It's always reassuring to know your favorite toy is right nearby

It's always reassuring to know your favorite toy is right nearby

Joseph Webb

20 ridiculously cute photos from the National Dog Show outside Philly

It’s almost enough to soften the sting of Philly’s first-in-the-nation Thanksgiving Day Parade playing second fiddle to that commercialized spectacle in New York.

Every year after the coverage in Herald Square wraps, NBC turns over its broadcast to the National Dog Show — which is hosted by the Kennel Club of Philadelphia. Sure, there’s also football to watch, but this annual competition, which dates back to 1879, gets its fair share of attention. Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski have even signed on as color commentators (Weir calls himself the show’s “cultural attache”). They join actor John O’Hurley, who has emceed the broadcast for more than a decade.

In general, the National Dog Show is a high-stakes event, considered on par with Westminster, and results are kept under wraps until it airs at 12 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. However, the action actually took place last weekend at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, Pa. So even though we don’t yet know if another breed was able to wrest the crown from the Skye terrier, 2015’s reigning champ, we do have pics of all the cultured canines (and their equally cultured caretakers) doing the dog show thing.

Here are 20 of the the cutest, silliest, most dignified and all-around best photos from the show floor.

Prep starts with a sponge bath for this Norwich Terrier

Norwich Terrier

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All good performances start with a sponge bath.

Standard Poodle

Standard Poodle

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A last-minute trimming is also a given.

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Once clean and dry and trimmed, it’s important to protect the hair until your big moment.

Vicki Meadows of St. Louis with her Yorkshire Terrier, Rudy

Vicki Meadows of St. Louis with her Yorkshire Terrier, Rudy

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No such thing as too much hair protection.

West Highland White Terrier

West Highland White Terrier

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“How did I get here?”

Gordon Setter

Gordon Setter

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Sometimes the wait for your turn can seem interminable.

Bob Kelly of Brick Township, NJ with
his Old English Sheepdog, Snowy

Bob Kelly of Brick Township, NJ with his Old English Sheepdog, Snowy

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It helps to be sitting next to your kindred spirit.

MJ Cohenwith his Great Danes

MJ Cohen with his Great Danes

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Or laying next to him.

Siberian Husky

Siberian Husky

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And then, excitement builds.

Patricia Sanders of Baltimore with her Greyhounds

Patricia Sanders of Baltimore with her Greyhounds

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A treat always helps calm the nerves.

Joey from Virginiawith his Afghan Hound

Joey from Virginia with his Afghan Hound

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If you stoop to being nervous, that is.

Brittany Carella with her Pharaoh Hound, Shea

Brittany Carella with her Pharaoh Hound, Shea

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When you know you’ve got what it takes, why worry?

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Ok, maybe a little worry.

Polish Lowland Sheepdog

Polish Lowland Sheepdog

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And then, before you know it: Showtime!

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Slow and steady is the right way to start.

Afghan Hound

Afghan Hound

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But then you gotta pick up the pace.

Rindi Gaudet with her Greyhound

Rindi Gaudet with her Greyhound

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Like really pick up the pace.

Terrier GroupJudge’s Name: Harry O’Donoghue
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Until it becomes time to strike a pose.

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There are no second chances.

Pekingese

Pekingese

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It’s all in the judges’ hands now.

 

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