You Must Whippet

Saturday, February 24th, 2007

It’s once again time for the International Kennel Club dog show at McCormick Place. I don’t know if I’ll make it over there again this year, but I was there last year. There are a lot of dogs — pretty much everywhere you look. If you don’t want to see dogs everywhere, it probably isn’t the place for you.

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If you want to see a guy grabbing his dog’s balls for a good twenty minutes then it definitely is the place for you. We passed by a fella grooming his Old English Sheepdog (one of my favorite breeds ever since the archery scene in Disney’s Robin Hood.) He was super-nice and told us all about the breed while he delicately brushed his dog’s coat with his right hand. And his left hand? I don’t know what he was doing with his left hand, but let’s just say Chester looked a little uncomfortable. After casually wandering through the grooming area we walked past him again… and his hand was still up there! Anyone into showing dogs know what that’s all about?

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My other favorite part of the show occurred at the agility competition. You may have seen this on TV. It’s basically a dog obstacle course. It was exciting to see the really fast dogs bolt through the slalom obstacle and leap over the hurdles, but most of the dogs were pretty mediocre. Some clearly had their minds on other things. One little feller decided after a couple half-hearted leaps that it was the perfect time and place to squat out a little kibble surprise.

The International Kennel Club was prepared for this. A woman wearing an official IKC polo shirt appeared carrying a bucket of cleaning supplies. I figured that she was charged with cleaning up after the inevitable accident. That was not the case. Instead she handed the bucket to the dog’s handler and watched as the handler cleaned up Sparky’s deuce. I was shocked (and incredibly amused.) Isn’t it embarrassing enough that your highly-trained dog took a crap in front of a couple hundred people? Couldn’t the IKC at least provide a crapper-picker-upper and leave the handler with a little bit of dignity? Apparently not.

By the way: Wow! Two dog poop stories in a row!