2,600 dogs crowd Celtic Classic Dog Show

Now that nearly 2,600 dogs have vacated the York Expo Center and the Celtic Classic Dog Show, their owners from all over the east coast can relax, the dogs can go back to being just pets– not coddled kings and queens.

Owners were combing, brushing and generally prepping their four-legged family members through all Expo Center buildings. Even if you don’t own dogs, this was an event worth seeing. You’d swear the dogs were smiling back at you.24

For non-dog owners, it was a learning experience in a big way. Just the prepping was nearly comical to watch. With loving hands, owners combed and separated each hair (it seemed), tied them up in bows or rubber bands so they would look fresh for the judges.

Of course, there were short-haired dogs that needed little brushing and then the (gasp!) hairless who just needed a pair of pants and a sweater.

Just the breeds’ names mystified some of us. Glen of Imaal Terrier, Komondor, Pumi, Vizla, and my favorite, the fabled Xoloitzcuintli. Really?

22In truth, dog shows are therapeutic. How can you look at a Great Pyrenees or Bearded Collie and not smile? Or wonder which movie actor or actress looks like an Afgan Hound? (My thought is Meryl Streep in drag.)

Groups like the American Heart Association have found there are health benefits to owning a dog. Just wandering through a dog show must have at least temporary benefits.