While the whip-smart Obedience and perfectly-primped Best-In-Show champions of this year's Westminster Dog Show have yet to be crowned, hundreds of very good boys and good girls were on hand during Saturday's "Meet the Breeds" expo at Piers 92 and 94. A day meant to highlight the unique talents, history, and, yes, human culture of Rottweilers, Labradors, Poodles, Schnauzers, and Spaniels, Saturday was packed with both dog-owners and dog-lovers (plus a few cats that managed to sneak in).
Also spotted: dogs leaping through rings, dashing through chutes, and braving the see-saws in the agility competition, which drew hundreds of fans to Pier 94. Die-hard canine loyalties were on display while the concessions stands sold nachos, hot dogs, and beer at a steady clip (after a particularly good run, one man stood up from his bleacher seat, raised a fist, and screamed "WOOOO! Let's go Sparkles!").
For those turned off by the overly-manicured competitive pooches of Westminster and their manic owners, Meet the Breeds is a perfectly low-stress chance to give belly rubs to hundreds of gorgeous, well-trained dogs. It's also a window into the slightly-crazed world of professional dog training—the people there are chatty, good-humored, and charmingly obsessive. Next year, come for the hounds but stay for their humans—get a glimpse through our video from last year's show: