Greenport resident and former dog trainer descibes her experience at the 136th Westminster Dog Show in Manhattan on Monday.
As the proud owner of 14-year-old (but ever sprightly) French bulldog, I decided to take the Long Island Railroad bright and early from Greenport Monday morning into Manhattan for the first day of the 136th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden.
That afternoon, 39 French bulldogs were shown on the famous green carpeted floor of the arena — of course, they were the reason why I wanted to go. But in the meantime, I met several fabulous dogs as I walked through the staging area, where the dogs were groomed and the handlers tried to relax before stage time.
A couple of dogs really stood out to me.
Sharon Roberson of Canada introduced me to her gorgeous white American Eskimo named Nuuktok's Atka Inukshuk — seriously. But she calls her Inuk for short. Inuk is a three-time winner of best in breed, and a two-time winner of specialty shows. Inuk, an extremely gentle-tempered and affectionate pooch, also works as a hospice dog.
Roberson first started showing dogs 26 years ago, and though she said she still enjoys the craft, she added: "The more success, the more stress."
Next, I met French bulldog, Kicking Bear 'n Keric Party Like a Rock Star, — or Zeppelin, for short. Kerry Boyd is his handler and breeder who helped him get the best puppy award in the 6-month challenge. Three weeks ago Zeppelin also won an award in the best breed category. Zeppelin is very cute and deserves all he's achieved — but he doesn't look too happy about it. Cheer up, rock star — you have a long way to go.
Then came the showing of the Frenchies at 1 p.m. I loved seeing all those dogs together, showing their best. After that, it was time for me to head back to Greenport.
But, let's not forget Cowboy, the Mattituck mastiff owned by Diane Harkoff (who also owns — Cowboy is competing on Tuesday, and the showing will air on USA Network at 8 p.m.