Photo courtesy of Getty Images for The Westminster Kennel Club.
Fri, 06/07/2024 - 8:15pm

Editorial: June 7, 2024

It's reigning dogs!

Among all the recent publicity given to the Westminster Kennel Club dog show was the vast coverage by The New York Times, which is read worldwide. The most surprising was a front-page story with an accompanying photograph. Whether it was a slow news day or not, the publicity was most welcome and appreciated. The dog show hasn't received that kind of publicity since the heady days of Walter Fletcher, who wrote regularly for The New York Times. His regular columns included recent show results and in-depth articles about people in the sport and their accomplishments. Thursdays at Sardi’s Restaurant in Manhattan’s theater district you would find some of dogdom's elite having their weekly luncheon. Those luncheons at Sardi’s morphed into the annual Dog Fanciers Luncheon following the Westminster dog show that included the winning dog and all those associated with the winner. That was a different and old-fashioned way of networking, organized by the late Howard Atlee, who worked in the theater. There is always great interest in the dog show, and even those unfamiliar with our sport know the name and prestige it carries. For weeks following the dog show we receive inquiries from people from all walks of life asking about different breeds and their personalities and how they would fit in with their family structures. It amazes us how that one dog show can generate such interest. Imagine if there was concerted effort to capitalize on this interest and what a positive effect it would have on our often misunderstood sport. While that might be a topic for another time, it is something that should be explored and capitalized on. All throughout Europe you will find that dogs are accepted at indoor restaurants, especially those with outdoor seating. Aside from the days of dogs allowed in the private upstairs dining room at Sardi’s, New York does have a law about not allowing dogs in restaurants, with a few exceptions. All restaurants allow service and therapy dogs to enter by law, and of course that lets those who pretend to be get a free ride in the door. But more and more restaurants are ignoring the rule and letting their customers bring Fido along. We see dogs in restaurants in many major cities across the country. As life becomes more causal, the presence of dogs in restaurants is becoming a regular occurrence. We can all appreciate it, but we shouldn't abuse it. We want dogs to reign, but not be rained on.



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