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Former NFL player competes with Neapolitan Mastiff at SA dog show

Jeff Zgonina competing at 27th Annual River City Cluster of Dog Shows through weekend

SAN ANTONIO – The event brings people to San Antonio from all over the world. Saturday was day four of the 27th Annual River City Cluster of Dog Shows, sponsored by the Bexar County and Comal County Kennel Clubs.

The pooches pranced, stood proud and gave their best. The shows boasted popular breeds as well as very rare ones, like 18-month-old Neapolitan Mastiff, Nook.

"You don't see a lot of them," said Nook's owner, Jeff Zgonina.

Zgonina played defensive tackle for many teams over his 17-year NFL career. The last team he both played and coached for was the Houston Texans. Once he retired, dogs became his new passion.

"I found out that you can compete with them. Well, I'm a competitive junkie," he laughed.

Zgonina and Nook started going to shows about a year ago.

"He's teaching me patience, something I don't have, and we just enjoy doing it," Zgonina said.

From breed judging, group judging, to best in show and dock diving competitions, there were around 150 different dog breeds to watch.

"They come from all over the country, and some from other countries. Some from Mexico, some from overseas and some from Canada," said event organizer Mary Ellen Shook.

Judges score each dog according to its breed standard: height, weight, color, movement and more. It was a big day with winners taking home ribbons, bragging rights, and, of course, lots of treats.

The last day of the dog show is Sunday at the Freeman Coliseum from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. It's free to the public.


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