Westminster Welcomes Mixed Breed Category

“Hey, Cee-Cee, look here!”

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“What are you reading, Mom?”

“You’ll never guess!”

“Try me. My mind is supple, you know.”

“This year’s Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is allowing mixed breeds into a special category!”

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“Hee, hee, hee! Well, it’s about time!”

“The world keeps changing, for sure!”

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“Hey, Mom! Can we go? I’m a Defiance Crescent-News Pet Parade winner, you know!”

“Oh, little girl dumplin’, I know. And you won Best Curly Tailed at the Bark for a Park event, as well. But this involves travel costs and registrations and agility competition, events for which we’ve never trained you.”


“I know. Bummer. But we can watch on TV –”

“That’ll be cool. Hey, who are the new dudes this year?”

“Hmm… Let me look. Well, Rat Terriers –”

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“Huh! Hey, I’m terrier –”

“But you are a Border Terrier m –”

“Border Terriers compete!”

“Purebred Border Terriers, little girl dumplin’. You are part Border Terrier.”

“Oh. Yeah. What’s that other part again?”

“Basenji — the non-barker with the –”

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“Curly tail.”


“Okay. Who else is new?”

“It says the Portuguese podengo pequeno –”


“Yes! I agree! And the Chinook.”

“What’s that?”

“He’s the New Hampshire state dog, a sled puller.”

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“Geez, Mom. You always say I could pull a sled.”

“Well, you could, too, but this event is just not your cup of bones.”

“Well, I’ll get a new chewy bone when we watch on TV, won’t I?”

“You surely will!”

“With peanut butter.”

“Of course…”

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“Okay, then. As long as I’m with you, Mom. Yum, this old chewy is still pretty good.”

A Tale of Ill Will

A young Newfoundland poses beside her favorite subject -- water. In recent history, the only Newfie to win at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show was "Josh", in 2004.

A young Newfoundland poses beside her favorite subject — water. In recent history, the only Newfie to win at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show was “Josh”, in 2004.

The Kennel Club circuits were the backdrop for the writing of author Albert Payson Terhune in his book Lad: A Dog, first published in 1919, with the copyright renewed in 1947. Lad was a collie, and Terhune let him do some of the thinking in his tale of dog shows and collie ways.

Dog show villians always appeared in Terhune’s stories.

But I’m not sure that any of Terhune’s bad guys were as bad as the secret poisoning perpetrator(s) that allegedly penetrated this season’s Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden on February 12, 2013. Dog owner Lynette Blue, who owned Cruz, a prized Samoyed contestant, continues to insist that someone poisoned her pet deliberately while he competed at MSG.

Cruz died four days after the Westminster show while competing in Colorado. Cruz’s death on February 16 has not been the subject of much interest outside the dog show world…unfortunately.

Perhaps we need to revisit Terhune’s long ago messages.


Names of Champions of Hoof and Paw

Complaining about her name?

“Here, Cee-Cee Helberg Ohioan Gem of Kennel Rescue.”  That’s what I called my rescued BT (Border Terrier) mix, Cee-Cee, this week in honor of the 136th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show aired on February 13 and 14.

Did you ever wonder about the names you hear at dog shows? Tons of dogs of different breeds — six new ones this year — and type backgrounds have participated in the history of not only the Westminster show, but hundreds of shows everywhere, with names as long as trains. How does one call a show dog by name at home? “Here, Albert Caspernium Lindstrom Romper Room. Here, Lady Cynthia Macadoom King’s Court Round Table.” “Here, Al; here, Cindy.” Much easier!

Every show has a Curtis, Jimmy, Bobby, Rocko and a Lady, Lulu, Ginger, Sue running around, all called by those nicknames for purposes of convenience. Verbally introducing every dog by his/her formal name would stretch the show into a full day’s affair. To be helpful to the television audience, the candidate’s family moniker is flashed on screen when he/she begins his individual show moment.

What about racing Thoroughbreds? Man o’ War’s namesakes, or his own progeny names could go on forever: War Admiral, War Clouds, War Passes, War Path, War This, War That. Good, strong racing names without complications. Then there are others like Is It True, Yes Its True, Stephen Got Even. We probably don’t want to go there to surmise meanings!

Oh, and Best in Show was…a walking loaf of long-haired bread named Malachy — a sweet little Pekingese.

New Breeds Speak Up

Ready for the show after a run.

The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is the second oldest sporting competition in the USA. This year’s show (February 13 and 14, 2012) at Madison Square Garden will feature six new breeds, all ready to speak up for their patronage.

XOLOITZCUINTLI (Show-low-itz-Quint’-lee): “I’ve been featured on TV’s Animal Planet already! In days past, I used to be called the Mexican Hairless.” 

NORWEGIAN LUNDEHUND (Luhn’-dee-hund): “Not so fast, partner! Move over for some real foreign species!”

CESKY Terrier (Chess’-key): “Want to get grounded? Count on me!” 

ENTLEBUCHER Mountain Dog (Ent-lee-boo’-kehr): “I can find my way around any mountain, and I’ll find my way around here to the winner’s circle!”

AMERICAN ENGLISH COONHOUND: “This here is my territory to sniff, Entlee!”

FINNISH LAPPHUND (Lap’-hundh): “Yeah? Looks to be like a lotta foreign entries, Americano.”

Twenty-two years ago, The American Kennel Club sported 142 eligible breeds. A new breed must be sponsored by an organized club for its specific breed and have adequate numbers throughout the USA to be eligible for American Kennel Club recognition. This year’s six new breeds raises the total number of recognized and eligible participant breeds to 185. The Bichon Frise represents the fastest rise to fame for all breeds that have taken part in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. In 1974, the Bichon Frise debuted in the famous dog show, and by 2001 the little guy was named Best Of Show.   

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