"Life isn't long enough to do all you could accomplish. And what a privilege even to be alive. In spite of all the pollutions and horrors, how beautiful this world is.
Supposing you only saw the stars once every year. Think what you would think. The wonder of it!"--Tasha Tudor

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Westminster Dog Show, Part Two

As promised, here are some more photos of our day at Westminster 2009. While it may look very glamorous on TV, here is our reality at 5:30 AM at Madison Square Garden. You have to enter by going up a long ramp and take the freight elevator to the benching and grooming area. Here is Mary Elizabeth. She looks entirely too perky for such an un-Godly hour, doesn't she? And this is before we found Starbucks...

Some of our stuff on the dolly. Luckily we had my husband
and our friend Al to help us throughout the day. They were
parking the van at this point and met us at the bench. Thanks
to Al who took many of these photos as well! Click on the photos to enlarge.

Westminster is a benched show. This means the dogs must be in their assigned benching area throughout the day unless they are being groomed, are in the ring or are taking care of potty business.
Speaking of 'potty business' here's a funny little story. Bridget's bench mate, Tedi B stayed across the street at the Hotel Pennsylvania with her owner and our friend Jane O'Neil. Tedi B simply would not 'go' outside on the city concrete or in the indoor shavings pens. At the crack of dawn, Jane found herself taking a taxi to Central Park so Tedi could 'go.' She just needed a little patch of grass, that's all. As soon as she hopped out of the $24.00 cab, she did her business right away. Jane said it was the most expensive poop she has ever seen.

Here is Bridget's bench as we were setting up.
We decorated it with little hearts for
Valentine's Day.

Taking a break.... It is SO crowded!

Bridget waiting ringside for the Corgis to be called in.

She hasn't been shown in such a long, long time. But she is a
true showgirl at heart, Miss Bridget. She loves being in the
ring and remembers just what she needs to do.

Mary Elizabeth did such a great job presenting her. Bridget loves her.
Come to think of it, all dogs love Mary Elizabeth. She is like Snow White.
(Sometimes I think there are little bluebirds and woodland creatures following her...)

left to right: Rowdy, Ike, Bridget and Tedi B on the bench at the
end of the night. They were SO ready to go home!

The following familiar and favorite photos were in the scrapbook we brought with us for the spectators at Westminster.

Making snow angels....

Bridget's puppies have lovely families!

It is said that there is nothing like the Westminster Kennel Club dog show. While it is an exhausting and long, hectic day, I highly recommend that every dog lover experience it. There you will find hundreds of show breeders who put their heart and soul into the preservation, improvement, protection and welfare of their breed.

If you are considering getting a Corgi, a good place to start is the PWCCA. Each club member (and all of their regional affiliate club members) must sign and adhere to a strict code of ethics. Each member is responsible for every dog they breed or any puppy produced by one of their dogs for the life of the dog, no matter what. Do your homework and get references. When you buy your dog from one of these breeders, you will have someone you can go to for help or questions for the life of your pet. Breeding stock must be screened for known health issues and the utmost care is taken to breed dogs with excellent temperaments. Many regional and national club members also work very hard in Corgi rescue. Most purebred rescues that are found in shelters come from dogs that were purchased at pet shops and came from puppy mills or breeders whose 'responsibility' ends when their check has been cashed. Corgi rescue workers spend many weeks caring for, rehabilitating, evaluating and earning the trust of their little rescues in order to find them the right home. The PWCCA and her regional affiliate club members are not allowed to sell their dogs to pet shops and do their best to match up their puppies to the potential owners. Sometimes there are 'older' dogs and retired young Champions that are available from one of these breeders. These dogs are usually trained and (bonus!) housebroken and make wonderful family pets as well.

If you purchased your beloved dog from a pet store, don't despair. My first dog came from a pet store many years ago. If people stop buying dogs from pet stores, the puppy mills will stop breeding them. Know where your puppy is from. Learn why it is important not only for the dog you will get, but for the welfare of future generations of the breed. What is it that Maya Angelou said? "You did what you knew, and when you knew better, you did better." I love that. The important thing is to educate ourselves and others and to help each other make informed choices in the future.
The future of our beloved Corgis (or any purebred dog!) depends on it! -CS ^..^


Kelly said...

Sounds like an awesome experience! Congrats to you and Bridgit!! :)

ClassyChassy said...

Congrats, and thanks for sharing those wonderful photos! It's apparent that it takes many years of experience to raise and show beautiful animals like you have done. Bridgit is a beauty!

Anna M said...

I dreamed of being back in the show ring with Taffy last night. I was actually enjoying myself! Ack!!! Maybe I'll give it one more shot.... you guys make it look so fun!

Winjammin' said...

Congratulations again on your win at WKC. Bridget is definitely a great ambassador for the breed! I would have never thought to put together a scrapbook for the spectators. What a neat idea!!

Hopefully, we'll get to meet you and Bridget at Nationals this year. It'll be our first for the Pems. :o)

^..^Corgidogmama said...

Thanks for sharing the experience with us in great detail, behind the scenes. What an experience for you all! Corgis always show so well at the dog shows. Everybody loves 'em.
She's a real keeper, and looks so poised. Great handling!

Jane O'Neil said...

You certainly summed up the Westminster Experience perfectly. It was loads of fun for a novice like me, although I certainly could've done without that 8pm release time. Thank goodness for the cameraderie & laughs we all shared (and also for those Haagen Daz ice cream bars). I love the photos you took more than anything. They are fabulous. Huge congratulations again on Bridget's well-deserved AOM. She truly is the consummate showgirl !!

Sabrina Horton said...

Thank you for sharing your pictures! I love them all. What a sweet girl, Bridget is!

Susan said...

Thank you so much for sharing your photos and memories of Bridget! Mary does look very perky for such an early show!! I love the photo of Bridget stacking for Mary and Mary's friend looking at them from ringside---her expression is wonderful!
Congrats to all of you!!! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Cathy! What a great post. I loved reading every bit of it and seeing Bridget's scrapbook!!

Just wanted to let you know I have your Tag on my post. Thanks for passing it my way!

Hope you're having a great week--oh and I LOVE the Valentine's tea your friend hosted. How beautiful and yummy looking.


Ivy@PaperElixir said...

So wonderful to get a "behind the scene" peek at Westminster! If we live closer we would have tried to attend one year... Bridget is such a precious girl! :)

Angela said...

Thanks for sharing your incredible experience with us Cathy!!! Bridget is soooo beautiful!!!
Congratulations again!!!

Bumpkin Hill said...

awww Bridget is stuch a sweetheart, looking at all her photos and seeing her life through the photos was really touching. She is clearly a very special gal. Give her a big snuggle from me. Catherine x

Tanya said...

What an incredible dog with an incredible owner. I really loved looking at the photos and hearing about your experience! I can only imagine all of the hardwork and time that goes into the shows.

Thank you for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Watched the video - what a perfect little girl you have! Such a beauty. And so well bahaved. Congratulations to you both! I usually watch a little of the show on tv but missed it this year. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Jennifer Paganelli said...

Cathy it's all so exciting and I could cry for miss Bridget and all that dog pride...love it all...

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing. It was wonderful. Congrats to you and Bridget.

Linda said...

Congratulations what incredible photographs too, and those puppiesare just too cute. Lindax