Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Memorial Day at the Dog Show

Dear George,
Donna, Katja, and I went to the Cincinnati Kennel Club Dog Show over the Memorial Day weekend.  I think it may have been the first real dog show we’ve been to, certainly the first in many years.  It’s a major event, with 140 breeds and 1400 dogs competing over the four-day weekend.  We saw license plates from New Jersey, Virginia, Michigan, and other exotic places.  They held the show at the Butler County Fairgrounds in nearby Hamilton, and it took up the entire complex, with 12 indoor and 3 outdoor judging rings.  The temperature was in the low 90’s, and there were lots of RVs with their air conditioning running to keep the animals cool.  For dog-lovers like us, it was non-stop fun.  In fact, we went for two days.  They had every sort of dog one could imagine, large and tiny, bushy and short-haired, spotted and plain, cute and majestic.  We liked the big dogs the best: Scottish Deerhounds, St. Bernards, Briards,Great Danes, Afghans, etc.  We only saw three Old English Sheepdogs, but they were grand.  They looked at least twice the size of Mike and Duffy, but, when I asked, they actually weighed less than our dogs and were mostly big balls of fluff.  The owners in general were very friendly and enjoyed talking about their dogs.  Some owned as many as two dozen.  It was clear they took the competition very seriously, grooming their dogs at length, practicing their routines, and working out the dogs with utmost care.  The dogs too were exceedingly well-behaved and seemed to like performing in public.  We rarely heard a dog bark the entire time we were there.  For the most part, the dogs ignored one another, concentrating on the business at hand.  The obedience trials were especially interesting, and we wished we had taken that task more seriously when our dogs were young.  I took a bunch of pictures at the show.  Here’s what some of it looked like.

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