This morning I had to work at a dog show to help the organization I work for get some much-needed funds. And you know what? That movie “Best In Show” is real! I swear, Christopher Guest must have walked into every dog show in his area and took copious notes, all while laughing maniacally: “This is going to be great!”
Dog People are one thing; dogs are great for companionship and what have you, and while dog folks can be a little silly and talk baby talk or dress their dog in a sweater, most people are fairly normal when it comes to their dogs. But Dog Show People? They are crazy. They will pay $450 just to have someone “show” their dog, to spend 10 minutes running around a little ring. Their dogs dress nicer than they do. I saw so many foofy, blow-dried dogs, and then you see their masters and they are wearing an old polyester suit and scuffed flats, looking like your crazy Aunt Mildred. (Or was that crazy Aunt Mildred?) Come on! I know the whole point is to downplay yourself and play up the dog, but at least wear something decent.
Anyway, I was watching the gate where the handlers and owners could come in from the parking lot. No one was allowed to drive in because the last thing the AKC would want is a lawsuit when someone ran over one of these dogs that cost more than my entire wardrobe. So there I am, when this woman came by with her two giant Irish Wolfhounds. I remarked, “Aww, look at these big guys.” That is generally a cue to dog owners to stop and let you gush and pet their wonderful, prodigious animals. Dog show people, not so much. She ignored my obvious bid to pet her two ginormous monsters. The woman proceeded to ask me if she could bring her car in the gate and leave the car running with the dogs inside. I told her no, because the AKC wouldn’t allow it. (Not to mention the environment, yeesh.) She seemed aggravated, turned to walk off, then turned around, looked at me and says, “Well, I’m going to leave them in the car, and they’ll die, and it’ll be all your fault. The AKC wouldn’t allow THAT.” I was like, “Are you freaking serious?” There I am, sitting in the full sun in Southern California on a quite warm day, while all over the grounds, there were shade trees and tents just for dogs. Wha??
Thankfully, my brain waited long enough for her to walk away before flapping on its hinges to say some not nice words. But it was a close call. I had to remember: The organization I work for needs the money. $2,000 will pay rent for our office for two months and then some, or pay for an entire trip to a third-world country to minister to prostitutes and maybe change some lives. And to think, one of these dogs cost more than that. Ugh. I think I need to go puke.