Love grows at St. Bernard show


By Sam Shriver - sshriver@limanews.com



Tom and Shirley Wolf were married at the Lima St. Bernard show 28 years ago. They are with Kid Rock, one of their champion St. Bernard dogs.

Tom and Shirley Wolf were married at the Lima St. Bernard show 28 years ago. They are with Kid Rock, one of their champion St. Bernard dogs.


Sam Shriver | The Lima News

These St. Bernard pups belong to Tom and Shirley Wolf and are only four weeks old. When grown they could reach between 150-170 pounds.

These St. Bernard pups belong to Tom and Shirley Wolf and are only four weeks old. When grown they could reach between 150-170 pounds.


Sam Shriver | The Lima News

LIMA — St. Bernards from all over the region are competing for points at the Lima Kennel Club Showgrounds for a series of competitions showcasing the dog.

Tom and Shirley Wolf of Greenwich, Ohio, marked a milestone Saturday.

“Joe and I have been married 28 years ago (today). We had a dog show here 28 years ago and our dogs were in our wedding and everything,” said Shirley Wolf.

Both of them showed their St. Bernards at the show.

“He handled a couple of my dogs and I couldn’t afford to pay him so I just married him,” she said jokingly. “We’re still best friends. We still have a lot in common with the dogs and we’ve been showing and breeding for over 47 years.”

And they’ve been pretty successful too.

“We hold the record for the top winning St. Bernard in the history of the breed — the second top winning St. Bernard in the history of the breed — the top producing brood bitch of all times, not only in St. Bernards but for the entire working group,” Shirley said.

After all these years why do they still show the breed?

“I guess an ego trip, kind of, plus it’s to keep promoting the breed,” said Joe Wolf.

The dogs can get to be between 150 and 170 pounds when fully grown and the breed is not for everyone.

“You’ve got to be used to having big dogs because the dogs will be playful and could knock small children over,” said Nick Little, with the St. Bernard Club of Greater Detroit. “Their tails can clear your coffee table quite easily when they’re happy. They’ll wag their tail and everything on the coffee table goes away.

They need a lot of space. Personally, I would always make sure they have a fenced yard because even though they’re big dogs they’ll still have quite a bit of energy. They need to be able to work that off.”

Little has seven St. Bernards he shows and two St. Bernards that were rescue dogs.

A trip to a local humane society a few years ago began his love for the breed.

“When I first came over to this country my wife at the time used to have dogs and she wanted another dog. She had Rottweillers before and we decided that we’d go to the local humane society and see what dogs they had and we both fell in love with a St. Bernard,” Little said.

Little said they thought about getting a show dog and contacted a breeder.

“He sold us our first show dog. We had great fun with that one. We went back to him and got a second one and that did well as a show dog as well. We were forever hooked,” Little said.

Little hasn’t shown his dogs at the Westminster show in New York.

“We don’t believe it’s a good location. The Madison Square Garden area was very, very congested, therefore we wouldn’t go. We think it would be too stressful for our dogs but some St. Bernards do go every year and some of them do reasonably well but I don’t believe there’s ever been a St. Bernard winner at Westminster, Best of Show,” Little said.

The competition runs through Labor Day.

There is no cost to watch and parking is free.

Tom and Shirley Wolf were married at the Lima St. Bernard show 28 years ago. They are with Kid Rock, one of their champion St. Bernard dogs.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2021/09/web1_dog-show-1.jpgTom and Shirley Wolf were married at the Lima St. Bernard show 28 years ago. They are with Kid Rock, one of their champion St. Bernard dogs. Sam Shriver | The Lima News
These St. Bernard pups belong to Tom and Shirley Wolf and are only four weeks old. When grown they could reach between 150-170 pounds.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2021/09/web1_dog-show-2.jpgThese St. Bernard pups belong to Tom and Shirley Wolf and are only four weeks old. When grown they could reach between 150-170 pounds. Sam Shriver | The Lima News

By Sam Shriver

sshriver@limanews.com

Reach Sam Shriver, reporter, at 567-242-0409.

Reach Sam Shriver, reporter, at 567-242-0409.

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