Organizing annual dog show has many rewards

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INDIANAPOLIS – It’s a good thing Kevin Allen likes dogs, because this weekend he’ll be in the same building with about 21,000 of them.

That’s 21,000 canine tails, give or take, depending on the breed; 42,000 dog ears; and 84,000 paws prancing up and down the West Pavilion of the Indy Winter Classic Dog Show at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, all under the Greenfield resident’s direction.

“I like all dogs,” Allen said Thursday morning as he stood in the middle of the West Pavilion. “I guess I’m just a dog-friendly guy.”

For the past 20 years, Allen, originally from the small town of Clayton in Hendricks County who moved to Greenfield two years ago, has been the show’s chairman. He handles everything from making sure the doors are open on time to hiring judges and off-duty police officers to guard the dogs at night. He also answers a constant stream of questions from volunteers, participants and visitors.

And overseeing one of the area’s top shows is something he never tires of doing.

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