For those of you that don’t know, the Westminster Kennel Club was formed in 1877 by a bunch of men in a bar in New York City. They owned hunting dogs. Named after the hotel that they drank in, they formed the club and then bought a training area and a kennel. It wasn’t long after that the members decided to stage a dog show and in 1877, 1,201 dogs entered the first show. Not the type of beginning that you would expect for such a prestigious club, but never the less that is how it began.
It’s history is extensive and colorful, except for one thing, it does not let dogs that they label as “mutts” compete. That includes me. The product of mixed parenting, half labrador and half standard poodle, I am excluded.
Boooo! I cry foul. You know why? Because I have it on good scientific authority that every one of the breeds allowed to compete in the show was cross-bred over and over until the breeder got the qualities they were looking for. In other words, they are all a bunch of mutts masquerading as pure breeds.
I know this may sound bitter, but I think humans love to make rules about what is considered acceptable, they even project it on to the dogs that they own. Doc asked me why I even worry about it, but you know what, no one likes being excluded because of a stupid label. The one consolation is that when I had my free annual physical that Med Vet gives to all therapy and service dogs, the orthopedic doctor told Doc that I had the bone structure and stance of a champion show dog. “Take that Westminster!”
Until Westminster changes the rules, I will have to watch the dogs on TV, reminding myself that those dogs may have miserable lives having to perform in dog shows all the time. I bet it’s stressful having to be perfect all the time. Maybe I’m luckier than I realize.