Tuesday, February 16, 2010

134th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show – Day One

Right off the bat, let me tell you that David Frei did not keep us in suspense long. He talked about the Norwegian “Boo’ hoond” within the first four minutes of the show.   One mystery solved.
Secondly, there were some minor announcer errors which I’ve never noticed in the past. One technical glitch, labeling the American Foxhound as a Basenji, disrupted my otherwise normal delight in the hound group.  Other than that, it appears a good time was had by all.
Hounds
While my family, predictably, went with the 13” Beagle, I was leaning toward the Greyhound, the Rhodesian Ridgeback, and the Whippet as paragons of their breeds.  The Whippet, Chanel, impressed me because of her very strange coat (apparently within breed standards).  She looked a little like she was wearing a coat of thin white granite with narrow black veining.
Gneiss coat, Chanel!
WKC Group Judging Photo
The judge called Chanel the winner, followed by the Greyhound, the Scottish Deerhound, and the PVGB.
Toy
As we own a toy breed, a Pug, we watched this group eagerly, only to realize that none of us had any use for the toy breeds.  This does not reflect well on our furry little companion.  More likely, the realization is related to the fact that we do have a Pug and – most of the time – we like our dog and wouldn’t trade her adorable looks and kooky antics for any of the frou-frou smashed-faced nervous little ankle-biters we saw.  Except maybe the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, (at whom I dare you to look without squealing in delight, or at least crinkling up your nose at his sheer cuteness) who looks like he might require a little bit of grooming work, but is overall quite adorable. 
Winners: Toy Poodle, the possessed hassock, the Shih Tzu, and the Papillon.   
Non-Sporting
The mere convening of this group cracks me up.  What the hell do these dogs do?  The Toys are obviously companion animals, the Hounds, hunters, the Sporting dogs are hunters, or help hunters, but what on earth does Non-Sporting imply?  It’s like being part of an atheist group.  The only thing it tells about them is what they are not. 
That said, we loved the Frenchie (French Bulldog), and he won the group, followed by the Chinese Shar-Pei (eh), Bulldog (loved her), and the Miniature Poodle (more eh).
Herding
This was our favorite group of the night.  Again, all of the Belgian dogs, the Malinois, the Sheepdog, and the Tervuren, impressed me with their sturdy good looks and apparent temperaments.  This time, even my husband admitted an admiration for the Malinois, but he was rooting for the Norwegian Buhund (I think that’s because he was right about the pronunciation of the name, but I’ll allow that we all love that happy Spitz look).   My money, however, was on the Smooth Collie.  It was obvious she wasn’t a crowd favorite, but I thought she was beautiful and strong looking.
It’s a good thing my wager took place in my mind, because the trotting, knotted rug of organized mats, the Puli, won the group.  You really should check out this thing in motion.
Happily, the Belgian Sheepdog scored a second place, with the Bearded Collie (Beardie) and German Shepherd following.

That’s it for now.  As I write, they are judging the remaining three groups for tonight’s big finale!

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