Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Westminster Dog Show

I stayed up too late last night watching the Westminster dog show. I love those pretty dogs, all with such bright eyes and shiny coats, doing their best to impress their trainer. In my past life I have had dogs, and one of them was a black pedigree miniature poodle named Alexander's Black Tulip, or "Sasha". Sasha was a real pistol. He was a magnificent dark black and had black eyes as shiny as boot buttons. We all went to obedience classes, and Sasha really did want to please, but we never could get the hang of "come". He could stay, he could sit, and he was very lovable and charming, but watch out if he ever had a chance to get out of the yard. He'd take off like a bullet up the street and around the neighborhood, sniffing on hydrants and garbage cans like a holy mongrel. He ran like a black streak of lightning. The only way to get him back was to bring the car around to where he was, open the door, and he would jump back in because he loved going for a ride.

I thought of Sasha and his errant ways when I watched those beautifully obedient dogs last night. I think dogs just have to be born to want to please in order to make it anywhere in the dog show world. Sasha was a beauty, but he wasn't particularly interested in pleasing anyone else. The breeder who sold him to me said that he was as beautiful as his dog show winning father, but he was too cuddly and did not have a temperament of a winner. Maybe they say that to all buyers, I don't know. But he was a loving dog and I still have great memories of my first poodle.

At the end, the German shorthaired pointer won. In the final time that the judge was viewing each of the last 7 contenders, she stood like a statue, her legs spread back in the most beautiful pointer pose, and just stood there motionless for several seconds longer than she had to. The crowd went wild. It was an amazing dog moment. She never blinked as he stood there and stared at her trainer. She won.

Someday, in the future, I would like to have a dog again, when I have time at home to spend with it each day and time to take it for runs, and go to obedience classes, and let it be the good dog it wants to be. In the meantime, I'll just remember how wonderful that lovely pointer's pose was last night and be happy that the best dog won.

Have a great day.