By Jennifer R Jones | Posted on February 16, 2010 10:00 AM
Who let the dogs in? If they’re purebred, groomed to the hilt, and strutting their stuff in front of adoring fans at New York’s Madison Square Garden, then they’re there by invitation only, thank you very much, and they’re competing in the 134th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. The show began last night and finishes up tonight with the all-important Best in Show award. (Rumor has it that a Scottie named Sadie is strongly favored.) Last night, four groups competed: Hound (Whippets, Greyhounds) Toy (Poodles, Pekinese), Non-Sporting (Bulldogs, Chinese Shar-Pei) and Herding (Pulis, Bearded Collies). Tonight we’ll see the Sporting, Working and Terrier Groups, as well as Best in Show. The event is limited to 2,500 dogs, with individual breed judging taking place between 8 am and 6 pm on both days. Although records are fuzzy, the show has its origins possibly as early as 1876, when a group of gentlemen met regularly to talk, among other things, about their talented dogs. They form a group--and name it after their favorite hotel. A dog show is eventually held--and more than 130 years later; toy poodles with pink bows in their hair are flouncing across the floor of Madison Square Garden. So if you couldn’t score tickets, never mind: tonight it will be televised on the USA network from 8-11 pm, and you’ll most definitely see a bump in interest in whatever breed wins. So tear yourself away from men’s Olympic curling for one evening, and watch competitors of a furrier, cuddlier nature for just one night, pink bows and all.