Americana: Westminster Dog Show

Don't get excited, sheepdogs. The Herding Group has only won Best in Show once. Uploaded by timeinc.net.

Don't get excited, sheepdogs. The Herding Group has only won Best in Show once. Uploaded by timeinc.net.

It arrives on a Monday and Tuesday in February, when there’s not much on television except wretched American Idol auditions. So, in spite of yourself, you watch – thinking you’ll turn the channel in a minute. A couple of hours later, you’re discussing the merits of the Dandie Dinmont Terrier, and wondering what freaky minds would do that to a poodle.

The exhibition dates all the way back to 1877, when 1,201 dogs were shown. A “Best in Show” award wasn’t presented until 1907. The fee to enter at this time was an amazing $5, and it remained at that price until1947.

Uploaded to Flickr by stock411.

Uploaded to Flickr by stock411.

The show is now held in New York’s Madison Square Garden. Naturally, the Terrier Group has won the most Best in Show awards, and I don’t say that because I happen to own a Cairn Terrier. Terriers have taken top honors 44 times, the next most successful being the Sporting Group (19 wins). The Herding Group shows up optimistically each year despite the fact that only once has one of their number won the top prize.

I’m sure if I did enough research, I could understand the incredibly goofy names these purebred dogs have. This year’s winner is “Clussexx Three D Grinchy Glee.” They call him “Stump.” If the dog is so great, I’m sure the judges could get past saying, “The distinguished patrons of the oldest Kennel Club in the United States, the revered Westminster Kennel Club, are proud to award our Best in Show to…” (ahem) “STUMP.”

One minor nitpick. Every now and again the TV commentator will talk about “our sport.” Listen, Dog Boy, showing hounds is not a sport. It’s a first-class competition, don’t get me wrong. It’s a lot of fun to watch if you like dogs. But let’s not get carried away. Don’t make me come up there.

Here’s a few moments with the terriers, the best dogs in the world:

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One response to “Americana: Westminster Dog Show

  1. I love watching the Westminster Dog Show, and I admit I’m partial to the Terrier group, prejudiced by our Cairn Terrier, Duffy, who is the cutest dog who ever lived.

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