The Dog Show


I have long maintained that, if one had to own a dog, one's dog should be well bred, and that opinion, often expressed, is how I came to be invited to judge the Dog Show. ( I do not own a dog at present and, if I did, it would likely be any stray who followed me home.) If dogs at a dog show were humans at a human show, they might be referred to as "blue bloods." I, however, am red-blooded, unless you count my liver which has a blue sheen to it after a few martinis.


What was I talking about? Oh yes. A judge is treated quite well, considering he is no candidate for a blue ribbon himself no matter what color his liver. Led by a portly lady in a long dress (possibly a dress from last year's Opera season), I, with the other bent shirts serving as judges, found myself in a large green-carpeted ring. The carpet held no stains which came as a surprise for they are dogs and would naturally be nervous on such an occasion, as would you or I. No matter, they probably have their own lavatory. I digress. I am sorry for that but you might have stopped me.


I was to judge terriers. It would have been more flattering to offer me Best in Show, but that enviable category was given to another. Still, if not respect for an old newspaperman, they might at least have been influenced by my socializing with Kaufman and Broun, as fine a pair of gentlemen as have ever held an inside straight. You should not have asked me to tell you this story if you intended to sigh every time I got off the subject.


The terriers gave the distinct impression that they rather enjoyed my fiddling at their hind ends, though I would knock down any man who fiddled with mine. At the northern end, I had to elevate their lips and pretend to know as much about dentistry as Doris' brother-in-law who paws about in our mouths twice a year. I wondered if I should, as does the brother-in-law, apply gas to the dogs while I grope for cavities, bridges and other indications of chicanery. I withered each dog with my dignity, except one.


The Dandie Dinmont (a breed, not a doorman), whose real name is Ch Hobergays Fineus Fogg, called "Harry," is owned by Bill Cosby. They tell me this Cosby fellow is a fine entertainer and author. There was no way I could have known without being told, for he was only eight when last I saw him (or anyone else, for that matter) in 1945 in Philadelphia.


I poked over terriers wiry and smooth, large and small, and the prize went to Cosby's Harry. Perhaps I am partial to authors, but a judge's decision is irrefutable. Especially if his wife agrees.