February 09, 2009 Linda and I left the house about 6:30 AM to go to New York for the Westminster Dog Show. We drove to New Haven, Ct to get the train. We hit traffic just before our exit and then had to look for a parking spot as they were all full. We ended up on the 4th floor of the parking garage. Now we had to find the ticket clerk and it was 8:40 the train leaves at 8:50 AM. We found the ticket office purchased our tickets and ran to the train tracks down 2 more flights and through a tunnel. We made it as the conductor was getting on to close the door. Now we needed seats after going through 5 cars (stepping over the car connectors with the cars swaying and jumping) we found seats. The ride was long as we stopped frequently to pick up passengers or to let them off. Finally our destination Grand Central Railroad Station. As we made our way out there was a line of cabs all blowing their horns looking for passengers. We went to a cab and got in and told him where we wanted to go he didn’t speak English too well but off we went with the cab meter clicking. We knew it was 9 blocks but for some reason this cabby decided to take the long way(double the price we had figured on). Traffic in New York is a nightmare and the cab drivers drive like madmen. As we were getting to the show the cab driver bumped into another cab never stopped just kept going Linda and I looked at each other in horror. When he stopped we got out paid him and said “this is the craziest trip”. However as we turned around Madison Square Garden faced us in all it’s beauty. We went in and couldn’t stop looking so much to see …… First we hit the show floor where judging was going on in 4 different rings, from there we headed to the benching area the crowds were Huge and walking was next to impossible you kind of was guided an pushed along. When we wanted to see something we wiggled out of the moving area to the sidelines where we looked and shopped and then headed back into the crowds. We had the opportunity to meet up with our Molly’s half brother “Mark” Ch. Jesstar Affirmation owned by Jessica Strabuck & Rita Von Pusch. Mark and Molly resemble each other a lot, and in the ring Mark took Best of Breed.Unfortionitly he didn’t place in the herding group class. During the judging and afterwards while the ring was being set up Linda and I went in and out of the show to see what we could see nearby. The people versus the cabs in New York, they cross the streets in droves and the cabs resemble the Nascar racing machines waiting for the green light to spin their tires for a clean fast takeoff.
Before we knew it the evening judging started we had watched the cameras getting in place the announcers coming in and all the behind scene work that it takes to put on this show.The pulik as I am sure you know won the herding group.We sat in a section that everyone around us had a dog that had won. Linda and I left the show tired but feeling good we got a cab right away who in 5 minutes had us at Grand station for half the price. Again we had 3 minutes to catch the train or wait another hour we made it and collapsed it is now 11:22 pm. We arrived at New Haven at 1:10 AM found the car and finally arrived home at 3 AM. I am still tired today but will never forget the experience Linda and I talked all the way home about what we saw and did. I look to next year and maybe (just maybe ) in the future we will have the privilege of showing a dog / bitch in the Westminster Dog Show.
**I had soo many pictures we opted to do it in slideshow form so you could see them all!! You can pause and navigate on each one.
Part 1- Arrival at the Garden and sites!shows the street activity,cabs-people just non stop 24 hours a day! the picture of the bench sheltie is "Mark" Molly's half brother boy they look alike. The painting is this years Westminster's print beautiful we bought a print and had it signed. The Sheltie group is on here we tried to get everyone 14 were entered 6 absent so 8 showed.
Part 2- Set-up This shows the vast space in the arena as well as the work that must be done to setup and present such a phenomenal show
Part 3 Breed/herding Group Still some setup and the breed judging of the herding group (sorry some are blurry as it was hard to get some shots with all the movement and we just kept taking photos)
Part 4 Hound Group
Part 5 Non Sporting Group
Part 6 Herding Group