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Dog Show Husbands – Unheralded Heroes of Our Sport

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102 – May, 2020

By William Given

Diamonds are girl’s best friend.” It was a song in the 1953 production of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes performed by Marilyn Monroe. However, if you have ever been to a dog show, then you know man’s best friend is also a woman’s best friend. My wife and I were sitting ringside at the recently held Southern Colorado Kennel Club show and could not help but notice that the female exhibitors far exceeded the number of male competitors. However, there were plenty of men in attendance.

While some husbands and boyfriends are out playing golf, fishing, watching football on television, or even catching up on some much-needed sleep, anywhere but at a dog show, a good many devoted men can be observed at any show. They are the guys unloading the van or SUV, setting up the grooming area, hustling off to fill water bowls or taking the dog to the exercise area to conduct his business. Dogs and dog shows are a completely different world, and not every guy is prepared to deal with all that comes with it. However, some good men have perfected the art of loving a woman who loves dogs.

Some of these men have built a vast storehouse of knowledge gleaned over many years. Other men seem to know only what their women have shared with them in order to survive. These men all have something in common: their wives or girlfriends have been stung by the dog show bug. It seems reasonable that we take a serious look at a few critical components that contribute to being a successful dog show husband.

A Spouse’s Attitude

I have heard a husband belittle his wife over the amount of money spent on entry fees and traveling to shows “when all the dog does is lose.” I have also heard a wife, who controls the couple’s finances say, “No, we cannot afford to buy the dog. It doesn’t matter how good the parents are or what the pedigree is.”

On the bright side, I have seen the look of pride on a husband’s face as he watches his wife and her dog win their first Group. And, I have also seen a formerly skeptical wife jump for joy when the puppy kept from their last litter finishes and knows her husband now qualifies as an AKC Breeder of Merit.

Showing dogs, especially if you are making a serious run at putting a dog in the Top 10 of his breed, does require many weekends away from home. Showing dogs can also have a draining effect on a couple’s bank account, and the sport can change your lifestyle when the only vacation taken becomes the annual trip to your National Specialty. So, I want to stress the importance of having the buy-in of a spouse or significant other when one partner has a love of dogs and a passion for dog shows.

Accept Her Passion

Click here to read the complete article
102 – May, 2020

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