Best in Show

Posted on November 30, 2009

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A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to volunteer with the Red Cross for a Dog Show. Over and over I kept thinking about the movie “Best in Show” due to all the similarities. The dogs were bored with the whole affair, the owners were obsessed, and the judges could not be more serious. I had a great time and they even provided free lunch.
For those of you who have not been to a dog show, here is how it works. The dogs are divided up by breed. Each breed competes in little caged areas. They walk around the edge of the pen. They stand still with tail held aloft. They run around. All while the judge watches. Honestly, all the dogs looked the same to me. But, somehow the judge picked the best of each breed. The best then proceeds to the next round.

The next round has the winner of each breed compete within their group. The groups are sport dogs, toy dogs, etc. The winner of each group then goes to the main ring for the selection of best in show. The whole thing took about two days. Luckily I was there for the last six hours, so I saw the crowning of the champion.

Unlike horses, I don’t think dogs understand they are competing the they do not seem to care whether they win or lose. Mostly they are interested in the steady stream of treats handed out by the owners. The owners were extremely competitive though. They brought RVs to sleep in the parking lot and it was clear that this was just one step on the road to glory (Westminster). Having a dog that is ill behaved, I can appreciate all the time and effort that these people put into these dogs. That being said, I was happy to just be able to show up for a couple hours, hand out a couple band-aids, enjoy the show, and then head home.
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Posted in: Red Cross