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Lights! Cameras! Action! It’s the National Dog Show!

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258 – November, 2021

By Joan Harrigan

When the lights went out at the conclusion of Best in Show judging at the 2021 Morris & Essex Kennel Club show, show chairman Wayne Ferguson could take a moment to breathe and enjoy the show’s success. But not more than a moment—there are four years before the next Morris & Essex, but only a bit more than a month until the Kennel Club of Philadelphia’s “National Dog Show Presented by Purina.”

Ferguson, who lives in Broadway, New Jersey, is the president of both Morris & Essex and the Kennel Club of Philadelphia. At one time, he was also president of the Delaware Water Gap Kennel Club; he remained on their board after resigning as president. In fact, he’s served on many boards—including the Morris Animal Foundation and the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund. Professionally, he’s been successful in a variety of fields—including brand management for Chivas Regal and creating Cherrybrook, a company that fanciers know well. He’s at a stage in life when many would have stepped back from any extensive responsibilities, but the “r” word does not exist in Ferguson’s vocabulary.

Over the last 20 years, the National Dog Show has become part of the Thanksgiving tradition in many homes. The telecast follows the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which is televised live from Herald Square in New York City. A dog show neatly fills the time before Thanksgiving dinner and football. Unlike the parade, it’s not live—this year the actual show is on Saturday, November 20. And while the televised show has been compared to Westminster, it’s actually very different.

Westminster’s coverage spans two nights and shows the examination of every breed shown in the groups. The National Dog Show covers every group, but not every breed, and abbreviated coverage of the featured dogs’ examinations. Overall, the tone of the commentary is lighter and entertaining—a perfect diversion on a holiday afternoon.

A Mockumentary Sparks NBC’s Interest

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258 – November, 2021

 

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