Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Watching the Dog Show...

Since it was Valentine's Day, I wanted to snuggle up with something I really love.  On television last night was the Westminster Kennel Club Show and you all know how crazy I am about a very special dog...Ace's Dalmatian, Lucky.

Now we've all gone over how much I love that dog and I always miss him.  As I watched the show, happily trotting across my screen came a Dalmatian named "Spotlight's Ruffian" or "Ian" for short.  I sat there thinking of Lucky and just cried.

We all know how Lucky's life has gone.  He's a darling dog with so much spirit, to know he came from such a horrid past (for those of you who don't know, he was rescued from a dog fighting ring, severely emaciated with a savagely broken leg) to being a loving pal, well, watching Ian trot across the screen, I thought of Lucky and how much that dog means to me.

I sat with pride watching Ian participate in the Best-In-Show since he had won the Non-Sporting Group the night before.  To be honest, I was looking forward to watching a member of Lucky's breed beat the snot out of those other pretentious, snobby dogs. Because I know how wonderful a dog a Dalmatian can be, I sat still with my fingers crossed thinking that this could be the year that the Dalmatian wins it's first ever Best-In-Show.  I thought to myself, "Come on Ian, don't let Lucky down..."

Now remember, I'm not a big dog fancier.  I've been around the large Doberman's that call my sister's house home, even the little half-pint Fox Terrier mix Zoe.  I've been around all of my sister's dogs from Stosha the Alaskan Malamute to Bo, a Heinz 57 mutt that had more personality than a carload of starlets.  Then there's Smash, my nephew's Boxer and a few other dogs like a friend of mine's Neapolitan Mastiff named Uzi (which by the way, I don't care what anyone says, the Neo isn't a dog, that's a horse).  But not a single one of those dogs has stolen my heart like Lucky.

So after watching Ian the Dalmatian take the best in the Non-Sporting group, I was rooting for him hard-core.   When I heard that no Dalmatian had ever taken Best-In-Show, I kept my fingers crossed hoping that Ian would break the glass ceiling for all spotted dogs everywhere.  But, Ian had some stiff competition going on.  There was Fifi or "The Fifinator", a beautiful female Doberman that I know Nan and Carl's Dobbie Wrecks would have fallen head over heels for.  Then there was a gorgeous German Shepherd who had a fabulous gait and even a wire-haired Dachshund was sandwiched in between the Irish Setter and a Kerry Blue Terrier.  Then came the bane of my existence, like some large cat coughed up a hairball, out waddled a Pekingese.  (At that point I was grateful that the Toy Group didn't barf up a rat-like (bane of my existence) Chihuahua.)  No offense to the Chihuahua lovers out there, but I can't stand them, so don't ask me to change my mind now.

When I saw the Pekingese waddle out, my heart flew up into my throat.  "Oy veh," I thought, "There goes another year without the Dalmatian sitting on top of the heap...they always pick the Pekingese."  I honestly don't get it.  Now I will give a large caveat, I hate, despise and otherwise have nothing but disdain for small dogs.  Zoe is the one exception because she's family, otherwise the rest of those over-fluffed fleabags can go hide in some rich chick's purse because I have zero use for them.

I like dogs with some size, a true companion that will give a hearty bark that sounds like it comes up from the pads on their feet, a thunderous warning to all non-friendlies that come into the vicinity.  THAT is what I call a dog.  Ok, Bo never barked, but he could if he really needed to and it wasn't some wimpy sound either.   Even though he was relatively small, he still let you know he was there.  But the point is, I'm a big fan of dogs with foxy faces (no jowls or faces that look like they've been squarely hit with a frying pan).  I like a beautiful face on a dog, like a Shiba Inu (who, by the way, looks very similar but not as fluffy as Bo):

How can you tell that face "No"?
Then of course is Lucky and the wonderful Dalmatian face:
This isn't Lucky, but I just wanted to give you a great Dalmatian pic.
See?  No jowls!  Just a great looking what I consider a "face" dog.  I liked the German Shepherd, he was a handsome animal and the Irish Setter wasn't bad, I mean the dog is a little too skinny for my taste, not enough meat on the bones and a little to stick figurish from the front.  Besides, think about it, the Westminster Kennel Club show is like the Super Bowl for dogs, but when they're not being shown, they're regular dogs, so upon checking out the Irish Setter with its' long coat, I thought to myself, "That's a high maintenance thank you!"  On top of all that, I like a dog that just looks good 24/7 without having to brush it constantly.  I'm a wash and wear kind of dog person.  I like it when you can get out the hose on a summer day and have a good time washing your pup of choice without having to go through hours of drying, combing and frou-frouing.  I'm a hose 'em down, scrub 'em up and let 'em shake the water off kind of gal.  If they don't look good after that, it's not a dog I want around.  Besides, all that fur holds in foul odors and I like a good smelling dog, not a stank factory.

So, back to the show.  I held my breath as a couple of dogs went around the ring before Ian.  They did look really nice and I worried for the only spotted contestant in the group.  But then it came time for Ian to be judged.  I held my breath as the judge looked him over and I giggled as Ian's tail was just a-wagging!  I sat back at that moment pondering whether or not the judge was going to take points off for the wagging because none of the other dogs did it.  But, if you know anything about a Dalmatian, they're very animated and love to wag their tails because they really love pleasing the humans around them, so if that judge really knew Dalmatians, she'd know that was very normal for a happy dog of his breed.  After the judge looked him over, he was taken around the ring and the other dogs stepped up and had their turn.

At the end of the day, I was right...that *bleepity* *bleep* *bleep* *bleeping* Pekingese won the day.  As I looked at the judge next to the dog, I thought about something peculiar...Have you ever heard how some people look like their dogs?  Well, the lady judge that did Best-In-Show had hair that looked like guess who?  The Pekingese.  Go figure, she probably has one at home.

After the Peke was announced the winner, my heart broke into pieces.  Lucky and his breed had been snubbed once again for a little rat dog.  I thought to myself, "After all Lucky has been through, they dis his breed!  How could they!"  But then I realized they weren't judging Lucky, they were judging Ian and the rest of the Dalmatian breed.  I couldn't help but think that the judge had no love for the spots.  But I do!  Tons!

I might just have to call up Ace just to make an appointment to see Lucky.  Hey, he might be blind in one eye, have hip dysplasia and a limp, but he's still my sweet canine boy!

A Pekingese may have won Best-In-Show this year at Westminster, but Lucky the Dalmatian is still Best-In-The-World to me.  Hats off to Ian for a great show and the rest of the Dalmatians that competed this year.  Don't worry my spotted friends, we'll get 'em next year.

To all of my fellow canine enthusiasts, hug your pal today, they deserve it.  There is no better friend to a human being than a dog.

So for Valentine's Day I'm sending love to Lucky, Wrecks, Zoe, Bo (who is in Puppy Heaven), Daphne and to all of your dogs too.  A heart shaped box of dog treats is the order of the day.

To see the judging for this year's show, go to

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