October is the World Series.
February is the Westminster Dog Show.
We watch the WDS, not for the pure-bred dogs and crazy poodle haircuts, but for the geography and history lessons taught for each bred shown.
Hound dogs include sight hounds and scent hounds. You can easily tell which category a hound fits into: a sight hound is taller so they can see over obstacles and terrain; scent hounds are low to the ground so they can smell their way along the terrain. But then there is the otter hound. It is a scent hound, seeking the smell in water. They have webbed feet, oily coats, and always wet beards. No one would assume they fit in with beagles or afghan hounds.
Tonight we will be waiting for the Sporting Group. Why? We have two crazy, rescued dogs who are represented in the sporting group. Sophie, our gordon setter (is she?) fits the description for her breed: "as a high energy, intelligent breed, they need plenty of physical and mental exercise and human contact to maintain peak condition. Gordons are alert, lively and loyal dogs, devoted to family. They are gentle with children and tend to show strong protective instincts toward "their" kids."
Well, it all sounds like Sophie until you get to this sentence: " They tolerate attention from people they do not know rather than seeking such attention. " PLEASE! Sophie demands attention... we mere humans are her attention giving slaves.
"Sophie the brat, Gordon Setter type, #4"
Shado is a flat coated retreiver. Again, he is a rescue dog - his previous owner said he tugged too much.
" A dog that needs a job..." - no kidding. Anyone have a sled that needs pulling?
"Shado Magoo, Flat Coated Retriever #2"
E. and I do not have pedigree (or should I say, lack of pedigree) issues with our dogs. We have never wanted a 'fashion accessory'. Our guys are unique, annoying at times, busy expending energy, and bundles of love. We would probably never attend a dog show. The pampered, moussed, styled dogs aren't our style. But learning the breeds, their use and their geography, is a fun day in school.
The Westminster Dog Show ends tonight (Tuesday night). We watch it on USA network - the sporting group 'runs' tonight before 'Best in Show' is judged.
Sophie will be watching on one side of the couch, Shado on the other side. E. and I, the humans, will be scratching their ears and cheering on their breeds.