I’m a dog person. I’ve always said this. Which is why December is one of my favorite times of the year.
I’m getting geared up for the big Celebrate Dogs event in Orlando this weekend. I’m really excited about the whole event, because in addition to the actual AKC/Eukanuba National Championship, they’ve really expanded the show to become one that encompasses all aspects of dog-dom way beyond the conformation ring. There’s dock dogs, Super Dogs, Soccer Dogs, agility, obedience, and Meet the Breeds, which is fast becoming one of my favorite events at the show. Meet the Breeds is like a living dog museum where you get to wander around and get kissed by the exhibits.
I find dog shows interesting, in a detached sort of way. It’s great fun to watch and the more I know about the whole world of dog shows, the time involved and the people who inhabit it, I am sure that although I like to watch the shows, it’s way more work than I would ever personally want to do. I won’t ever be in one- with the exception of the Blogger’s Stakes tomorrow, which, if you remember last year, ended poorly for me last go round.
What really draws me in to these things is the diversity, not only of the dogs but of the people. You can sit in the hotel lobby and figure out who goes where pretty easily: those are agility people in sneakers and t-shirts. Those are the show people in sensible flats and blazers. That one holding court over there is some sort of judge bigwig. These people with their “I love my rescue dog” bag, spectators perhaps, or maybe vendors. And those guys in the ball caps camped in the corner staring incredulously? Left over from the John Deere convention earlier in the week.
So which one is the dog person? All of them, even, I’d wager, the John Deere guys, who upon learning a dog show was in the works immediately pulled out photos of their coonhounds.
I really struggle with this sort of strange competitiveness some people have over who is the better “dog person.” Not all, or even most, but enough that it’s always an underlying current when talking dog with people. There’s a divide. As often as show dog people are maligned for having an elitist attitude about dog ownership, I see a group of people who are just as bad when it comes to lecturing those who don’t choose to rescue a dog. And it makes me sad.
Because I’m not going to lie, I have my own bias too. There is a good dog person, and a bad dog person. Good dog people love their dogs, and give them the lives they deserve with good health, activities the dogs like to do, and lots of love. Bad people, well, they don’t. They’re not even engaged in this debate because they don’t care. It’s sort of like the age old debate about religion- there are many paths to enlightenment. I don’t care if your path is different than mine, I’m just glad you love your dog and you’re both happy. I don’t care what you do in your spare time, hike with them or run agility or man a rescue organization or dog shows, just make sure they’re up to date on parvo vaccine and it’s all copacetic in my book. We’re ALL dog people.
So I’ll be interested in exploring the myriad ways our dogs make us happy this weekend. Because there’s a lot, isn’t there.
I briefly wondered why some of the booths were selling shammies, but then I met Cash and I understood. SLOBBBBER!