As exhibitors, our favorite dog show is the Golden Gate Kennel Club’s event at the Cow Palace. The show runs the last Saturday and Sunday of January every year, and it’s unusual because it is “benched.” That means the dogs in competition must come be on available for public viewing the whole day. Just like at the Westminster show, at the Cow Palace dogs and their owners cannot show up just before ring time and leave as soon as judging is over. They have to remain on the bench so non-exhibitors can see them up close.
For the past three years Sequel has been on display by 10 am and hasn’t left before 4:30 or 5, except for a brief foray into the judging ring each day. It’s a long day for a little dog.
But, what fun!
We’ve talked to a teary-eyed elderly woman who remembered the pet she had before the war… it looked just like Sequel. There was the group of Egyptian exchange students who had never seen a pet dog before coming into the Cow Palace, and they were stunned at the different looks, sizes, and temperaments of the canines around them. Smiling adults come by to share their stories of childhood companions and more recent dog friends. And, most of all, there are the wide-eyed children who come by to try on the different breeds.
We generally sit in front of the bench with Sequel in our laps. Signs everywhere warn the visitors to ask before petting dogs, and most do. Sequel is a good girl, and doesn’t squirm when packs of youngsters approach with their hands out. She gets very tired, but refuses to fall asleep in her kennel like the other dogs. She won’t close her eyes and miss anything or any of her public.