My husband’s adult son and his son’s wife are rapidly become experts in the world of competitive show dogs. As the owners of two gorgeous Samoyed dogs, one of which is just 3 points away from being crowned a Grand Champion, they frequently travel around the country on the competitively dog show circuit. Conversely, the extent of my knowledge about such things is taken from having once watched the 2000 movie Best in Show, with Fred Willard, Eugene Levy, and Catherine O’Hara.
If you have read my blog about maintaining relationships with adult children, you know that I make an effort to engage in my childrens’ lives by spending time with them, so when my husband and I heard that his son and his son’s wife were travelling from Colorado – where they live – to Oklahoma City for 2015 OKC Summer Classic Dog Show, we of course decided to make a day of it and drive to Oklahoma to spend the day with them. Just 3 hours from where we live, it was a great excuse to visit, spend a little time with them, and actively try to engage in their lives.
Having never attended such an event before, however, I was at a bit of a loss at first with what to make of it all, and then suddenly it dawned on me that dog shows are a lot like beauty pageants, so for fun, I thought I’d share with you my recap of the things that dog shows and beauty pageants have in common.
I tell my husband all the time, “beauty does not just happen”, and nowhere can you see this more clearly than behind the scenes of a beauty pageant. “Organized chaos” is the phrase that fits the best, with people running all over the place, contestants packed in like sardines, and everyone primping and preening, and trying to get ready – with a cloud of hair spray in the air thick enough to delete the earth’s ozone layer – at all times.
Those new to competition may panic – as awareness dawns that yes, they look amazing, but so does everyone else. They’re struck with fear over how they’re going to stand out.
It feels a lot like a meat market with all the contestants all lined up and with the judges looking on, and most contestants are thinking, “I wonder if they’re all just staring at my butt.”
Competitions on physical beauty alone are so subjective, so there is always the requirement of the contestants to show a talent. Talent, as interpreted for such competitions however, is fairly loosely defined, so even those contestants for whom the closest they’d previously come was shaking their pom poms for cheer squad can usually still get by.
There’s always drama – especially when one of the contestants sees her guy checking out one of the other contestants – things unravel fast when that happens.
A fight is sure to break out – nothing draws a crowd faster than girls fighting.
And you can bank on it, before the evening is over someone will have a total meltdown.
Contestants that make it this far usually begin to dial it all in. Some even begin to have fun.
It’s all about getting noticed and some contestants will do just about anything to get the judges attention. If it’s not against the rules, someone will probably try it.
Of course everyone is trying to win the main prize, but if a contestant has a great personality, they could win a prize for being the most congenial. This adorable and super chill Pomeranian, named ‘Flash’ (below) would be my choice.
When you’re talking dog – or people – beauty pageants, at the end of the day only one takes the grand prize, and that’s important to remember because not every contestant can win every time, so whether a contestant wins that day or not, it’s always good to keep a sense of humor and just try to have fun. Compete to win, yes, but realize you’re still the same you – win, lose, or draw – no need to let your self esteem be determined by some random panel of judges.
That’s good to remember – even if you’re not a dog.