As you may or may not know (depending on whether you are a dog dork like me), last night was the first night of the annual Westminster Kennel Club dog show. Even though I am (some would say nastily) against purebred registered dogs, I love watching dog shows, and this is one of the biggies. So Mark and I plopped ourselves in front of the TV for multiple hours last night and watched the dogs, making predictions, naming our favorites, and making fun of the truly funny-looking breeds.
Here's how the first night went:
The Working Group was the first in the ring. This is both Mark's and my favorite group (unsurprisingly, given the dogs we live with). From the minute she entered the ring, my money was on the Akita to win. A 3-year old female, called Macey, she's one of the best looking Akitas I've ever seen, and I've seen quite a number of them (my aunt bred and raised them for years). Her coat is phenomenal and her movement is beautiful. How surprised was I when the judge agreed with me!?
I didn't much agree with the other top-ranked Working dogs--the Malamute that took second looked a little shaggy to me, the Kuvasz at fourth was bleary-eyed. The Newfoundland at third, who was sired by Josh, the Newfie who won Westminster in 2004, was beautiful, but I would have put him at fourth. My picks for second and third would have been the phenomenal, regal Great Dane, Ch M&M's Kevlar's Guardian Angel (I didn't catch his shortened name) and thegorgeous Bernese Mountain Dog, Charzard. I was also disappointed by the Anatolian, Maggie, who got more attention than this breed (one of my favorites) ever gets. She had a great line and a strong gait, but I just can't reconcile myself to the bland beige coloring when Ata's markings are so striking.
Next came the long, long Terrier group. My Lord there are a lot of terriers! I had read enough before the show to know that the Dandie Dinmont co-owned by Bill Cosby, Harry, was a shoo-in. And he didn't disappoint as a show dog. Lots of personality for such a strange looking little thing.
The second and third placements, the Smooth Fox Terrier and the Sealyham, didn't do much for me, but I was very excited to see the Staffordshire Bull Terrier take fourth.
My picks for second and third again didn't place, they were the Irish Terrier, Lily, and the Parson Russell, Duke.
The next group was Toys, and frankly, I didn't watch it. There are big dog people and small dog people, and I am the former and just can't get too excited about toy dogs. For the sake of inclusivity, though, I'll tell you that the toy poodle, Vikki, took the group. She was followed by the Pekingese in second, the Pug in third, and the Brussels Griffon in fourth.
The last group of the night was the overly broad Non-Sporting group. This was a really hard one to pick winners for, but I ended up with two of the top four on my list. The winning dog was the standard poodle, Remy. I can't tell one poodle from another, so I didn't pick her. Ihad my eye on the either dog that took second, the bulldog, Rock, or the one who took third, the Dalmatian, Boomer. I was also totally surprised by the Shar-Pei taking fourth--my pick was the American Eskimo Dog, Juneau.
All in all, the first night was a good time. Of the four top contenders, I still like the Akita, but I'm afraid it's going to be the Dandie Denmont. Tonight will tell!