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.
All good performances start with a sponge bath.
A last-minute trimming is also a given.
Once clean and dry and trimmed, it’s important to protect the hair until your big moment.
No such thing as too much hair protection.
“How did I get here?”
Sometimes the wait for your turn can seem interminable.
It helps to be sitting next to your kindred spirit.
Or laying next to him.
And then, excitement builds.
A treat always helps calm the nerves.
If you stoop to being nervous, that is.
When you know you’ve got what it takes, why worry?
Ok, maybe a little worry.
And then, before you know it: Showtime!
Slow and steady is the right way to start.
But then you gotta pick up the pace.
Like really pick up the pace.
Until it becomes time to strike a pose.
There are no second chances.
It’s all in the judges’ hands now.