LIVE-DOGGING BESTMINSTER, Day 1: I Know Why The Caged Dog Barks

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BESTMINSTER LOGO.jpgYesterday kicked off the opening of perhaps the world’s most famous doggie parade: The 132nd Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show opened its miniature gates at Madison Square Garden, and Best Week Ever took it upon themselves to brave the masses of overprotective owners with their priceless hounds in order to discover what Westminster was really like in person. Some of you might remember that we braved The Cat Show a few months back, and had a pretty spectacular time. So you can imagine our excitement for Westminster, an event so well-known that there was an entire mockumentary based on its very premise.

Right off the bat, I could tell Westminster was entirely different then the cat show. It was, how do you say, overly serious? I mean, I get that dogs are different than cats, in the sense that they can “do” things and have “personalities”, but really, I felt like I was back at a high school debate tournament. Young people in suits and poorly constructed moccasins, parading their little treasures around while sneering down unto those other, lesser hounds. The arena was pretty empty, and filled with people divided into two camps, as this picture will demonstrate:

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My cohorts and I, armed with our All-Access Laminates, bounded into the ring like retirees on Supermarket Sweep. THIS WAS IT! The competition was ON! And the animals… well… they sort of didn’t seem to have any clue as to the enormity of the situation:

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From the beginning, we began seeing unusual breeds and canine specimens, including this well-groomed lass:

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Who, upon further examination, looked exactly like Tom Selleck‘s moustache:

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And this adorable mini-sheep face:

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Who would really come in handy when Spring Cleaning arrives:
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After the jump: 80,000 more poorly photoshopped pictures of the many beautiful animals at Westminster… and, I have a panic attack!!

Really… you should click ahead…


The ladies and gentlemen and surprising number of young folk circulating around the rings seemed to be taking themselves incredibly seriously. Which is probably why, when I honked in my post-cold voice “What is that judge doing? How come he’s not picking the corgi? Doesn’t he see this is the finest corgi in the land?”, a man whose legs may very well have not worked looked up at me from his seat and said “He’s putting them in order of their speed” and then sloooooowly lowered his gaze back to the pups using the magnetic aura of condescension floating through the air.

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The only thing bigger than this judge’s ego was the length of his pant-crotch.

But could you blame me for my pyyyaaassion? Look at this little guy:

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Ayayay! Can he be any more precious? Call Anne Geddes and shoot me in the face!

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We also ran into this woman, who at first glance, looked like “a crazy”:

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We knew she wasn’t “a crazy” when the first words out of her mouth were “Everyone here thinks I’m crazy.” This is Sherri Cohen, who makes jewelry and belt buckles of various dog breeds. Because of the incredibly stringent qualifications required for getting a booth at the Westy, poor Sherri didn’t qualify, choosing instead to wear her art in an effort to gain attention. And that she did! Here’s hoping Val Kilmer was in attendance, because something tells me he’s in the market for a Chihuahua bolo tie.

Speaking of celebrities, we also ran into a slightly blurry Gandalf the Grey:

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And a mother breaking some incredibly sad news to her little boy:

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After a while, it became apparent that the dogs out in the main ring were beginning to give up… at living:

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So we decided to head backstage. Backstage, where the “action” went “down.” Backstage, where we found ourselves staring at the ass end of 8,000 psychotic over-caffeinated dog fans. It was like 8 am at the Tock Exchange:

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Backstage was where the real animal torture was happening! And if you think I’m kidding even a little, meet Charlie:

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Charlie is a bloodhound tall enough for me to take to the dog prom. He also was living in a cage built for Rhea Perlman. Why Chuckie was relegated to such a space is beyond me, though his owner said this was the biggest cage Westminster would allow. Who the hell do they think they are all of a sudden… American Airlines?! Moving on.org.

Charlie also happened to take home the coveted “Best of Opposite Sex” ribbon….

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The torture-like cages didn’t stop there folks. The grooming station brought to mind the cargo area on the Titanic: Dogs stacked 4 cages high, waiting to be combed and sprayed.

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Stare at the above photo while simultaneously strangling your four-footed best friend, and you’ll feel like you’re there.

Let’s close in on the easiest visual representation as to why I sort of hate Westminster:

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There was Eric, the manic-depressive Beagle…

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Waggs, who was anything but…

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Little Hannibal Lechter, who was kept in some sort of medieval Saw V torture device…

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Sprocket from Fraggle Rock, who we think might be dead

And finally, this adorable angel, whose special trick, according to this photo and a tricky perspective, is balancing a bucket full of his own sorrows on his perfectly shaped head:

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When it came to the canine conditions at Westminster, my feelings could be best summed up by this little nugget of sad-eyed wisdom:

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Thankfully, once the pups were out of their cages, it was a regular dog ball parade!!

You might remember this fella from yesterday…
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And no one was more jealous of his spectacular brains than the following hot-balled creatch:

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The aisles at Westminster were set up according to breed, much like a Korean supermarket (heyo) — tiny dogs to one side of the gigantic room, and bigger dogs to the other. The aisles were PACKED with people. You could barely move. And to add to the confusion, many of the dogs were roaming about the aisles as well, which caused much chaos and skull-crushing paranoia. It should be noted that I went to Westminster on an empty stomach, meaning that all of this activity caused me to get a little lightheaded. To make things worse, Petco was there handing out pounds — pounds! – of beak-n-snout biscuits for the dogs, but nothing — nothing! – for me specifically. This was extremely frustrating. Then again, would I really want to put anything in my mouth in a room that smelled so much like grandmama’s pee and piles of rained-on garbage? Probably not.

Luckily, I was able to score a Ziploc bag full of cheerios from the following Mutt:

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Whose husband, we’re hoping, is this guy:

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Photoshopped by yours truly. 1988 anyone? No?

I was still on the hunt for the aisle containing My Favorite Breed, the elusive and short-legged Corgi. But before doing handsprings down the aisle of the cutest dog in the world, I ran into this gentlemen:

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His owner, a very friendly guy who was more than happy to discuss the fact that his dog was legally insane, gave us a little how to on poodle grooming, which involves primarily wrapping dog fur in little baggies and then dipping said bags in hot acid. He also told us probably the most fascinating thing we heard all day: When the poodles have to go to the bathroom, they have to wear PEE PANTS so that the PEE does not GET ALL OVER their FINELY GROOMED SNOW-WHITE MANE. When I fell to the ground dying laughing, he solemnly stared at me and slowly held up the tiniest little pair of black pants I had ever laid eyes on:

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Speaking of the animals “doing their business” (read: pissing and sh*tting the house down), at the end of each aisle was a little pen of straw-like material, where the dogs could freely soil themselves with reckless abandon. We managed to capture the following dog on film, who looked like he had his pee pants waxed directly off of his priceless legs and ass:

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Still searching for Corgi Country, I passed this little fella, who clearly had no idea what he had done in his short doggie life to deserve such incredible pain… but check out that manicure!

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Oh my, what’s that that I see? Could it be? Finally?

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THE CORGI AISLEEEE!!! O Frabjous Day! Callooh! Callay!!!!

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Oh they uh…. they sorta look a little down, eh? It’s sort of like… like they don’t want to be there.

Still, I didn’t let their caged enthusiasm get me down! Or the fact that they all seemed a little bit stoned!

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One by one, I went around to each corgi owner letting them know that corgis are handily my favorite breed. They seeeeeemed… unimpressed. As though my opinion meant nothing! Nevertheless, I still managed to coo sweet nothings into their comically oversized satellite ears. And while this fella paid me no mind…

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… I did come across another Corgi who was all but delighted to meet me.

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Did I let the fact that he kind of looked like my favorite retarded tiger baby get me down? No. No I did not.

And the day wasn’t without its celebrity sightings! We saw a dog that looked like Eddie on Frasier

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With Daphne in tow! How apropos. We also spotted Boston Public star Joey Slotnick, but were too shy to ask for a picture. So please, allow this photo to act as a worthy substitute:

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Anyway, by the end of our tour we were absolutely EXHAUSTED, and hot-footed it to my favorite homeless empanada salesman at Penn Station for some toasted ground meat in a pocket (I kid). We’re headed back to Westminster this afternoon with Video Cams to see if we can spot any other kinds of hilarity (which, of course, we will). Until then… we leave you with this:

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