I’m not sure if I’m bone tired, beyond tired, or jetlagged beyond repair. Any way you look it I’m even more incoherent than usual, thanks in part to some shenanigans during the travel home and a dearth of sleep. So, while I shuffle through all the pictures I took at Westminster, here’s a few to kind of give an overall picture of the event. Like I said before, this was my first time alone on the DSLR with no training wheels, so they’re not perfect, but I learned a lot.
One, Westminster is a sea of people. I mean, worse than Disneyland in July. Just elbows to rears everywhere. They pack in like sardines on the floor around the little green oasis that is the carpeting of the show ring, where everyone oohs and aahs over such delights as a gaggle of beagles.
On the main floor of Madison Square Garden, during the day the floor was divided into five rings, so if you stood high enough in the stands you’d get a view of multiple groups going at the same time, all day, for two days. For people like me who didn’t want to jostle for space on the floor, sitting in the stands offered a bird’s eye view of all the action.
I finally learned what is meant by this being a “benched” show. All the dogs have to remain in an assigned spot in an area called the benching area, and there they go both before and after the show where they must be available to greet the public. It’s a very up close and personal opportunity for the public.
Due to construction at Madison Square Garden, the benching area looked more like the grounds of Woodstock than anything else with all the crowding and cacophony, but it is theoretically a wonderful chance to meet the champions live and in person. When they weren’t being mobbed, that is.
Lots of public education going on. And now we know Indiana Jones is a dachshund fan. 😉
Some of the lower maintenance dogs had plenty of time to hang out and talk to people. Did someone say TREAT??
While the dogs with more intensive grooming needs spent most of their time on the table getting clipped and/or fluffed.
Or in this case, flat ironed. I know how long it takes me to flat iron my own hair. Can you imagine doing it to a whole dog?
It’s tiring greeting the public for hours on end!
Oh Mickey, you’re so fine, you’re so fine you blow my mind HEY MICKEY!
And before you ask, really, you don’t need to ask. It was a given:
I found some of those, and some of these:
Though after meeting this soulful pup (Borzoi, I think?), I may have to revisit my interest in the hounds:
And not every pup I met was there to show:
Ceva here is a service dog in training. Her puppy raiser is veterinary behaviorist Dr. Theresa DePorter; you can read more about her and Ceva here at About Veterinary Medicine. I couldn’t decide which of the two was more charming- it was a tie, I think.
I thought Westminster would be overwhelming and a bit stuffy, but really, it was a lot of fun. I thought for all the stress the handlers were surely under they were all very gracious about talking to people and seemed to be enjoying themselves. Also, I was lucky enough to connect with a few people I knew who were going to be there- and thankfully Dr. Crosby ushered me around when I first arrived on Monday morning wide-eyed, confused at the insanity of Madison Square Garden, and completely unaware that one should not stand under dripping beams in a subway station. I still have much to learn.