Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Day Two: Best in Show – Rest in Snow

I’m not sure if it was a lack of dog-inspired snack foods, staying up late the night before, or expending all of our extra energy shoveling, but last night’s conclusion of the 134th WKC Dog Show was pretty uninspiring to me and mine.  Hell – before it was over, I lost my other two judges (one dragging herself to bed during the final judging).  This lack of enthusiasm may impact next year’s plans to attend live.
Be that as it may, here are the results:
Sporting
The variety of retrievers, spaniels, and setters is sort of amazing.  We all liked the Pointer, the Vizsla, and the Weimaraner, which clearly displays our penchant for dogs whose muscles can be seen. 
Pointer, WKC Best of Breed photo
But I surprised myself by also liking the English Cocker Spaniel and the English Springer Spaniel.  Our youngest judge fell in love with the shiny black of the flat-coated Retriever.

Working
The Dobie, hands down, was our favorite. 
Doberman Pinscher, WKC Best of Breed photo
You really just can’t ignore the intensity of that dog’s stack.  However, I found her left ear bend when she trotted a little disconcerting. I guess that’s not a mark against the standards because she won the group!  I also really liked the Mastiff and the Alaskan Malamute, while the youngest went with the Samoyed.  [I just can’t bring myself to pronounce that “Sam’ – ee – ed”.  I knew one over thirty years ago as a “Sa- moy’ – id”.  Oy.  It’s taking me quite some time to adjust.]
Following the Doberman Pinscher, the judge placed the Boxer (nice mask), the Portuguese Water Dog (weird trim) and the Alaskan Malamute (another stunning mask).
[Side note: I loved this judge, Mrs. Kimberly Meredith-Cavanna, who celebrated the show and the importance of it in her life by dressing to the nines, including but not limited to a train on her skirt, and looking fabulous!] 

Terriers
This is usually my favorite group, but I didn’t find a lot to love last night.  I got bored with their wiry little faces and the little English looking goatees, which usually charm me, started to irritate me. This was not a good sign.
Nevertheless, I managed to pick out a few favorites.  The Airedale, the Bull Terrier, of course, (white this time, though), and a new favorite, the Glen of Imaal Terrier.  My fading-fast co-judges mumbled something about the American Staffordshire and the Manchester, but since they were rather incoherent at that point, I can’t be positive if they liked them, hated them, or thought they looked like someone we knew.  The judge chose the Scotty to win the group followed by the Smooth Fox Terrier, the Norwich Terrier, and the Airedale.

Best in Show
The Scottish Terrier, Sadie.
WKC Best in Show Photograph
Anticlimactic, I know.  And I have to wonder why. 
Was it the lack of a superstar (still my favorite – Rufus – I think it’s the Roman nose)? A missing judge?  Or was it my lack of preparation?
I have to say that the most enjoyment I get from the dog show is from knowing the history behind the breeds. I didn’t do any homework this year and I felt a little as if I were unprepared for class. 
Another thing that I made note of is that I don’t remember so many random markings on the dogs.  Even the Kuvasz, the Great Pyrenees, and the Bedlington Terrier, dogs I normally think of as solid white, were all sporting a little tan in areas around the head.  Most of the multi-colored dogs had random, rather than distinct markings.  Is it the Panda-effect (cue Boston Terrier)? I want to see dogs with clear markings, not camouflage (unless of course, it is for camouflage).
Rather than providing excitement in its own right, this year’s show provided another data point regarding dog development and the status of the species among men (and, no less important to me, in my home).

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