It's that time of year again. When 24 gets through their awesome first story arc, and is completely out of ideas to fill the next 16 shows. (Seriously, the African warlord is living a double life with an unsuspecting DC waitress girlfriend?)
It's also time for the Westminster Dog Show, which, for thousands of dog lovers and Knicks haters, is the real "Dream Week" at the Garden. It's the 133rd annual show, which means that hundreds of thousands of the greatest dogs in the world have walked through these halls, and are all long dead, which is a pretty depressing way to look at things.
There are a lower number of animals showing than in past years, which is being blamed on the economy. But if I know dog people, they'd sooner starve their children than go without Bio-Groom Natural Oatmeal Anti-Itch Crème Rinse™.
A lot of work goes into prepping a dog for showtime, which is fair. A lot of time and money has gone into these meal tickets. But I think there's a line, and I think it just got crossed. Take a look at this picture, and see if you can wrap your non-insane mind around what's going on.
Yep. She's putting eyeliner on a fucking dog. Now that our country has gotten over tarted-up preschoolers in child beauty pageants, maybe we can muster up some outrage over this. You know how a woman will look real good when you take her home, but then you see her in the morning in her natural state? If you fell in love with Uno the Beagle last
year, just know that you fell for a lie.
At least we know this makeup was tested on animals.
The ordeal isn't over for this poor Beagle.
This torture device is called Happy Legs, and it does have a tertiary purpose after terrifying and discomforting your dog. It's supposed to improve posture, which I'll concede is important for show dogs, but I can't shake the feeling that I saw the Viet Cong put Christian Bale in this in Rescue Dawn.
Then it's out to the ring for the pooches, to be not-so-silently judged by the world. And it can be harsh out there.
I show you this Shiba Inu for two reasons. One, his name is Ichiro, and two, he really comes up in the clutch.
Ichiro patiently waited 20 minutes for his turn in line to be felt up by the judge in order to see if he looks more like he's supposed to look like than the other dogs look like they're supposed to look like (that's dog show judging in a nutshell). He's well trained, so he keeps fairly still, but I can tell he's excited. Finally, he gets put up on the platform, the judge checks him out, and he runs his little lap before taking his place in the back of his line.
Then his handler says to him, and I shit you not, "Wonderful. You had to pick now to get an erection."
Erection mercifully not pictured, but Ichiro is the day's winner in my book.
There's plenty of love to go around at dog shows, and it's usually of the man-on-beast variety. If you're one of those people who get uncomfortable when people make out with their pets, this is not the place for you.
Perhaps I shouldn't judge, not when I'm captioning this picture "The Luckiest Dog in the World":
But love finds a way, even in the strangest of places. This Beagle (not the trashy painted whore of earlier) simply couldn't do its business in the poop pen, not with a stunning Sheepdog happily taking a crap next door.
I know only one dog can win Westminster, but it's even more of an accomplishment to use the bathroom in peace around here.
This terrified-looking Whippet needs to do its business before it goes on, because to soil the green carpet is to soil any chances of winning its breed. But the works are a little stuffed up, and I really can't blame it. Look at this picture:
That's a dog trying to do what comes naturally while someone with an enormous lens zooms in 50x on its sphincter. I'd like to see you perform under these conditions.
These dogs are used to having their pictures taken. In their little world, they're stars. It's got to be a little overwhelming when you see your own photo on garbage cans.
But of course there's one star of stars, one king to rule them all.
Uno the Beagle made an appearance in the press room, and the usually jaded media swarmed him like he was Alex Rodriguez shooting up steroids while punching a baby. I'm not exempting myself from that; this little pooch has a star quality about him that makes him hard to resist. For the second time, Uno held the media in the palm of his paw.
Then they brought in a tray of Danishes, and Uno was yesterday's news.
Barry Petchesky is a freelance journalist in New York City.