How do I love the Westminster Kennel Club show? Too many ways to count. It’s the first real sign of spring. Light in the sky at 7 a.m., dogs on TV 13 hours later. The dogs are gorgeous and strange and exotic and kissable. And, of course, the people.
I’m about a decade behind Christopher Guest in making that last observation, but who cares? Is there anything more wonderful than the odd lot of screaming queens, fat ladies, patricians, showbiz hangers-on and the badly dressed weirdoes who populate a dog show? I could barely take my eyes off the judge in the Working group, who reminded me of a friend’s grandmother (that would be the indomitable Cor, for those of you who’ve known me a while) in every detail from her arthritic walk to her croaky voice.
And, of course, the right dog won.
Back in the day, when I subscribed to the Chronicle of the Horse, I always looked forward to the special hunting issue, in which every working pack of foxhounds in the country was listed in a directory. It was there I learned about an even more obscure sub-niche of the sport, practiced mainly by ex-foxhunters too creaky to jump four-foot fences all morning anymore — beagling, or rabbit hunting, on foot, with packs of beagles, sometimes bassets. There was something so sweet about these groups of spry seniors in green wellies, with their ragtag packs boiling around their feet, ready for a fine afternoon’s tramp across the swampy fields, listening for the hound music. Everyone associates beagles with Snoopy, but that’s what I think about.
Good dog, Uno.
Big day today, so bloggage:
Officer Rivieri has a bad day. In that uniform, with that widdle car, I’m not surprised he feels the need to get a little macho sometimes.
Covering baseball — or any professional sport — isn’t all beer and skittles, or even franks and beans. But on the day we got four inches of snow, it’s possible to look at a dateline and sigh, just a little.
OK, off to the silicon mines. Daydream about warm vacations, if you like.