We took a break from watching the skiing, snowboarding and skating competitions in Vancouver last night to watch a little canine competition in New York City.
On Monday night the hounds took the ring at Madison Square Garden for the Westminster Kennel Club show. At the Chez Nelson Spa and Pampered Pets here in Roanoke, home to two retired racing greyhounds, we were most excited that top three spots were awarded to sighthounds.
A whippet called Chanel will represent the hounds in the Best in Show competition. A brindle greyhound, very similar in appearance and personality to our beautiful Coral, and a Scottish deerhound were runners-up. Coral, by the way, seemed unimpressed by her beauty queen look-a-like, snoozing through the whole competition.
Fourth place went to a petite basset griffon vendeen, a scenthound.
(Sighthounds, including greyhounds, whippets and dachshunds, hunt using their superior peripheral vision; scenthounds, including beagles, bassets and bloodhounds, hunt nose to the ground, using their keen sense of smell.)
Whippets, which looks like a merry, miniature version of their greyhound cousins, are usually a crowd favorite at dog shows. They perhaps steal a few more hearts at Westminster since a prized whippet named Vivi was lost at Kennedy airport after the 2006 show. Vivi escaped from her travel crate, darted into the woods and, despite and extensive search, was never seen again.
Tuesday night Chanel will face a poodle (toy group), a French bulldog (non-sporting group), a puli (herding group) and the winners of tonight’s sporting, working and terrier* groups for the Best in Show title.
*Tonight we will cheer for the American Staffordshire terrier, the closest relative we can guess to our mutt Stormy. The favorite to win the whole show is a Scottish terrier.