I’ve been sitting fretfully at the computer all this week wondering how the heck a non-dog show person can do a big dog show like the AKC Eukanuba National Championship justice. I’ve toyed with a “Dog Shows for Dummies” primer, a summary of the process, discussion of the paucity of dog show haute couture, and a straight up journalistic approach before coming to this conclusion:
I still don’t really know what I’m talking about.
Don’t get me wrong, I know a heck of a lot more than I did last week, but after reading the posts from my fellow bloggers it has become all the more apparent that I’m the person in the downtown movie house, squinting at the subtitles and getting the general gist while missing the vast majority of the nuances that go into the whole shebang.
If anyone actually wanted an in-depth review of, say, a continuing education conference, I would summarize the heck out of it. You would feel as though you were sitting right there in that dry conference hall yourself, absorbing the latest in canine insulin therapy.
Here’s the good news: The other three bloggers I attended the conference with know a lot more about dog shows than I do, and they are doing a great job of going over the show from a mechanics point of view. You should check them out:
Jim’s Tangled Web He even has a dog show primer! I needed this post last week!
Super Size My Cob Jim’s wife Jeni showed a dog at the event, and you really should read about Hank and how it is that Jeni came to be there with him. It is a very special story.
Knobnotes Featuring the musings of the very entertaining S, who kicks off her coverage with a report about the footwear choices of the attendees.
OK, so onward and upward. This is what I did:
As I said in the previous post, there were multiple competitions and programs going on, enough to make my head spin trying to keep up.
One of these was the Eukanuba World Challenge, where 50 countries were invited to send their best dog to compete for the title and $10,000. Upon arrival, the dogs were randomly put into one of four sections. The first night, three finalists from each section were selected, and on the second night the champion was crowned. Or collared. Or whatever they call it in the dog world. Cupped?
At the start of the first evening, the competitors walked in with their country’s flag in a ceremony reminiscent of the Olympic Opening Ceremonies, except hairier and with no tracksuits or open flames.
It was a jovial atmosphere despite the competitive tension in the air.
This was the view from where we were sitting in our special Blogger Platform. It was a killer location. We were granted unbelievable access.
We were allowed into the center ring along with the rest of the press for a quick photo op before the competition commenced. I was right on in there with my point and shoot and my iPhone next to the pros. Why not? Lest you doubt my telling you that we were in an amazing place for the show, that blue platform is where we were sitting.
There is absolutely no particular reason I took this picture. None at all. I simply, out of a sense of patriotic pride, felt that you might want to see one of the entries from the USA, who just happened to be a magnificent Golden Retriever who got totally robbed by not winning.
There did seem to be a disproportionately large press contingent from Russia. As it so happens, Andvol Pinkerton here is a bit of a celebrity back home. He belongs to the wife of one of their highly placed elected officials, whose name and position I was unable to figure out despite a good hour of googling “Russian corgi vice prime minister” and the like. Suffice it to say he was a big time VIC.
Fortunately, the superpowers were equally balanced out by the results and both East and West deferred to the South: the title went to this beautiful Doberman from Argentina. This is him at the blogger platform, to which he was hand-delivered after winning the title. I felt like Barbara Walters after the Oscars. I don’t know how many times I said to people that I’m now spoiled for any dog show I go to in the future, since now I assume that all shows are like this and will provide me ringside access, winner interviews and wi-fi.
And I still haven’t even gotten to Best in Show! The dogapalooza still has another post.