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The Big E – Electric

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244 – February 2019


Where did the time go? Here we are, February 2019. It is that time of the year when Dogdom turns its attention toward New York City whether in person or on our computers, smartphones, or TVs. Ready or not, the Westminster Kennel Club Show, and all the other shows and activities which surround it, are upon us. It is not just the shows on Monday and Tuesday on the Piers and the groups at night at Madison Square Garden. It is breed specialties, group shows, Meet the Breeds, Master Agility Trials and Obedience Championships which begin on Friday and go on through the weekend at venues in and outside the city. Then there are a variety of charity events which provide much needed support for important dog related organizations. Clearly, it is a hectic, frenetic week full of pressure, drama, dis- appointment, and for the fortunate winners, elation. After all, it is “Westminster”!

I remember my very first time at Westminster. It was not long after Cavalier King Charles Spaniels were recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1996. I longed for the day when a dog of mine would be shown there. That seed was actually sown years before when I was in England visiting the prominent kennels looking to purchase my foundation bitch. One of the grand ladies of Cavalieria advised me, “Buy cheap, buy twice.” When I knew exactly what I wanted, her advice stayed in my brain like a tune you can’t stop singing. Going from place to place, what I wanted to take home always was exactly what those breeders planned to keep for themselves. Not to be deterred, I persisted in my quest, waiting patiently to find “her.” I did, paid dearly, and I loved her and everything she ever did for nearly fourteen years.

Just like any other major event, months and years of preparation go on before the exhibitors and their dogs walk into the rings at Westminster. Finally, the relationships and purchases I made over those years of traveling back and forth to England brought me to the day that a dog of mine was entered. From the time I bought him from a friend in Northern Ireland, Gilbey enjoyed the same success in the AKC ring that he did in his career in the United Kingdom. Just before the show, I received a congratulationtory letter from a food sponsor asking me to stop by their booth at the Hotel Pennsylvania on the Sunday prior to the Garden. I did as instructed. There I was handed a bag of branded products and assorted other goodies. This novice had no idea that she had a dog in the Top Ten, or a clue about what that meant. That Monday, he entered the ring with his handler, made it through the first cut, and exited.

Click here to read the complete article
244 – February 2019

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