February 13, 2013

Bill Nemitz: Here, they're all big dogs (especially Quincy)

By Bill Nemitz bnemitz@pressherald.com
Columnist

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

Jill Simmons of Falmouth, at right, celebrates after reuniting with her golden retriever Lush, center, who took part in the best of breed competition at the 137th annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Pier 94 in New York City, New York, Tuesday, February 12, 2013. At left is Lush's handler Graeme Burdon.

Gabe Souza / Staff Photographer

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The best in breed competition for golden retrievers at the 137th annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Pier 94 in New York City, New York, Tuesday, February 12, 2013, featured 61 entries, making for a crowded show ring.

Gabe Souza / Staff Photographer

Additional Photos Below

Sort of. Next up for Henry is a career as a therapy dog.

"He's not going to become a couch potato," promised Richards. "He's going to have fun and he's not going to stop moving."

Then there was Tassel, the 3-year-old golden retriever from Lebanon.

You want pressure? Try having the Westminster Kennel Club put your grooming bench right next to Chloe, the No. 1 golden in the country. (Who, not surprisingly, trotted away with "Best Opposite Sex" on Tuesday.)

"I think (Tassel) was moving a little too fast," said Maryterese Russo, a rare owner who handles her own dog, after Tassel was excused. "But she looked intelligent out there, right?"

Intelligent? Try purebred genius.

So here we are, fellow dog lovers, at the end of the line. There will be no Maine miracle in this year's "Best in Show."

But I've got to tell you, Westminster has taught me a thing or two about this dog show business.

First and foremost, these people really, really love their dogs. And their dogs really, really love them back.

Second, if you don't count the pair of 60-something women who got into a nasty argument in the Pier 92 elevator -- "Your elbow is digging into my side," snarled one. "I know!" snarled the other -- the folks here are among the nicest you'll ever meet.

Finally, as they remove the larger-than-life poster of a champion Doberman pinscher that's been staring down at me for the past two days, I'm looking forward to returning to a newsroom where I'm not surrounded by writers from "Modern Dog," "Just Labs" and the ever-authoritative "Canine Chronicle."

Nor will I ever forget the guy, again on the elevator, who squinted hard at my press credentials and finally asked, "So, you're from the Portland Pet Herald?"

That's it. I'm done.

 

Bill Nemitz can be contacted at 791-6323 or at:

bnemitz@pressherald.com

 

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Additional Photos

click image to enlarge

Handler Graeme Burdon prepares Lush, a golden retriever owned by Jill Simmons of Falmouth, to compete in the best of breed competition at the 137th annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Pier 94 in New York City, New York, Tuesday, February 12, 2013.

Gabe Souza / Staff Photographer

click image to enlarge

Quincy the Newfoundland, held by handler Karen Hansen at left, is examined by Judge Espen Engh during the best of breed competition at the 137th annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Pier 92 and Pier 94 in New York City, New York, Tuesday, February 12, 2013. Quincy is owned by Sue Mendleson of Washington, Maine.

Gabe Souza / Staff Photographer

click image to enlarge

Maryterese Russo of Lebanon plays with her golden retriever Tassel Tuesday, Februrary 12, 2013, in the benching area of the 137th annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Pier 94 in New York City, New York, before walking to the best in breed competition.

Gabe Souza / Staff Photographer



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