The National Dog Show: Behind The Scenes
Dogs have been a big part of my Thanksgiving Day for as long as I can remember.
Let’s face it: that parade is a bit much. If you’re anything like me, you grudgingly watch because it’s for the sake of tradition but only stick around because you know that as soon as it’s over, there will be DOGS.
When Purina invited me to see The National Dog Show Presented by Purina for myself, my answer was, “umm, heck yeah.” From watching for years and years, I knew there would be a lot of dogs in the ring but what actually awaited me completely blew my mind, and that’s the part I’m going to share with you today. Imagine dogs, dogs, dogs as far as the eye can see. The more. It was other-worldly.
After getting checked in at the convention center, you’ll feel absolutely overwhelmed stepping into the exhibit halls. There’s a lot going on, but that’s not a terrible thing. It’s all good stuff, and you’ll quickly begin to feel like you never want to leave!
Once I got used to the sensory overload of show dogs and their owners zipping back and forth, the sound of hairdryers and excited conversation, and the sweet scent of carnival food, I took a look around and thought that being here every day just might cure my depression.
Before the main event, the dogs are shown in smaller rings, which is a delight to watch. I’s sort of like the semi-finals before the big time. Imagine 30 golden retrievers, 30 pugs, 30 beagles, 30 greyhounds, 30 Brussels Griffons, (etc, etc, etc.) trotting around a ring. It’s simply the best. Between these rings are rows upon rows of dogs getting clipped and groomed before the show or waiting patiently in their crates for the next show or to take a well-deserved rest after showing. While the show itself was great, walking around the exhibit halls and experiencing this was my favorite part. It’s so different from what you get to see on TV and you get an up-close look at just how pristine these dogs are. Oh, and the best part? When they’re not working, you can pet most of them—you just have to be sure to ask! (I even got to hold one.)
Going to the show in-person is definitely going to be the new tradition. Another tradition I’m proud to be a part of? Purina’s been holding their #DOGTHANKING campaign each Thanksgiving for the last few years. For every Tweet, Instagram, and Facebook post with a #dogthanking hashtag and @purina tag will donate $1 (up to $25,000) to a pet-loving charity. This year, it’s Tony LaRussa’s Animal Rescue Foundation’s Pets & Vets program. This charity pairs shelter dogs with veterans who are transitioning back to civilian life. Wonderful, right?
If you missed the show, fret not! You can watch it on NBC on Saturday, November 24th from 8PM-10PM.
Happy Thanksgiving, loves!