Who Did Let Those Dogs Out Anyway?

If there was any question that the Fitzpatricks are living the dream here in Lexington, it was settled last Sunday when we went to a rather large dog show at the Horse Park.

The smell of dog breath and butts, hairspray, and popcorn . . . ah, what a way to spend a weekend.

Santa was there, in his summer casuals (a short-sleeved red shirt, red knickers and red-and-white striped stockings).  Dog show people had on their signature uniforms:  knee length skirts, hose, sensible shoes for the ladies, and summer jackets and khakis for the gentlemen. My husband and I decided to go as a couple of dorks - we accidentally were dressed alike, we carried large Starbucks lattes and I had the braces. My daughter went as herself and walked 7 feet from us.

Dog people are nice, though. No one bit us, people let us walk right up to their prize-winning pooches and take pictures and go, “Aw! How cute!” 

You do have to feel bad for some of them. They obviously have put a lot of time and effort (as well as some miles) into this dog show, only to have their Akita snap at a competitor, or a springer spaniel almost poop himself with fear and anxiety. Lots of dogs walk away with nothing, and their owners are living in a van in the Kentucky Horse Park campgrounds for three days.

A dog show, I noticed, is much like one of those big craft fairs. But instead of 200 crocheted Christmas toilet paper covers that you spent all summer making, you have one dog.  And all your hopes and dreams of fame and financial security (or at least breaking even) are hinged on people who look down their noses at you, with a dog treat in your mouth, holding up your dog’s tail and chin and hoping the judge will buy your red and green toilet paper cover.

Okay, so that’s a mixed metaphor, but you know what I mean.