I’ve never claimed to be average. Thanksgiving Day is no exception. While most of America is gearing up for football, we were gathering around the television (one of the rare moments it actually is turned on in our family) to watch the Purina National Dog Show. We love dogs and we enjoy watching the different breeds be spotlighted and compete.
We snuggled with our canine children and watched the seven groups compete for a spot in best in show and then the final championship. For those who don’t watch dog shows, the different breeds compete in “breed” competitions. The best of each breed competes in it’s group (toy, terrier, sporting, non-sporting, working, hounds, herding) and then the best of each group compete for Best in Show. The dogs aren’t judged against each other, but against the breed standard. The winner is the dog that represents the best example of its breed standard.
This year’s winner was a member of the Sporting Group, a lovely pointer. But at our house the cheering was for Rocky, a handsome Blenheim Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Rocky won the Toy category and my own Cavalier, Gracie Sue, rallied the family to support him. No, really. She ran to the TV and stood transfixed as Rocky was put through his paces. Of course our other dogs were disappointed their “cousins” didn’t win, but they were good sports.
The local shelter is a wonderful place to find your pet, even pure breeds. We found our Brittany George at the local animal shelter quite by accident. Two big fuzzy spaniel things that were grossly over weight and had been turned in by their owners caught our attention. We later learned, tragically, that the boys had seizures and this had led to their being turned in by owners who didn’t tell the shelter they were ill. We lost Tanis to a seizure storm we had no idea was coming.
But that’s not the only place to find pets. If you’re looking for a certain breed, remember there are breed rescues that save pups from unprepared owners, kill shelters and puppy mills. Our dachshund, Wendell, came from a puppy mill. Our cocker spaniel, Shiloh was the result of a kid’s 4H project. And our Gracie was seven months old and about to be shipped back to the puppy mill as unsellable to spend her life producing puppies or be put down. Probably put down because it turns out she was inbred.
We are certainly thankful for our pets and we flatter ourselves they are thankful for us. So below take a gander at our best in show.