In case you missed the snow

 

Best in Show(ing up)

2013 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

2013 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Photo by Pets Adviser.

Many owners of mixed-breed dogs don’t pay much attention to events like The Westminster Kennel Club 139th Annual Dog Show, taking place in New York City February 16 -17.  However, others follow the proceedings with keen interest, wondering which breed will win Best in Show, and will either attend or tune in to watch.

It turns out that The Westminster Kennel Club dog show has a rich history. Founded in 1877, it is the second-longest continuously held sporting event in the United States, edged out only by the Kentucky Derby. According to Wikipedia, “The show originated as a show for gun dogs, primarily Setters and Pointers.” In these modern times, dogs are now judged on how well they represent the ideal characteristics of their particular breed, though judges still look for signs that the dogs still have the “innate ability and physical makeup” to perform the jobs they were bred for.

Dogs at work at the Harden Moss Sheep dog trials. Photo by Ray Morris .

Sheep dog at work. Photo by Ray Morris.

As with most activities involving animals, there are those who cry foul. The animal rights organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) often speak out against the show, claiming that “Dog shows like Westminster don’t just put “competing” dogs through absurd torment―they also promote breeding and buying of dogs, which takes homes away from equally deserving dogs languishing in our nation’s animal shelters.”

Whatever your feelings about the philosophy behind breeding and showing dogs, or PETA, it might help to check out the 2000 comedy/mockumentary  “Best in Show,” starring Christopher Guest, who also co-wrote and directed.  The film sends up the outrageous amount of time and attention spent on dogs by their doting owners who are participating in an event not unlike the Westminster Kennel Club dog show.We owners of mixed-breeds may never know what our dogs’ ancestry, but we can laugh along with purebred owners who may see a bit of themselves on screen.

Here’s to the dogs who may not be Best in Show, but are really good at showing up.

The world is run by those who show up

The world is run by those dogs who show up.

Photo credits:

2013 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show by Pets Adviser licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Sheep dog photo by Ray Morris licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

They’re on a Mission of Love

We picked this up this post, and picture, from the Facebook page of Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter on Rt.10 in East Hanover:

This past weekend, our Shelter was fortunate to have a very talented, young photographer, Callie Wohlgemuth, come to take photos of some of the puppies that were rescued on our Mission of Love 2. We loved the photos so much, we wanted to share them with our followers. The pups will all be available for adoption soon. www.njshelter.org

Photo by Callie Wohlgemuth

Photo by Callie Wohlgemuth

There are quite a few puppies at the shelter as a result of their latest rescue mission. Please visit and adopt if you can!

WFMU photo remix contest — featuring a Dalmatian!

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Henry and his family love free-form radio station WFMU. In the most recent issue of the station’s newsletter, WFMU’s Blast of Hot Air, we noticed a dog-centered item: a photo remix contest featuring Muuro the Dalmatian. See below:

Some drink a dram or shake the hand of a barely tolerated family member. But we like to ring in the new year with a photo remix contest starring WFMU’s mascot, Muuro the dalmatian (she’s on the left). Grab a high-res photo of Muuro here, work your magic (add horns, Aphex Twin her, overlay Leo Sayer’s eyes – that kind of thing), then send your submission to pictures [at] wfmu [dot] org. Your exciting canine remix may be featured on WFMU’s homepage (ideal pixel dimensions are 470 x 240).

We of course hope the station doesn’t publish any photos that might haunt Murro for the rest of her life and make dog park visits awkward. Are you listening, Ken?