11 February 2004 - 12:40 PM
I watched the dog show last night instead of digging for the Thorndike article. I haven't owned a show dog, or even been to a show, in years, but some things are still sacred. If I cannot be at the Garden, I will be glued to the set, watching.
The quality of the coverage has gone up slightly, but having an absolute outsider doing half the commentary makes about as much sense as having an NFL star be the colour man for an MLB broadcast. (And no, having seen 'Best in Show' is not adequate background). The camera set up is better and at least they are no longer cutting to pan across the crowd while a dog is in motion, but it would be so nice to get a clear shot of the dogs coming and going. The way a dog puts down its feet tells you a lot about how its body is put together, and while daisy-cutting profile gaits are nice, they're only part of the story.
That said, it was good to see the Newf win, since big dogs so rarely take BiS, and also nice to see the Sussex take the sporting group. Each group has its glamour breeds, but no one has ever mistaken the Sussex for one of the glamourous gundogs. I like spaniels in general, and the Sussex in particular is a smart, independent, not-easily-impressed creature.
Other breeds I like, in no particular order:
Welsh Springer Spaniels. I want one.
Tibetan Spaniels. Not really spaniels, but smart, independent dogs who happen to be packaged in small bodies.
Bernese Mountain Dogs. Who needs Saint Bernards?