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I'll take Paul Newman or Jon Hamm, thank you very much.

The American Kennel Club and many purebred dog owners/exhibitors/breeders are concerned about an increase in bullying and lack of support among exhibitors and breeders. Here's one solution: bring back dog show attendants to lessen the stress and competition in the show ring. Don't know what dog show attendants are? I didn't either until I read an account of an early Westminster Kennel Club dog show. It seems when the Westminster show first started in 1877, owners handed their dogs off to uniformed attendants to be exhibited in the ring.

Yes, that's right. You could sit down, relax, grab a beverage of your choice and watch while men provided by the kennel club strutted around with your dog! Be still my very old, wrinkly but still wild-at-heart heart!

Westminster Dog Show Illustration from 1877
Dog Show Attendants at Westminster Dog Show. The attendants are apparently the men in the Bowler hats. The top-hatted men are the judges. More than one judge was in the ring at the same time during this show at Gilmore Gardens, 1877.


Let's bring the attendant tradition back. Think of the stress reduction. Think of the camaraderie among the dog owners as they sit ringside enjoying the attendant and dog show. Avoiding the ring will free you to enjoy the dog show. No longer would you have to worry about forgetting your armband or your bra strap breaking. No worries about running out of your shoes or slipping a rancid piece of liver bait--stuck in your pocket since the last show 6 months ago--into your mouth. Concerned that the last time you exhibited under this judge he kept trying to find the testicles on your 6-to-9 month puppy bitch? Let the attendant explain the facts of life to Mr. Judge while you sit back sipping your Tanqueray and tonic. Frazzled because the only time your dog listens to you is when you dip your arms into vats of bacon fat? Hand that leash off to the nattily attired attendant and R-E-L-A-X. Dog owners will no longer get their competitive juices all hot and bothered because the owners will be enjoying fellowship and conversation while the attendants are gagging on that green-tinged liver bit under their tongues. Make the tradition even better. Auction off attendants to the highest bidders with proceeds going to doggy charities.

"Oh, YOOHOO, Paul!!!! I need you to take my 6-to-9-month puppy bitch in the ring. Here's all my earthly goods, first pick of the litter and half of my soul!"

Actor Paul Newman looking hot.
My chosen dog show attendant: Paul Newman.

NO, NO, NO. He is already taken. You must ask your favorite show committee to provide other attendants.

And believe you me. When you're sittin' around with all your fellow dog owners watching the attendants strut their stuff, I'm pretty sure you will all be happy, sharing fellowship and supporting each other. No one will have to explain or get huffy or disagree when the obvious is stated: "Wow. That's a really nice rear end."


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