It’s that point of 12 months once more, The Westminster Kennel Club Show, when pure bred canines from everywhere in the nation go paw to paw to take dwelling the coveted prize of Best in Show. I’ve gone to this present yearly as a member of the press since 1999. It’s just like the Super Bowl for canine lovers.
And talking of the Super Bowl … I’ve to confess that I’ve by no means watched a single Super Bowl. If the Miami Dolphins aren’t in it, which they haven’t been since 1984, I actually can’t be bothered. But that’s not unhealthy information for me as a result of Animal Planet performs The Puppy Bowl in the identical time slot, and I watch it yearly – this 12 months, I used to be one among eight.7 million different viewers who had been taken with these treasured pet faces. The Puppy Bowl is endlessly entertaining – puppies romping and tumbling and scoring “touch downs” by taking toys into the “end zone.” It doesn’t get a complete lot cuter than that.
The factor that struck me this 12 months within the Puppy Bowl was that a lot of the “players” had been blended breeds – mutts. This is completely different from years previous, when many pure breed canines took the sphere. I did a little analysis and discovered that the entire pups had been rescue canines and had been up for adoption from 25 completely different rescues and shelters. Kudos to Animal Planet for encouraging adoption, particularly of blended breeds. I imagine that most of the previous years’ Puppy Bowl gamers had been additionally up for adoption, however I don’t ever keep in mind an “mostly mutt” staff earlier than.
Having volunteered in two shelters, I’ve seen how arduous it may be to undertake out a “plain brown dog,” and black canines have a difficult syndrome of their very own. People appear to be drawn to purebred canines, or people who appear to have a “primary breed.” Certainly the “doodle” phenomenon has been altering that a bit. It’s “cool” now to have a Mixed Breed canine if you happen to can add the phrase “doodle” to it someplace. But when that canine goes to the shelter, it’s only a “mixed breed” once more.
Whenever somebody asks me what “breed” Pearl is, I at all times shrug and both say “mutt-from-the-pound,” or “I don’t know” – I say the latter after I need to hear what they suppose she is. One man mentioned to me, “Oh, come on, she has to have a breed.” No, really, she doesn’t. She’s a mutt from the pound. I do not know what she is. It can be enjoyable to know, however I don’t lose sleep over it.
Which brings me to The Westminster Kennel Club Show. There’s not a mutt or doodle in sight. There are completely quaffed Poodles and blown-out Briards, and breeds that you just’ll doubtless solely see at Madison Square Garden (not in your block), just like the Entlebuckher Mountain Dog and the Cesky Terrier, two new breeds entered this 12 months.
I’ve to say, mutts do rock. I dwell with one and she’s the supply of countless pleasure for me. But I dwell with two pure bred Miniature Schnauzers too, and they’re wonderful. For me, a canine is a canine. I can get simply as thrilled at watching mutts romp across the Puppy Bowl, or collaborating as a spectator within the second oldest sporting occasion within the United States (the Kentucky Derby is the oldest subsequent to Westminster, however solely by one 12 months). I do know the way controversial canine reveals are – many individuals are adamantly towards them, and some are towards purebred canines. I perceive their arguments. But I nonetheless like The Westminster Kennel Club present.
I’ve interviewed dozens of present canine homeowners through the years, together with a number of of the present’s winners. These canines will not be relegated to kennels, bred to exhaustion, and tossed out as soon as they’re used up. That’s what yard breeders do. That’s what pet mills do. Most of the canines at Westminster dwell at dwelling with the homeowners or handlers (who deal with them like their very own canines), and dwell the great lifetime of a pampered pet.
Just like us, these homeowners perceive their canines’ quirks, likes and dislikes, and cater to them simply as we do. If a canine didn’t like being proven, that choice can be obvious within the ring and the canine wouldn’t place, a lot much less win. And imagine me, it’s not in regards to the cash for individuals who present canines – most homeowners lose cash displaying their canines. Showing is in regards to the love of the breed. I’ve seen that for years and I wouldn’t report it that method if it weren’t true.
Imagine Madison Square Garden, full to the rafters, a number of celebrities in plain view sitting amongst the group, many individuals in formal night put on. The lights dim and the group goes wild because the spotlights comply with the canines trotting into the ring – and then your favourite breed enters and it’s nearly as if it’s your personal canine on the market, vying for the large prize. When the Miniature Schnauzers take the ring, I do know what it feels prefer to have a favourite soccer staff, if just for a couple of minutes a 12 months.
As regular, this 12 months I’m rooting for the Miniature Schnauzers. Go Minis! What’s your favourite breed? Are you professional or anti canine reveals? Why?
If you’re going to be on the Westminster Kennel Club Show, please ship me a message on Facebook and let me know – I’ll make the time to fulfill you and say hello. And maybe get you to root for the Mini Schnauzers with me too.
– More Mutterings –