoya has earned her fair share of blue ribbons, but no championships, which require winning 15 points. “It’s so hard to get points with the Danes since you must show against six colors and all the other classes,” she says. “So the fact that she’s got three points is pretty good in my book.”

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