Two reporters for Coog Radio attended the 2019 Houston World Series of Dog Shows and are sharing their take on the event, starting with:
We don’t deserve dogs. While perhaps patience is not the attribute for which they are best known, they are capable of nearly herculean feats of patience. This became clear as I attended the Houston World Series of Dog Shows last weekend at the NRG Center and saw one constant across the events- dogs sitting patiently, waiting on orders from their masters.
Of all the events, one group of participants stood out- creative grooming. These dogs sat, dyed in garish shades of red and blue, looking like characters from Monsters Inc, but none of them barked, yelped, whimpered, or otherwise showed any signs of distress.
The dyeing process, according to a dreadlocked man whose matted hair stood in stark contrast to his poodle’s neatly groomed fur and manicured nails, takes over a year of growth. After a year, the fur is dyed for 20-25 hours, in 2 hour segments.
All of the contestants started as standard white poodles, a fact which was not readily apparent in most of the dogs in the event. In fact, only one dog that I saw had an obviously dog shaped body and face (The Bob Ross dog pictured to the left). In fact, some of these dogs were so seriously transfigured that the line between art and animal cruelty seemed to blur in most cases. After all, dogs cannot consent to be modeled like clay, which raises the question of whether or not this event displays P.T. Barnum levels of cruelty and exhibitionism. That said, some of the dogs were extremely cute.
At first glance, the average person probably wouldn’t know what to make of the Houston World Series of Dog Shows. It goes without saying that the inexperienced dog show goer can expect the namesake, the dog shows, but I stepped into the NRG Center not knowing quite what to expect outside of that. I soon became uncertain of how to categorize this event and where to even start exploring.
The Houston World Series of Dog Shows is a testament to the unconditional love that dog owners share with their K9 companions in every step of the journey. This can be experienced through seeing the wide range of booths and services provided at the dog show and experiencing the actual dog shows being held in the midst of this convention. Anything an eager dog owner could hope to see at this event is waiting for them at the booths and scheduled events being held. I saw everything from gourmet dog treats, dog jewelry, cleaning products and gadgets, professional dog photography services, international semen banks, dog house competitions, and so many more things that I couldn’t list.
Dog shelters and rescues from all over Texas had come out to represent themselves and provide information for what they do in canines lives. There were shelters that specialized in certain breeds of dogs like Pugs, Dachshunds, and Boston Terriers. They also had artwork made by grade school students that had won the necessary competitions to be placed and presented at the Houston Dog Show. These were students ranging from elementary school to high school seniors showing off their exceptional talents with their ribbon bearing work. They even surprisingly had cats at the show. Yes, the Gulf Coast feline foundation had made an appearance and brought some of their kittens along with them, which is the last thing I would have expected given all the dogs in attendance.
Finally, after taking note of the endless booths, I made my way to see the Dog Shows. The shows would separate the dogs out by breed and color and we would experience these almost identical, well-groomed canines showing off their grace and obedience. Much of what the competition is based on is the dogs jogging around the ring with their owners and being handled by the judges. The idea of dog shows isn’t that they’re necessarily competing with each other, but its that the judges are choosing which dogs are the most ideal for their breed based on their physical structure, bones, teeth, coat, and temperament. Eventually the judges work down who is the most impressive of the dogs competing and that one dog is the winner.
As a dog owner, I can honestly say that the Houston Dog Show was a truly enlightening experience into the world of dogs and conformation events. It’s an environment filled with love and passion for canines of all types and is an experience I would highly recommend for any dog lover. I left with a new sense of appreciation for dogs and passionate dog owners and also a bag of treats for my own little dog at home.