It was a motley crew at this year's Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, as far as the "Best in Show" competition is concerned. I must admit that every year I tune in for the full duration of the world's premier dog show, oohing and aahing over the pretty dogs and chortling at the uglier ones. I mean, sure I can appreciate that the Dogue de Bordeaux is beautiful for a Dogue de Bordeaux, but in comparison to a Saluki? Not so much.
Three points to any reader who could pick either a Dogue de Bordeaux or a Saluki out of a crowd.
More babbling about doggies after the jump... Plus photos! 'Cause we all like photos of doggies.
So the lineup, in order shown above: The Giant Schnauser for the Working group, the smooth-coated Brussels Griffon for the Toy group (I know, right?), the Standard Poodle for the Non-Sporting group (the group that a friend of mine, in all seriousness, once called the "Purposeless Dogs"), the Scottish Deerhound for the Hound group, the Puli for the Herding Group (yes, that is a dog), and the Scottish Terrier for the Terrier group. None of your usually "pretty" dogs here - no cuties like last year's Uno the Beagle or 1998's perky little Norwich Terrier.
No, indeed, "Perky" is the last word I'd choose to describe the aesthetics of this year's winner... The yellow and purple ribbon this year went to the Sporting Group, to Stump (aka Ch. Clussexx Three D Grinchy Glee), who, at 10 years old, is the oldest dog ever to win Westminster's Best In Show. The Sussex Spaniel is named Stump because, according to "10 Fun Facts about Stump"
from the NY Daily News, he resembles a tree stump. Gorgeous!
I'm well aware that the "Best in Show" award doesn't go to the prettiest dog, rather, it goes to the dog that best exhibits all the specifications as written in the AKC breed standard
. So sure, I think that Brussels Griffon up there is just about the ugliest little dog in the world, but he is, after all, your quintessential Brussels Griffon. Good for him.
So while the Golden Retreivers, Labradors, Borzois, Beagles and Great Danes were all quite pretty, they apparently are not the quintessence of their breed like Stump is. The breed standard
for the Sussex Spaniel, by the way, includes this gem, among others: "The Sussex Spaniel presents a long and low, rectangular and rather massive appearance coupled with free movements and nice tail action. The breed has a somber and serious expression."
Nice tail action, dude! It's true, Stump was totally rocking the tail action. And I guess I shouldn't talk too much smack, because "despite its somber and serious expression, the breed is friendly and has a cheerful and tractable disposition."
And by the way, I shan't dodge any blows here: I'm sure a lot of people complained when the Bull Terrier won in 2006. I, on the other hand, think they are some of the most adorable creatures known to man. Awwww, lookit dat little egg head.