Thursday, March 09, 2006

The jury out on Crufts for another year

We watch this doggie show on TV every year, probably because from a situation where our formative years featured canines quite largely, our somewhat later years include no doggies at all. The substitute is about a million bewildering breeds of all shapes and sizes in the BBC's highlights programme from the UK's biggest dog show.

Tonight I was pleased to have reaffirmed again that for all the breeding and preening dogs are still just dogs. The presenter (who owns a black Labrador of his own) was flanked by a Westfalian Champion Wooly-Haired Whifflehound on one side and on the other sat a common or garden Welsh Border Worrier. The Whiffle, being the better bred of the pair, was, at about 200 pounds in weight, trying to climb into its proud owner's jacket pocket, because the Worrier was looking at it!

The presenter went on about the various prizes and made his links quite well, as the Whifflehound, a winner in its class, continued to try to escape the sniffing snout of the black and white patty snatcher. At one stage, the Worrier even blinked in the general direction of our champion.

There was a real "I can take him" vibe from the slightly built (but perfectly formed) Worrier. It surely was too much to bear! All that the Westy wanted was the warmth of the sofa and a rub behind the ears as its owner watched Corrie.

Each year we enjoy the spectacle of worthy winners looking bemusedly from behind well-draped ringlets, or fancy runners-up wafting along on castor-like paws across the carpeted arena. And every single one of them, under all the powder and paint (yes, we know all the tricks now) is just a bum-sniffing, leg-cocking, car chasing mutt at the back of it all.

Wouldn't it be great to have a supercharged exterior and still get to pee against trees? Maybe that's a bad example... I can cock a leg with the best of them. But still. To get a grand prize of a golden ribbon and have someone rub your belly by the fire as you eat crunchy treats... Again, a bad example....

Crufts continues on the BBC until Sunday night.

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