I tried to watch the Westminster Dog Show. I really did. But after five minutes of watching overweight handlers trying to keep up with their schnauzers, I gave up.
I guess what really turned me off was that the dogs involved weren’t actually acting like dogs. There was no mischief or nipping at the judges’ heels or inappropriate scratching. They were all too perfect: perfectly behaved, perfectly coiffed, perfectly cute. Like Stepford dogs.
It’s the same reason I cringe whenever I hear about those JonBenet Ramsay-style kiddie pageants. There are no tantrums or whining or begging for chicken nuggets. Sure, the stage mothers are full intrigue and back-stabbing. But the kids involved don’t actually act like kids.
Plus the whole thing seems so arbitrary. I realize there are breed standards the judges look for. But for the life of me I can’t tell the difference between one well-behaved poodle and the next. Or between two little yappy things that are nothing more than glorified cats. I’m also somehow disturbed by the whole sense of the “perfect” member of the breed. I can’t help but hear overtones of the Aryan ideal. And I’d certainly hate to be judged against the stereotypical human by, say, a bunch of hyper-critical otters. I’d come up short based on height alone.
I guess I prefer mutts like Delilah who probably won’t win any behavorial contests but can dole out unconditional love with the best of ‘em. There’s a reason “God” spelled backwards is “Yahweh.” Or something like that.