February 14, 2006

best in show, live-blogging

ah, there they are, the sporting dogs! pointers! labradors! setters! spaniels! all with floppy ears!

"this is brittany, number 19".
"this is pointer, number 6"
now here's the german shorthaired pointer, makes you think of carlee last year, but not quite the same concentration. the german wiredhair pointer is very energetic and attentive, but will they give the best in show title to a pointer twice in a row?

now the retrievers, here's the chesapeake bay retriever, accompanied by a handler in a pink suit and coat. i'll never get it. the curly-coated retriever looks a little like a lamb, and we learn that the dog works out on a treadmill. on a treadmill??? the flat-coated retriever is wagging its tail happily. the handler wears a shiny long skirt with allover embroidery. first treadmills, now that. and here's the golden retriever, getting a big cheer from the crowd. what a teddy bear. what a friendly face. next up is the labrador retriever, the most popular dog in the u.s. (we are informed). he doesnt' get quite the same response from the crowd, though. the nova scotia duck-tolling retriever has a cute pink nose and white paws.

setters. the english setter has funky black spots and is groomed to perfection. the gordon setter is a true beauty. he's jogging along happily, showing off his black mane. the coloring is like that of a rottweiler, but the dog looks so much more elegant, of course. talking about elegance, here's the irish setter. the next dog is the american water spaniel - wisconsin's state dog, not quite as elegant, but very cute and easy to recognize with its fluffy ears and its curly coat.

commercial break. of the we're for dogs kind.

now they are all running around in a big circle. spaniels next. first to go is the clumber spaniel, a massive white spaniel with a red face, related to the basset hound. i don't think i've ever seen this dog outside of a dog show. here's a black cocker spaniel, being brushed until the last second. another cocker spaniel (a.s.c.o.b., whatever that means), very fluffy. and another one, this one in silky black and white, shown by a woman in a black cocktail dress. and another one, "english cocker, number six", this one is a little bigger and not as fluffy, it looks more like a sporting dog than its cousins. here's the english springer spaniel, a very beautiful dog. the handler wears a glittery blue coat, reminiscent of dynasty. next up is the field spaniel, described as a dog with "a healthy dose of impishness", love it. and here's an irish water spaniel, energetic, with rockstar-like bangs. the sussex spaniel is a low-rider with a very happy tail. i like him. and finally, there's the welsh springer spaniel, prancing around happily.

next up: a "spinone italiano" (?), looking a little gruffy (but very lovable) next to all of those supershiny cocker spaniels. here's a viszla, very elegant -- and what a beautiful color, they're just stunning dogs. "not for everyone". the same holds for the weimaraner, a study in restrained elegance.

not quite as elegant: the wirehaired poiting griffon, jumping up for treats and looking full of mischief. that was the last dog in this group!

commercial break. who's gonna win? i hope it's one of the more unusual dogs. i liked the sussex spaniel.
the judge has made a cut and asks some of the dogs to run around the ring once again. he's made up his mind: he calls up the golden retriever (is this the winner?), the irish setter, one of the cocker spaniels, and the curly-coated retriever, i believe, is fourth. the crowd is very happy. they loved the golden retriever. congratulations, andy!

i'll be back for the best in show finale.


let's see -- who's competing for the title?

  1. working dogs: rottweiler (shaka)
  2. terriers: bull terrier (rufus)
  3. toy dogs: pug (dermot)
  4. non-sporting dogs: dalmatian (boomer)
  5. sporting dogs: golden retriever (andy)
  6. hound: scottish deerhound
  7. herding dogs: it's happening right now! and the winner is: the old english sheepdog (smokin')
and now -- the finale! but first a check is presented to the american humane association. commercial break. pedigree is for shelter dogs. dogs rule.

another commercial break. shot of the empire state building.

and now: "we highly encourage you to cheer for your favorite!" and the crowd does. the rottweiler comes in, everyone is roaring, and here's the golden retriever, and everyone goes crazy, then there's the scottish deerhound, followed by the old english sheepdog (who didn't get much of a break), the dalmation is very graceful, and for a bull-terrier, rufus walks quite elegantly, and finally, there's the pug, enjoying the limelight.

the judge is introduced. he looks at every dog. now they are all running around in a circle, the rottweiler is almost too fast for his owner, the deerhound displays a relaxed trot, now the rottie's teeth are examined and he gets treats from his handler (who wears a bracelet, odd). i'm glad that these super dogs still need treats!

now the judge looks at the golden retriever. like shaka, he's handled by his owner. they jog about, the dog looks calm and happy, and what a lovely coat. the crowd loves him.

the only female in the line-up is the deerhound. she trots around in an easy gait. looks perfect, but what do i know about scottish deerhounds?

the judge approaches the old english sheepdog. he feels his way through all the hair. now the dog walks, or rather shuffles around. his gait is very different from the deerhound's, more bear-like.

ah! the dalmatian! beautiful stance and a very nice pattern. the judge feels the tail (which has no spots). now boomer walks around, happily wagging his tail. and now the free stack position, not quite like carlee (his kennel mate), but still, a great performance.

now rufus, the bullterrier. i suppose he looks good, but i'm just not into bullterriers. i don't like their face. sorry, rufus.

the pug is on a table. he doesn't want to be touched. i actually like him for that -- he's showing some spirit! he's walking next to his owner happily enough now. and a very fine standing position.

the judge is taking one more look at them all. is this the lineup already? he stops at the dalmatian. the crowd cheers. he kneels down for a final look at the pug.


he's bringing them out one more time for a free stack and a run. the rottweiler wants some treats. the golden retriever is admired by the crowd, it's clearly the favorite. the deerhound moves gracefully, but what's this, has he slipped? the sheepdog looks about himself as if to say, are we there yet? the dalmatian looks stunning in a free stack. and that tail! adorable. here's rufus again, the crowd also loves him, a fine free stack again. and the pug is rewarded with a treat for his stand position.

the judge writes something on a piece of paper. we can't see what it is. he's recording his decision. he picks up the ribbon.


"best in show....is the colored bull terrier"

congratulations, rufus! you didn't need my vote to win, and i'll say -- you did a wonderful job.

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