Wednesday, February 16, 2011

"Doggone it!"

I like dogs. Always have. Sometimes, though, I believe some dog lovers take things to the extreme.

Not that the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is an example of dog lovers being extreme, but in a way, I am glad it's all over.

A 5-year-old Scottish deerhound named Hickory won best in show at the esteemed New York event. And that's good. More power to Hickory ... and her owners and handlers. And anybody who might be a fan.

Just as long as they aren't snobs about it.

Yeah, yeah, I know all about how people treat their dogs as if they were their children. I happen to know some canines who eat better than some humans I know. And they certainly get better medical (and dental) treatment. That's OK, I suppose.

One time, while I was living in New York's borough of Manhattan, I came upon a woman who was walking her dog ... and the dog and its owner were wearing matching "outfits" - Burberry coats and black boots. I had to stop and gawk. Really. To be fair, the dog was a small one and the "boots"-- I later learned -- protected the animal's feet from the salt that it was on the sidewalks. It was during the month of January. Still, I thought the whole scene surreal.

I haven't seen that level of doggy-style coordination here in California, but the other day I watched as a woman held her purse down so that her terrier could jump into it. I actually thought that was pretty cool, by the way.

I just get irritated when I come across folks who act as if THEIR dog is THE dog of all dogs, as if all other dogs are less. Not cool. More than once when I was walking Lucy -- my "girl" (more on Lucy later) -- I've come across people who see us approaching and they give us a look ... as if we don't belong on the same street. Lucy is a 9-year-old rescue. She looks as if she is mixed with Pit Bull and German shepherd and she is one of the most mellow, sweet dogs I have ever met. The whole Michael Vick thing didn't help, but I'm not condoning nor faulting Vick, who paid for his crime and has moved on. At any rate, the snobs sometimes need to be taken down a peg or two every now and then.

Of course it cracks me up when these "pedigreed" pooches get their "dog" on, sniffing others (you know how dogs do) and even misbehave from time to time.

My upstairs neighbors own two Chihuahuas, one of which is missing a front leg and uses a prosthesis to get around. Then there's Blues, who lives nearby. Blues picks up his toys and puts them in a box when he's done with them. And Bones, who gets so excited to see you that you'd think he is going have a seizure.

You probably won't see Bones or Blues or even Lucy at Westminster.

Maybe there should be a major dog show for regular dogs, dogs who don't have papers or pedigrees ... but are stars just the same.

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