The thing about the Westminster Dog Show is (and this is going to sound obvious) that there are so many dogs. If you watch the primetime TV broadcast, you see one of each breed—a perfect kibble-sized snapshot of the dog world. But attending the show, something you should absolutely do if you're in New York, is another beast altogether. Row upon row of dogs, dozens of each breed, and on any given pass through the benching area, there are hundreds of dogs out and about and ready to meet you.
These sheer numbers are something I wanted to capture, but it's tough to do in just a few photos. So I dumped a couple thousand pictures I took over the last two days, many of them blurry, and strung them together in the video above. Think of it as the world's largest animated gif, or the world's fastest slideshow—or just a feverish plunge into the trenches at Westminster.
(If you spot a favorite breed you want to see more of, holler in the comments. I'll pull out a photo for you if I can.)
This is Sullivan. He won best of opposite sex in the Great Dane competition, which means he gets a ribbon and balloons and the cow dog next to him gets nothing. (Neither have any idea who won, or that there was even a competition. Dogs are fantastic.) Anytime you see a Great Dane owner telling their dog that they're a "good boy," you can tell them that he's not as good as Sullivan. Sullivan is officially the best boy in America.
This is the Russell Terrier, one of two breeds being shown at Westminster for the first time in 2013. It's similar to, but distinct from, the more well-known Jack Russell Terrier. It was developed in Australia, and is slightly stockier, has a rough coat, and anecdotally keeps a more even keel. I'm not sure if this guy was in the show, or just stowed away in the luggage.
They've even more fun in pairs.
It's almost not fair to be a dog when a Golden Retriever comes around. No one's going to pay attention to you. No one's going to take your picture. They're going to flock to the Golden, who's invariably calm and smiling and receiving a line of people waiting to scratch behind its ears. Life is pretty good when you're perfect.
This is a rat. I'm not sure how it got in my dog photos.
Seconds after this was taken, this Husky stole a piece of gum out of a girl's mouth. We were all very impressed.
Cerberus, only if the heads wore sparkly and pink collars, and, being Boxers, were functionally unsuitable for following commands.
Me with Seymour from that one really sad episode of Futurama. I'm tearing up just thinking about it.
The judging's over. The hard part's done. Now it's time for a dog to just be a dog, you know?
Goodnight, Westminster. Until next year.