Dog Gone It!

Photo credit: Smith for News
The NY Daily News
Did you see where a new doggie diva was whisked around New York City after winning “Best in Show” at the Westminster Dog Show held Tuesday in the Big Apple.   The five-year-old Scottish Deerhound named, Hickory, has the honor of being the first of her breed to win the prestigious award in the shows 134 year history.

We don’t have a dog in the Hines family, but a lot of my friends do.  I’ve had cats most of my life.  Based on some of my cat’s behavior, they may have thought they were dogs.  I guess it didn't help that they had names more commonly given to our furry canine friends.

What cat wouldn't have an identity crisis with a name like Rover?   He was my post college companion, and went to cat heaven shortly after I met my husband.   His doggie trick was fetching beer bottle caps.

And then there was Bailey!.  This 20-pound guy could pack away more food than most big dogs and he perhaps could devour a small dog if he missed a meal.    He was especially fond of cheese, peas, and any other table scraps.   We learned two years ago that my son is allergic to cats, and now my husband claims he is, too.  Bailey lives with a great family now, and I check on his Facebook status now and then.   He's still fat and happy.

When Bailey went to live with his new family, my son immediately said, “Now we can get a dog!”   

Yeah, right!  We’re not getting a dog in the near future nor will I ever be asked to judge any dog shows in my lifetime again.  When I was in TV, I was asked to be a local judge for a dog show where I worked in Columbus County, North Carolina.  I clearly knew nothing about dogs, and still don’t today except  I have the opinion that they require a lot of work such as being walked and taken outside to go the bathroom even in the rain, sleet or snow.   Despite my lack of knowledge, I said yes to the invitation because I thought it would be fun.

My radio buddy, Mitch, judged the show with me along with the town’s local veterinarian. I also encouraged my TV colleague, Paul, to cover this little dog feature on a Saturday when he could have been doing something else so it was even on the local news.   My parents, who owned a beach house 45 minutes away, drove up for the event, too.  They had nothing better to do, and it was an excuse to take my colleagues and me out to eat at one of Whiteville’s local favorite restaurants, Dales Seafood , after the event.

For some crazy reason, I  bought a white shirt with black polka-dots to wear for the event.  In my Hines-Sight, it was a bad fashion decision for the event.  I looked like a Dalmatian and perhaps could easily been confused as a contestant.

The Westminster dog people would have passed out if they had seen this dog show.  My friend, Mitch, grew up with dogs and he’s also well read so he certainly held his own with the more experienced panel.   Because of my job, I was asked a lot to judge festival beauty pageants so that was my only judging experience aside from judging the most beautiful and largest strawberries in the town.   Being a cat owner, I ranked as the least experienced judge, but perhaps the most persuasive.

While judging about ten dogs, I fell in love with a dog that would fall into the toy category of a true dog show.  He had so much personality and the cutest face.   I thought he should win “Best in Show”.  It wasn’t an unanimous decision at first, but I think everyone wanted the judging to end so we declared my favorite the winner after some discussion.   It didn't make some dog owners too happy, but the dog winning owner was delighted.
My dad, who was known for not holding back his opinion, said to me after the winner was announced,  “Dog gone it!  You picked the wrong (bleep) dog to win.   That dog over there should have won “Best in Show”.  You should have listened to the vet because he was the only one who knew what he was doing.  YOU and your dalmation looking shirt need to get out of here before there is an outcry."

It’s been 18 years since that dog show and I can't even remember to buy what is on my grocery list these days so the winning dog is a faint memory, but I think he looked a lot like my friend’s dog in Michigan.  This little shih tzu melts my heart.  His name is Barolo and is named after a wine in Northern Italy.  They are wine fans!  He’s called Rolo for short.   Isn't he cute?  If the dog 18 years ago  looked like Rolo then I'm standing by my pick.

And if my son was judging a dog contest then there is no question that this canine would come in first place.

I’m sure you have your favorites, too.  Go to the Hines-Sight Blog Facebook page, and share your dog’s photo with me.   Be sure to include his breed (mixed or pure), age, name, and your first name.  Share the link with your friends and ask them to hit “like".   The dog with the most “likes” on his  photo will have his photo featured in the Hines-Sight Blog.   Our little dog show will run through February 28th.  Wonder how many different breeds we can showcase?

Until next time, I’m grabbing a cup of tea and am looking forward to seeing your best friends on Facebook.

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