Metro Pets

By Sharon Gomes Thomas

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It’s the canine equivalent of Project Runway. It’s Paris, Milan and New York fashion weeks rolled into one. In the dog world, it’s the ultimate reality show. It’s none other than the Westminster Kennel Club Annual Dog Show (www.WestminsterKennelClub.org). Every February, New York’s Madison Square Garden plays host to the most primped, coiffed and pampered canines in the country.

This ultimate beauty contest takes place Monday and Tuesday, February 11-12, 2008 showcasing dogs of all breeds. And if you own a Plott Hound, Tibetan Mastiff, Swedish Vallhund, or Beauceron dog, you will definitely want to watch this year’s show as these breeds are eligible to compete for the first time.

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Individual breed judging will take place each day between the hours of 8:30AM and 6PM. The Group and Best In Show competitions will be televised live on USA Network from 8-9PM EST and continuing on CNBC from 9-11PM EST Monday and live on USA Network from 8-11PM EST Tuesday.

You may want to catch all the action in person. A limited number of Reserved Seats may be purchased through Ticketmaster and Madison Square Garden. www.ticketmaster.com or 212-307-7171; www.thegarden.com.

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As this is the definitive event in the show dog world, there are a multitude of social celebrations surrounding the main event:-

Friday February 8, 2008:
7th Annual Show Sight Magazine “Have-A-Heart” Ball

To benefit Take The Lead and Search and Rescue Dogs
Featuring $10,000 drawing
At the Essex House: $100 per person
Tickets and information: (863) 858-3839

Saturday February 9, 2008:
Canine Chronicle-Royal Beverages Party

Manhattan Center 9PM – 1AM
Tickets available at the door $40
All proceeds go to the Canine Health Foundation

Sunday February 10, 2008:
Dogs In Art Benefit Champagne Brunch

10AM – noon
Art-loving canines and their human companions are invited to a special champagne brunch to benefit Angel On A Leash therapy dog program. The brunch will feature a private viewing of the Dogs in Art sale and take-home “doggie bags” for the canines in attendance. Special guests will be some of the therapy dogs and their humans that volunteer in the Angel On A Leash program. Admission is by a donation of $50. Reservations are required. For information and reservations, please call 212-427-4141, ext. 600, or email events@DoyleNewYork.com.

Sunday February 10, 2008:
American Canine Education Foundation Reception and Dance

Hotel Pennsylvania 7:30 p.m. – Midnight
For ticket information and reservations call (703) 451-5656 scja@cox.net

Monday February 11, 2008:
Take The Lead Party

Club Bar & Grill, Madison Square Garden
11 p.m. (following Group Judging)
Late night celebration, light supper, champagne and wine.
Tickets $125 per person, must be purchased in advance by calling 800-814-1123 or logging on to www.takethelead.org

Wednesday February 13, 2008:
Dog Fanciers Club

10:30 a.m. reception followed by luncheon and program
Sardi’s Restaurant
Members $55, Non-Members $60
For program information and reservations call (516) 295-4940

Originally published February 2008
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