Westminster Dog Show Live Updates: Sage, a Miniature Poodle, Wins Best in Show

A-listers flocked to New York last weekend for the biggest event of their careers, arriving by car and chauffeur or on planes surrounded by entourages. They don’t even carry their own passports, much less their kibble or squeaky toys.

However, they are all very good dogs.

Around 2,500 High quality dogs They are in New York City to participate in this year’s competition Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Breeding, the marquee event, begins on Monday, while several hundred dogs have already battled it out in events that test agility, obedience and ability to dive far from docks.

Getting on the show requires years of practice and effort. Getting to the show requires extensive planning by owners and handlers, who plan hours- or days-long road or plane trips, pack thousands of dollars worth of gear — grooming tables, industrial-strength hair dryers, leashes, collars, toys, kibble and more — and delays or cancellations. Pray that nothing disrupts their itinerary.

Treats are non-negotiable.

“I try to stock up on healthy, single-ingredient treats like freeze-dried duck or freeze-dried liver,” says Shel Lewis, 71, who came to New York with a Russell terrier and a Cairn terrier. However, on show days, her dogs get “excellent and high value.”

“McDonald’s includes a drive-thru to pick up two sausage biscuits — I get the biscuit, they get the sausage,” he said.

In the United States, accumulating titles in local, regional and national dog competitions requires consistent driving, and long trips are the norm. Most dogs, their trainers say, are used to the road.

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Ms. Lewis drove 14 hours from Geneva, her 2-year-old Russell terrier, to compete in the agility event for Spangle (alas, Spangle was knocked out in the preliminaries.) Mrs. Lewis also brought Nora. Her 7 year old Cairn Terrier.

“They haven’t learned to drive yet, but they’re great travelers,” Ms Lewis said.

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