June 20, 2010

Beirut Dog Show

The participants for Best Female at the Beirut Dog Show

While the rest of Beirut gathered around their TV sets to see the Dutch inch themselves closer  to total victory, I joined the ranks of dog enthusiasts at the Beirut Hippodrome.

Beta (Beirut for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) organized a dog show. I’d never been to a dog show, not here, and not outside either. But a friend asked if I was interested, and my daughter Hana got hold of that conversation. “Dog show? Yes! We are going to a dog show!”
Beirut dogs at the Beta Dog Show in the Hippodrome of Beirut

And thus we ended up at this Beta Dog Show. You could even participate. Well heck, if you’re going to visit a dog show, you might as well join the fun. The categories of ‘Best Senior’ and ‘Best Disabled Dog’ were the only ones where our old dog would stand a chance. After all, he’s positively ancient, deaf, and blind (progressive retinal atrophy, they call it, seems common with his breed, a bearded collie). We bought the dog, Boeffie, at the birth of my son, hoping that the presence of a dog would instill in him a lifelong love and respect for animals. While that failed to materialize, we did end up with a dog that has clung to life with a vengeance. And so, with 16 years of life to his name, we thought he’d stand a chance as ‘best senior’. All the other categories (best male, most obedient, friendliest, best breed, most beautiful) were not applicable to our dog. He doesn’t even look like a bearded collie anymore, since we shave him every spring, in order to help him make it through the summer without a heat stroke or a heart attack.
Lots of photographers making pictures of the dog. This lady helped her dog a little getting a close-up.  

And so we went, with dogs in tow. Two friends dragged their dogs (participating in the best male, best female, and friendliest category) along as well. I must say, the atmosphere at the Hippodrome was positively relaxed.
It was clear that everybody had the same attitude as we had. They all came with the family dog, and inscribed the poor mutt in a category, without much faith in the outcome. After all, most owners either didn’t know the exact breed of their dog, or had a mutt, or thought they had a pure bred dog which turned out to be a mix after all. They didn't come to win, they came to have fun. And fun we had!
And I dare say, politics must be kind of slow these days as the entire press corps seemed to be present. There were big dogs, small dogs, dogs with jackets and booties, dogs with massive chains, hairy dogs and groomed poodles with nail polish. They behaved quite well with one another.
The 6 participants in the Best Senior category in front of the jury; Hana is the 2nd on the left (yellow T-shirt).

To our great surprise, our dog, Boeffie, won First Prize in the Best Senior category. The others (between 12 and 9 years old) were no match for our 112-year old deaf and blind centenarian (one dog year apparently equals 7 human years).
What do you mean, lack of news? The Israelies must be laying low these days.

My daughter was pleased to no end. She got a trophy. When some time later, he was called in again for the ‘most disabled’ category, he was up against a 3-legged dog and a limping one; that was a hard act to follow. He got 3rd place there (out of 3 participants). Another victory, as far as my daughter was concerned. We went home with a bag of dog food, 2 trophies, and lots of stories to tell. We're going again next year. If he's still alive then.


didie said...

mabrook! :D

Anonymous said...

Haha congratulations:) and hope for future victories:)!!! Wonderful reportage!