Dog Blog

Thursday, February 17, 2011


I wonder where Hickory, the latest Westminster champion, will display his awards?  On the wall of his dog house?  No, wait!  Dogs like him don't have dog houses; they must have dog mansions.  One woman at the show boasted that she had $1 million invested in her dog.  I wonder what happens when the dog loses a high-stakes competition like this one?  Hamburger instead of steak for dinner, one hopes.    

Our first basset hound was the only dog we ever purchased from a breeder.  Wright’s Butterscotch Sunday--We brought her home on a Sunday and her colors were like a Butterscotch Sundae--was a beautiful red and white variety of the breed (my favorite) with a long, illustrious pedigree from the finest kennels in the East. When we chose her, the pick of the litter, we promised the breeder that we would show her.  But when the scruffy little mongrel next door burrowed under the backyard fence and had his wicked way with our virgin basset on her first heat, we had the vet give her a “morning after” shot.  Shortly afterward, we broke our promise to the breeder and had our show dog spayed.  

I am not in the business of breeding or showing dogs in the ring and wouldn't want to be. I've never wondered how many blue ribbons Butter might have won, but I'm sure she would have brought home a few for me. What I do wonder is whether all those hours spent preparing contenders for their brief trot around the ring are really worth it for the dog? They never look like they are having much fun enduring all that endless primping, fussing, trimming, teasing, and spraying, but dogs will do anything to please their owners, of course. We know who really cares about winning blue ribbons, loving cups, purses and such, don't we? Not the dogs!  

Perhaps my only regret in not breeding Butter was that I never had any of her sweet offspring to comfort me after she was gone.  In defense of her breeder, I have to admit that she was the best of them all in both conformation and temperament. 


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