Bummer! Beagles dropped a notch from #3 to #4 in America’s most popular dog standings, according to rankings released by the AKC two weeks ago. (Not your fault, Ricky!) When I tweeted out that Ricky and his mates were holding down the #4 spot, my friend Langdon from Boston couldn’t help tweeting back at me, “Edged out by the best breed: Golden retrievers.” Yes, beagles and goldens had, in fact, swapped positions — and Lang just couldn’t wait to let me know about it.
There’s been a lot of boasting and backbiting — as well as support, sympathy, and consolation — going around among dog people these past couple of weeks: Right after the AKC rankings were announced, the 137th Westminster Dog Show hit Madison Square Garden — and that’s where breed pride reaches its peak. When neither the 13-inch nor the 15-inch beagle even made it to the finals in the hound group, my friend Kristi from Laguna texted me, “Beagles rule!” And when Banana Joe took Best in Show, beating out a field that
included Honor the Bichon, I texted back: “The Affenpinscher wins??!! Shoulda been the Bichon!!!!” (Her Peanut is a Bichon.) I actually heard someone observe that the dog who wins Best in Show should have to weigh more than your laptop. (Okay, that someone was me . . .)
David Frei, the USA Network analyst for the Westminster broadcast, had a great explanation for this almost hockey-fan-style breed fanaticism: “We want people to think about the real best-in-show dog — the one who’s sitting on the couch right next to us.”
Extremely well said. I think that’s something we can all agree on. As long as we first agree that Ricky is the cutest dog in the world.
And speaking of breed loyalty, coming soon: Finally, an explanation of why, out of all the breeds in the world, against every piece of reasonable advice, from every conceivable source — including, most notably, current beagle owners — we chose to get a beagle.
LOOK FOR A NEW BEAGLE MAN POST EVERY THURSDAY. OR PRETTY CLOSE TO THURSDAY. COULD BE WEDNESDAY. OR FRIDAY. LET’S NOT GET TOO OBSESSIVE HERE . . . OH, AND BTW, YOU CAN ALSO FOLLOW ME ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER