Editorial: February 5, 2021
The cancellation of the Purina® Pro Plan® Show Dogs of the Year awards in partnership with Dog News was a huge disappointment to us all. The COVID-19 virus brought strict regulations imposed by the governor and mayor of New York. Coupled with the change of date and venue of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, our fate was sealed.
Last year, more than 60 percent of all breed conformation shows were cancelled. But that didn’t dampen the resolve of those exhibitors and judges to attend shows held around the nation. Despite the health risks, they kept the wheels turning.
It was decided not to hold our online voting for Breeder, Owner-Handler, Judge, All-Breed and Specialty shows, and the induction of a Hall of Fame honoree.
We did, however, want to recognize the seven top dogs in each Group, along with their breeders, owners and handlers, for their achievements. To that end, we will celebrate their successes with a winners spread in Dog News, and the inscribed trophies normally given at the awards dinner will be mailed to the recipients. In anticipation of a return to some normalcy, those breeders, owners and handlers will be invited to the 2022 Black Tie Gala during the Westminster weekend.
COVID has left people isolated and at home, and increasingly not in the habit of getting dressed to go to the office or social events. That relaxed approach to attire seems to be carrying outside the home as well. It was interesting to see all the opinions voiced in our last issue’s Weekly Question about the increasing lack of more formal dress in the ring, which admittedly didn’t start with COVID. These pages were disappointed to see some of the altogether too casual wardrobes at the AKC National Championship. While no one is advocating for mother-of-the-bride sequins, there is nothing terribly attractive about running around the ring in sweats and day-glo sneakers. Somewhere there has to be a happy medium.