2014 Westminster Best in Show winner, a Wire Fox Terrier named Sky
Photo credit: US Weekly
It's that time of year again! The Super Bowl of Dog Shows! The two-day event that leaves me laughing at doggy antics, memorizing canine trivia, and smiling from ear to ear.
Bring on Westminster!
For two nights every February, Madison Square Garden becomes home to the Westminster Kennel Club dog show. The show is televised on CNBS (Monday) and USA (Tuesday) from 8-11pm (Eastern time), hosted by the wonderful David Frei. Westminster has been happening since 1877!
I'm terrible at making winner predictions. I've watched the last four years, and each year has been a surprise. I tend to cheer for the spunky little dogs, but I love them all. Maybe's it's the year for a winner from the Non-Sporting group (Dalmatian, Poodle, Chow Chow, Boston Terrier, Bulldog etc.)? Those pups never seem to get any Best in Show love. And the Golden Retriever, one of America's favorite breeds, has never won. You've gotta cheer for the under dog, you know!
It's no secret that I love dogs, and that I love books, and if you love dogs and love books, you're gonna love dog books. I shared a number of my favorites last year, and I'm back with another stack of pooch stories.
One of my absolute favorite books about dogs and one of my favorite picture books of all time, Ball is an absolute riot. Dog loves ball. Dog chases ball. Dog plays with ball. Dog dreams about ball. Dog lives for one thing: Ball.
Chaser is a Border Collie who is trained by his human in word acquisition. She comes to recognize over 1,000 words and can fetch the toy that corresponds with the toy's name. It's an interesting look at dogs, language acquisition, and psychology. And the author, John Pilley, Ph.D., is a very kind, compassionate, and enthusiastic learner himself.
I haven't read Where the Red Fern Grows since third grade (actually, Mrs. DeJarlais read it to us), but it's stuck with me all these years as the saddest book ever written about dogs, period. It's about Billy and his hunting dogs, Old Dan and Little Ann. Old Yeller and Marley and Me might be competition, but this one affected me for life.
I realize that's ending on kind of a downer, so I Googled "best dog joke" and found this:
Why don't dogs make good dancers?
Because they have two left feet.
What breed would you cheer for?