All hail Uno the Beagle, Best in Show at the Westminster Dog Show last night.
Though I remain a cat person (cat whisperer extraordinaire), I still love the doggies and I cheered wildly (startling my semi-comatose kitty who was lounging on the bed with her favorite blanket, utilizing my leg as a back rest) when the spunky Beagle puppy beat out that prissy toy poodle and the painfully embarrassed standard poodle. There were other contenders, but thos poodles were the dogs to beat. Judges frickin' love poodles, which I just don't get. I mean, what is the deal with the poodles? The toy one reminded me of Paris Hilton with a noblesse oblige attitude that made me want to smack her. A true kick me dog. And I just felt sorry for the standard who looked mortified by the bouffant ponytail and the cotton ball swatches of fur on its tush that apparently is the breed standard for grooming. The toy had the exact same cut, and how embarrassing is that when you show up at an event and some bitch has your exact same haircut? Give the dog a break. He's not that high up on the food chain to begin with (tm Robin Williams).
So I was really glad to see the beagle win Best in Show last night at the Westminster Dog Show. I've had it on the last two nights while I've been (cough) "working" on my freelance job (it's nearly done so no worries) having tuned in to the event sporadically in the last few years, pretty much since I saw Christopher Guest's hilarious movie Best in Show. I confess, I still view the actual handlers and owners at the real show through Guest's slightly nutty lens always wondering, which one is in therapy with its dog? Did the Weimaraner loose its busy bumble bee?
But the real entertainers are the dogs. I always look for the mop dog (though I missed him last night - stupid snow storm), officially know as the Komondor of Hungary. I could never own one though; I'd always be trying to untangle the cords the make up the coat. But it's always a riot to watch one trot down the lane with all those cords sweeping the floor. Own a dog like that and you'd never have to sweep the floor.
My favorites tend to be the large dogs, which mainly reside in the herding, sporting, working, and hound groups, because they're just so awesome. I used to view all yip yip dogs as inconsequential, but I've been slowly wooed over to some of the smaller dogs like the Norwich Terrier, the Dachshund, and of course, the Beagle. But I don't like the Boston Terrier, or the Bulldog, and I'm not a fan of long-haired dogs. Family loyalty pulls the Shih Tzu into the fold or my father will disowned me (and his dog's a sweetie) and my aunt's Westie mutt is too damn cute to be a kick me, so they can come too.
But there's something to be said for the breadth and majesty of the Irish Wolfhound, the Scottish Deerhound, the Retrievers (six different breeds of retrievers in the show!), the gorgeous Doberman Pincher last night and imposing Great Dane. There were four new breeds added to the American Kennel Club this year, including the Tibetan Mastiff, who received a warm welcome and sixth prize in the group competition. Look at that face! Love them big dogs!
The show is also great as a source of information. The announcer for the show at the Garden describes each breed, both good points and aspects to watch out for, often with a commentary about what sort of living environment best suits the dog and what sort of family arrangement is would thrive in. For instance, Great Danes, for all their size, don't require a lot of running room and can make good apartment dogs - if you don't plan to have any furniture since they'll take up all the room. Which would explain the enormous Great Dane I sometimes see being walked in my apartment heavy, Weehawken neighborhood. Seriously, you could drive my car under that dog and still clear two inches. Also, some of the sporting dogs have water resistant coats (cool!), others webbed toes (hee), and there are other genetic specialties this show imparts that my incessant need to know soaks up. After the announcer has dropped his know-how, the commentators for the network build off of the dogs' descriptions and will sometimes add in a particular insight about the owners, trainers, or handlers, or about the particular dog itself, how many awards its won, whether it's the last show for a retiring dog, etc.
Honestly, this show is a real trip every time.
Huzzah to the doggies!