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  • Paul Davidson

I Spit On You, Westminster Dog Show (#2)

Is anybody watching this stuff?

The Westminster Dog Show must be the least entertaining program on television. I don’t intend to waste my time watching dogs prance around like they’re a part of high society, and neither should any of you. From what I can see, before they show the dogs‚ wealthy owners who feel they’re above everyone else, prepare their dogs by getting all sorts of doggy manicures to make them look their prissiest. They even make an effort to name the dog something snobby, such as “Ch Salilyn ‘N Erin’s Shameless” or, “Ch Loteki Supernatural Being.” Then they work day in and day out to teach the dog how to walk properly. Or, more commonly, they hire trainers to work day in and day out to teach the dog how to walk properly.

And for what?

Well, the owner of the dog who wins Best in Show gets a few sterling silver trophies. But what is the prize for the one who did the real work? What does the dog get? Satisfaction? Bragging rights? That dog can’t comprehend the fact of winning. It can, in some cases, comprehend the fact of getting something in return for doing something good, such as a trick. But what does it get besides praise? If I were a dog, I certainly wouldn’t want to spend all my time learning the appropriate way to trot and being groomed, especially without having anything to show for it. I would long for a normal life of barking at passerby and fetching various objects for no reason besides sheer fun.

The Westminster Dog Show might be remotely interesting if one could understand the judging process, but watching a dog being judged is like watching gymnastics. A routine could be perfect in the eyes of a simple bystander, but the judges seem to find flaws in everything. In gymnastics, you can’t blink out of tune without receiving a point deduction. You could ask a Westminster judge why he gave a dog such a low score, and he could say, “Well, I didn’t like the way it looked at me,” for all I know.

So, between the snobbish and ungrateful owners, the strange judging process, and the utter boredom, you can see why I spit on the Westminster Dog Show.

Man vs. Beast. Now there’s a competition I can get behind.

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