Iceland and The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

I had lunch yesterday with B. who is going to Berlin this summer. On his way home he plans to stop off in Iceland just in time for puffling-rescue season. Brace yourself, this is a lot of cute coming up. Puffins live in Iceland, and they all have babies around the same time. Near the end of summer the parental puffins are done with the parenting thing, so they leave. The baby puffins, called pufflings, emerge and try to fly off into the North Atlantic. Unfortunately, the lights of people nearby throw them off their game, and many of them fly into town. Since they need water to take off from, they are hopelessly landlocked and would most likely die, either from starvation or being eaten by a cat or dog. However, for many generations now people go into the nooks and crannies of their villages, collect the pufflings and bring them home for the night. The next day, they are released into the ocean to fly or swim away as intended. It’s a whole lotta cute. Here’s a video about it.

So B. might get to fling ornery baby waterbirds into the ocean like a quarterback. I am envious.

Now, The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. I go every year. Here’s a previous blog entry I’ve done. The dogs, as always, were spectacular. The owners/handlers were, as always, extremely weird. Here are some of the pictures I took.

Here is my favorite breed of dog, the Borzoi (or Russian Wolfhound). So pretty, like a giant hairy cloud.

In order to keep the long-haired and/or long-eared dogs from getting shmutz on their fur-ends, the groomers have come up with a myriad of preventative devices and techniques. This is a Yorkshire Terrier getting its fur wrapped up in plastic bags and rubber bands.

And this is an Afghan wearing a snood.

I’m not a big Chihuahua fan. I’m not opposed to them either, I just don’t care very much one way or the other. This particular chihuahua, however, was extremely sweet. I could learn to love him.

Aside from the actual judging of the beasties, the other main activity is grooming. I’ve been in Supercuts that had less equipment than this event. There’s the dogs that should have smooth, straight fur:

And then there are the dogs that should have floofy, puffy fur.

The most astonishing thing to most people is how the dogs don’t bite or nip or anything. Mostly they just lay there and take it.

The most impressive example of this was the woman who, with a flashlight and an electric razor, was carefully shaving a Boston Terrier’s genitals. I am not making that up.

This groomer was great. She was grooming her Shih-Tzu in the middle of Madison Square Garden in her petticoat and bra. I guess she didn’t want to get her show outfit dirty, but have we learned nothing from The Jersey Shore? This is the ideal time to wear the shirt before the shirt.

There was also people-grooming stations. That’s the first time I’ve ever seen that.

The dogs have a lot of time to kill, so they nap, and play with small squeaky toys, but these two Shelties just stood there. Occasionally they would say something to each other. They were like the twins in The Shining.

And here’s a plethora of shots I found around the internet taken by other people.

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