By Ann Hohenhaus, DVM
At the booth
In the exhibit area at Westminster Kennel Club, The Animal Medical Center joins Angels on a Leash, Take the Lead, the ASPCA, and others to answer medical questions from show attendees. Old friends often stop by to thank us for care we have given to a beloved dog. One dog lover told the story of her Afghan Hound, which fell off a ledge a the Brooklyn library, puncturing a lung and fracturing both front legs. She reported the ER staff at AMC repaired both legs with metal rods and fixed the puncture, restoring the dog to full health.
Another visitor to the booth was a veterinary colleague from out of town. On the way into the show ring, her Labrador Retriever was bitten by a dog on the way out of the show ring dashing the dog’s changes of a ribbon. We called The AMC and arranged for her dog to get first aid on its way home to have the ear repaired. The ill-behaved dog was banished from competition.
In most sporting events, one of the worst things an athlete can hear from the coach is: “you’re benched.” Not so at the Westminster Kennel Club Show. Benched is what all the dogs are in this ‘bench show.” The benching area, just off the ring in the basement of Madison Square Garden, has endeared the show to New Yorkers who come by the thousands. Benched dogs spend all day with their handlers, meeting the adoring public and getting petted so much it seems their meticulously groomed coats could be rubbed off. For a photo album of the great dogs I got to meet in the benching area click here.
What’s in a name?
While in the benching area I struck up a conversation with Darby Canyon Gracie’s Fellini, a Spinone Italiano. I inquired about his name, which was listed on his crate as Rico. The woman sitting with Rico explained her name was Grace and all her dogs have Grace in their names. Because he is of Italian descent, the Fellini part of Rico’s name comes from the famous Italian director Frederico Fellini and Frederico has been truncated to Rico, which is the call name of this handsome creature.
And the winner is…….
A member of The AMC family! Palacegarden Malachy the winning Pekingese and now Best in Show is co-owned by Professor Iris Love, a member of AMC’s’ board of trustees and lover of dogs in general. Malachy’s physical attributes make great copy. The LA Times called him a bobbing pompom, MSNBC described him as the love child of Chewbacca and an Ewok, and the person in the office next to mine reported Malachy made appearances on the morning shows sitting on a blue tuffet like Miss Muffett!
Watch a composite video of Malachy and his winning performances at the Garden: