Westminster Dog Show
Every year I look forward to the Westminster Kennel Club's dog show held at the "mecca of sports arenas", Madison Square Garden in NYC. This year's event takes place February 11th and 12th; however, for the first time ever, the judging will take place in two different venues. Breed judging, benching and Junior Showmanship preliminary competition will take place during the days at the Piers 92/94 (located at West 55th St and the West Side Hwy - 12 Ave). Group and Best in Show judging, as well as the Junior Showmanship Finals, will be held at Madison Square Garden on Monday and Tuesday evening. The evening competition will be televised live from 8-11pm ET.
Ringside is not the only place to catch the action however. With 2,721 dogs entered from all of 50 states as well as several foreign countries, dogs and their entourage seek accommodation in the hotels close to MSG (an especially important factor if the weather turns bad, as it did this year... can you imagine being late for ring-time due to a snowy, traffic snarl-up?) and therefore these hotel lobbies are great places to check out the contenders. You'll see everything from pint-sized Chihauhaus and poofed-up Pekingnese to massive Mastiffs, shaggy Sheep Dogs and towering Great Danes. Some of the handlers are even happy to chat, telling you about their dog's lineage and their hopes of a win. The Hotel Penn with its massive lobby is one of our favourite spots to hang out and see the dogs. The Green Room in the Hotel Penn's lower lobby is a hubbub of activity. Complete with a spa, salon and Canine Gym where dogs are pampered, exercised and groomed to perfection.
Dogs don't need to contend with crowded, snowy and slushy NYC sidewalks they can exercise indoors in a clean and safe environment on DogTread treadmills at the Canine Gym ensuring they're in peak condition for the show ring. Below is a photo of Krista Wickens, creator and owner of DogTread treadmills.
So many great dogs to see at the Hotel Penn's lobby...
The Affinia, also across from MSG, is another of our favourite haunts and this upscale and gracious hotel also boasts a Canine Gym complete with DogTread treadmills and other pet-friendly amenities to ensure both human and dog alike has every need taken care of ensuring an enjoyable stay.
Two Chinese Cresteds vie for attention: