I know that I am putting myself out there by admitting this, and that my "Man" card could be in jeopardy, but I confess that I look forward to watching the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show every year. Now, do I think all of this parading around with with overly groomed snooty dogs on short leashes by plus sized handlers is a manly thing? Hell no! I think it is down right stupid, but I am a dog lover and I enjoy seeing a beautiful bird dog on the TV screen flowing across the carpet of Madison Square Garden. I also enjoy seeing just how many different breeds of dogs there are out there and learning exactly what they were bred to do. Granted most of them are living a pampered life and not doing those things, but its knowledge that I enjoy learning. So take my card if you must, but just hear me out on what I think the Westminster folks should do to give us a really well deserved "Best in Show"!
The judging in all of these dogs shows is based upon the breeds standards. Take the Beagle for example. The Beagle is supposed to be between 13" and 15" high, with a squared off head and the proper muscle tone with a good stance and proud gate (cough, BS, cough). Some judge can determine if this Beagle is better put together than this Beagle by using these standards. They pick the best Beagle out of them all and then put him up against the best Hounds that have also won their breed. Then another judge tells you the best hound out of them all by placing their hands on them for about 30 seconds and watching them run around the ring. This goes on for all seven classes of dogs including Sporting, Herding, Terrier, Toy, Hound, Non-working or Non-Sporting, and Working. Then the best from each group go up against each other and yet another judge tells you which one of those dogs is the "Best in Show"! What a load of crap! You can't tell me that this thing does not get political.
So how would I fix it? Easy. Let's start with the Toy Group. They're out! Gone! See ya! By! It's just a bunch of lap dogs that really serve no purpose but to be there for their owner to carry in their pocket book.
The Non- Working (or what I think they now call the Non-Sporting for political purposes) group can hang around I guess. Only because the Bulldog and the Dalmatian are in this group, although I believe the Dalmatian is wrongly classed. Guarding Budweiser on the back of a horse drawn carriage seems like work to me.
The Terrier group would be led to a large pile of dirt in the middle of the show room. Some type of small rodent would be deposited into one of the many tunnels made into the large pile of dirt. The first Terrier to come out of that pile with the rodent wins. As long as his hair isn't a mess and his teeth have remained clean.
The Herding Group would be introduced to a variety of livestock and be asked to live up to its name. If the Sheep dog goes after a goat, then he is out. Same for other breeds that do not herd the right animal. The dog with the most critters in the correct pen wins!
The Working group will have to demonstrate a desire to work for little pay and long hours. They will be required to give half of their earnings to help support the Non-Working group. The first dog that stands up and says that he will not sacrifice his earning for the sake of others wins!
The Hounds will be a little more fun! They will be lined up on both sides of the ring. One raccoon, one rabbit, one fox and one wolf will be let out of a cage in the middle of all of the hounds. First they must chase the proper prey. No wolf hounds chasing rabbits! No coon dogs chasing foxes and so on. Hopefully all of the Grey Hounds and what not will just run on out of the building chasing a lone rabbit named "Lucky" (betting is permitted) allowing the Beagles to do their job chasing the real rabbits. The fox hounds may not know how to act without a man on a horse in a funny looking outfit, so they will probably be done before they even start. The coon dog with the prettiest howl will be determined the winner, as long as he treed his coon in the building rafters. Who doesn't just love a pretty little Blue Tick?
Last but not least will be the Sporting group. Once again all Sportsmen will be lined on both sides of the ring. The Cockers have already peed on the floor and have been asked to please go and join the Toy group. A single tennis ball will be rolled across the green carpet. Any dog breaking to retrieve said tennis ball without proper permission from its Orvis endorsed handler will automatically be disqualified. The Sportsman will be placed through a number of live bird retrieving, flushing, and pointing trials. He with the most birds wins!
All of the winners will then be brought together for final judging. These great champions are all winners in my book, but only one of these fine companions can be crowned "Best in Show". That honor will always go to....
The Boykin Spaniel!
Why is that? Because Josey says so!!
Now that would be a dog show!! Can I keep my "Man" card now?