8:01 133rd Westminster coverage is getting underway. Only the Kentucky Derby has been running longer. Goosebumps? Present and accounted for!
8:03 I'm lacking my traditional beverage. What to do?
8:06 Release the hounds!
8:07 Pat Trotter, bless her heart, arranges the dog by size for their trip around the ring. She spoke at the Clumber spaniel national specialty last year. She's been where all those handlers are now and I suspect she will put them all at ease.
8:10 That's the top winning Basset bitch of all time. Darn cute too.
8:12 Listen to the commentary they are hearing at Madison Square Garden. The blurbs come from the breed clubs who know the breeds best. You might hear some words I wrote tomorrow night.
8:13 I probably wouldn't wear black if I were showing a black and tan coonhound, unless I was trying to hide something, or I was showing a white dog later on that had a better chance. The handler is supposed to be the frame of the picture, or maybe the matte. The really good handlers disappear entirely, but the black outfit makes the dog disappear too.
8:16 The 8 year old Borzoi may be an older dog for this group, but stay tuned for tomorrow night! I predict you'll see a lovely dog that's a bit older.
8:17 The smooth dachshund is from the UK! Having brought a dog to Crufts a few years ago, I'd give 'em bonus points for making the trip.
8:18 I guess this isn't the year Carlos Puig gets a new jacket. Retire that blue thing already!
8:20 Linda Clark looks great, as always. And calm!
8:21 The English foxhound definitely looks like she could work with a pack. First half of the group done and I don't have a pick yet. It's going to be a lot tougher this year. I haven't been to a lot of shows and haven't been following results and advertising like usual.
8:23 I don't envy the Norwegian elkhound handler. Pat Trotter is the goddess of elkhounds, and judges traditionally have high expectations for their own breed.
8:24 Taffe looks fab in her traditional boots. I want that pink jacket!
8:25 Okay, now I have a pick. The Harrier is stunning!
8: 26 Bunny's daughter looks great. I was eager to see her after spotting her name (Ch Luxor's Playmate of the Year, former Westminster group winner) in the results.
8:27 No comment on that hat. She usually shows Danes. Outside? Fine. No need for it at the Garden.
8:45 Though I'm tired of Pedigree, the ads are out-pacing the Super Bowl ads so far. But ask me again in an hour or two.
8:28 I love Otterhounds! (especially Louie, a former breed winner) Never ever want to live with one, but they will always have a softspot for me.
8:30 The PBGV is always a crowd favorite. And for very good reason. Someday I hope the AKC recognizes the Grande version.
8:31 The Pharaoh hound shows just how slippery that damn carpet is.
8:32 Lovely Rhodesian ridgeback. He could get a piece of the group. I'm still going with the Harrier though.
8:34 The saluki is a "pupscicle", the product of frozen semen. Boys can have a lot of impact on a breed for a very long time.
8:35 Couldn't wait to see the whippet. Breeders who always have good ones, and a handler whose writing about the dog show world I have followed for years. Neither disappointed. I would love to have a whippet someday.
8:37 My top pics are the harrier, Basset, whippet, ridgeback, and maybe the basenji or Ibizian. Not necessarily in that order, though I think the Harrier will take it.
8:38 How did I miss the bloodhound? She's beautiful!!!
8:41 Shows how much I know.... Terriers up next. And I still don't have a beverage.
8:48 CD is snoring!
8:51 It will be a miracle if I get through the Angel on a Leash presentation without turning into a blubbering mess. We're hoping our next Clumber can be part of the group of dogs who visits Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh.
8:53 Terriers are next. They have tended to dominate Westminster, and there are some strong contenders like the Sealyham.
8:56 Just about time to move over to CNBC. USA should grow a pair and show the whole thing. Bollocks.
9:01 Mr Terrier indeed. Peter Green, one of my all-time favorite people in dogs, is judging. And about damn time too.
9:03 The conflict is that Ernesto worked for and was mentored by Peter for many years. I have never seen that happen, but it was an exceedingly classy move. It will probably be controversial though.
9:05 No jokes about the Bedlington trim, please.
9:06 Peter Green could read me the phone book.
9:07 Love border terriers. They make great family pets, if the family is up to the challenge of a terrier to begin with.
9:08 The colored bull terrier bitch is showing very, very well.
9:10 Holy moly...Peter has excused another one due to conflict of interest. It was done so calmly that every must have known what was going on in advance.
9:11 My tolerance must be going up. I haven't spotted any truly hideous outfits yet.
9:13 Don't panic about Peter pulling on the dog's tail. David Frei's explanation was spot on.
9:14 Peter may have missed his calling as a Donald Duck impersonator. I'm glad he's stuck with dogs though.
9:16 No No No, Crufts is not second best, nor is it the British version of Westminster. It's a bit like comparing Apples and Oranges. Yes, you have to qualify for Crufts, but it's more than that.
9:20 Scott Sommer handling the Lakeland for the Dowds. They have supported Clumbers and Sussex, among others. Pretty Lakeland.
9:22 Mini bulls are too cute for their own good. Go Laura!!!
9:24 Not loving the miniature schnauzer. Watch Peter go and give it a piece of the group. Still quacking....
9:25 My apologies. I usually have much more to say about the terriers. I blame the lack of beverages.
9:26 Little trick for keeping the Norfolk and Norwich terriers straight. Pointy ears on the Norwich (nor-ich), like a witch's hat.
9:28 Like herding dogs, terriers need jobs. If you don't give them one, they will make something up. You won't like it.
9:29 Most of the terriers think they are superior to their owners. And no freaking out about the tail grabbing. It's the only way to get 'em out of a hole sometimes.
9:30 These two, the scotty and the sealyham, should both get a piece of the group. My money is on the Sealy. His owner/handler is another of the good people in dogs. She helped me out by judging a puppy match when I was having a crisis a few years back.
9:31 I don't think that Skye is twice as long as he is tall, but it's tough to tell from my couch. Clumbers are another breed where it's tough to find one in the proper proportion. Huge treat when you find one though.
9:33 I like the Wheaten. Too bad I don't know squat about the breed.
9:34 Still feeling good about the Sealyham and the Scotty. Also like the Lakeland and Welsh. One of the bull terriers might also get a piece.
9:37 Hoping my picks will be better than the last group. I'll be worthless during the
non-functional non-sporting group.
9:39 So far, so good on the cut.
9:41 Quack Quack
9:42 Got the first two, and did I say that would happen with the schnauzer? Oy.
9:49 Empire State Building in purple and gold. Is there a better color combination? I think not. (My alma mater might have something to do with it.)
9:51 The only time I take more of a powder is during the Toy group. My dogs have squeaky toys bigger than most of the toy dogs.
9:53 This is the group of leftovers. I will still trade the standard poodle into the sporting group and send the three American cockers to this group.
9:54 Penguin just woke up. She can't see much but never liked watching dog shows. Piper was my dog who liked to watch. Penguin has been there, and done that! I have since learned the joys of going to Westminster without a dog.
9:57 I'll go out on a limb and say one of the poodles will place, if not both.
9:58 Wondering about the bulldog bitch. The male who won BOS is a dog I have seen but I'm not familiar with this one.
10:01 Chow Chow handler used to show my favorite Otterhound, Louie. He always has a nice chow too.
10:02 Love this dalmation's dam. He's kind of nice too.
10:03 No poop on the rug yet. 2 and a half groups down.
10:07 I hope Dorothy knows none of the dogs is going to break into a spin. Well, not tonight anyway. Maybe tomorrow.
10:08 Looking forward to the Tibetan terrier. It's not a terrier any more than the Tibetan spaniel is a spaniel.
10:09 Another dog with a famous parent, the mini poodle.
10:11 Don't get me started on the canine topiary. Standard poodles still make great family pets.
10:13 Here's the TT. So much fluff, but lots of dog under there.
10:15 I admit it. I have no earthly idea who is going to win this group. Standard poodle is the safe choice.
10:17 Yeah! She cut the TT.
10:18 I'd like to claim I'm building momentum in my picks but I could have called the poodle win from Mars. The planet.
10:21 Herding is up next. I always root for the Beardie. Always.
10:22 My fingers are starting to hurt. I am so out of blogging shape. Also answering questions on Plurk and tweeting just a bit. Eyes are going buggy.
10:27 It would be more fun if they brought a few sheep or geese out for these dogs to herd.
10:28 Mary Carillo should stick to tennis, where I could avoid her.
10:30 I'll say it again...these are all dogs who need jobs. I love asking people who are getting border collies in the city where they plan to keep the sheep.
10:31 Aussie looks very nice. Love to see breeder/owner/handlers too.
10:32 Beardies always make me go weak in the knees. Beardie bounce!
10:33 There are really four of the Belgian herding dogs. When will we see a Lakenois?
10:35 The Tervuren is nice, also with a breeder/owner/handler. I'll make it an early pick to get a piece.
10:37 The Bouv handler is yet another of the really good people in dogs. I'll never forget how he chatted with me ringside right before my Animal Planet interview a few years ago. I'm sure he has no idea but it kept me calm and really meant a lot.
10:39 Is that the first ever Canaan not handled by Andy Linton?
10:40 Half a group left. I think I can. I think I can. I think I can. Battery is starting to die...may have to plug in.
10:42 Could another Scottish dog be heading to best in show? Rough collie is pretty. Not showing their best though.
10:45 Another breeder/owner/handler on the Old English. She's won the group before but it's been a while.
10:46 No David, that's Jere Marder.
10:48 The Pembroke is cute. Would love to know if that was an upset. I expected to see the BOS Pembroke tonight.
10:49 Bonus points for the Puli bounce too. They will get a piece of the group, I think.
10:51 Time for picks and my eyes have glazed over. I know who I like. I suspect the judge will not agree. I like the Terv, the Puli, and the Old English. And the Beardie.
10:55 I guess he didn't really forget the Puli. Excellent choice.
10:57 See y'all tomorrow night. Sporting group leads off. Watch for a surprise or two. I will have beverages, dammit. Rosa Regale, where are you?