This is one of my non GSD-centric posts, so I apologize in advance.
Watching the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York was a dream come true. We got to Madison Square Garden an hour before the show and walked around the benching area, looking at the upcoming Working Group winners being prepped. Saw the Leonberger sound asleep, and the Giant and Standard Schnauzer getting groomed. Prior to going in, we saw a lot of dogs being loaded up for their trips home, where I got to pet a gorgeous Tibetan Mastiff.
Some behind the scenes stuff: The emcee (the guy you hear every year on TV) was rehearsing with the camera people and lighting people on the floor, and when he would announce "And now the winner of the Hound Group, Dog Number Zero!" a production assistant would run around the floor (the audience, in the spirit of fun, cheered for the production assistant). One geeky fact--those boxes you see with the breed name on the floor have a removable cover, and prior to the next group, they just lift the cover and there's the breed name for the following group. Very efficient.
The White Bull Terrier bitch (the "Target" dog) in the Terrier Group had my favorite moment at WKC--she was absolutely RIVETED by some smell on the ground during her turn in front of the Group Judge; the dog planted her front feet, nose to the carpet, and in true terrier fashion, would. not. move. The crowd was roaring, and as I have great experience with humiliation from a naughty dog (yes, I'm looking at YOU, Athena), she instantly became my favorite terrier. The handler started cracking up, and had an expression like "What are you gonna do?", receiving consoling pats from handlers on either side of her when she finally managed to get the terrier back to their box. The impish little girl wasn't done; she barked her head off the whole rest of the Terrier Group competition, jumping in joy and wagging her white whip of a tail. Loved it.
During Best in Show, we screamed our voices gone (seriously, we probably drowned out David Frei) for the fluffdorable Old English Sheepdog SWAGGER. What a pup (literally--he's only 20 months!). Swagger didn't go home empty-handed; he won Best In Show Reserve, which is new this year. It's essentially runner up, I guess if the winner can't fulfill his/her duties? Anyway. We really thought that the German Wirehair Pointer had it in the bag, but NOPE. Another Toy Group winner this year (the Affenpinscher) got the cup. We didn't agree with the winner, but neither of us yelled that the American Foxhound was robbed or call the victor an "Assenpincher" like the guy in front of us. Hahaha. Classic. I passed out a few cards for my book; not as many as I had hoped, but it really was too crowded to really talk to people. Enjoy the photos of my dream come true!