Behind The Scenes At Westminster

Behind The Scenes At Westminster
February 16, 2011 by Connie Wilson


It's always fun to spend time in New York City, but if you're a dog lover, the experience reaches levels of the sublime when combined with the excitement of Westminster Kennel Club's annual dog show. Now in its 135th year, the event is held each February at Madison Square Garden. This year it drew over 2500 competing dogs and the preparation for and excitement around the event is nearly palpable. Even the Empire State Building commemorates the event by dressing itself in the WKC's trademark purple and gold colours, gleaming like a beacon in the night sky.  If you saunter down to the Hotel Penn, a favoured hotel of the Westminster hopefuls due to its location on 7th avenue directly opposite the Garden, you'll get to see many of the dogs that will be competing in the event, waiting patiently as their humans check in or exercising on the Jog-a-Dog treadmills located in the lower lobby. It's actually a perfect opportunity to see the canine contestants up close, in a less formal setting than the show ring or even the benching area, and perhaps even get a chance to chat with their guardians. Keep in mind though, this show is serious business for the competitors who have invested time and considerable expense to participate and hope to bring home a title. The most coveted, of course, is  Best in Show, an award the elevates the winning dog to celebrity status. We spent the two days of the event watching the judging from the ringside and checking out the (very crowded) action in the benching area. Exciting!

 

Here are some photos I snapped while there...

Outside the Hotel Penn, dogs wait patiently while their gear is unloaded.

Inside the Hotel Penn's lobby, dogs and their people gather to watch the action.

The busy Benching area where dogs await their turn in the ring or get coiffed for their limelight moment.

Wirehaired Dachshunds and their breeder/handler...

A giant Irish Wolfhound dwarfs his owner...

A loving look from this Black/Tan Smooth Coated Dachshund...

Briards take a turn in the ring...

Dachshunds in the ring...

A super-sweet Corgi...

 

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