Gone to the Dogs

On Monday and Tuesday I had the fortune to photograph the 137th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City. The show is one of the nation’s oldest traditions. Westminster officials say the only sporting event that is older is the Kentucky Derby.

The show seemed more of a beauty pageant than a dog show. At this level it is. Many hours went into grooming the already well-bred dogs. At this level it is the human equivalent of making a distinction between a beautiful model and a supermodel.

As with a beauty pageant, attitude matters as much as looks, so I was amazed at how well-trained these dogs were. There were over 3,000 dogs from 187 breeds competing in the show. Everywhere you look you see dogs. Despite the number of entries, rarely did I hear a dog bark.

Most of all I saw a lot of love showered upon these dogs. Not only by the owners and handlers but also by the spectators. For many, it was difficult to have a good look at the competition at the westside piers. But those that did have a good view showered the dogs with praise and applause from the sidelines.

Follow Jason Rearick on Twitter: @photogjr