Things I learned covering the Westminster dog show

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I grew up with dogs (and a cat), as well as a mother who loved dogs — especially Siberian huskies. We had an illustrated book of dog breeds on the living room bookshelf, and I pored over it so often that from a pretty young age I could tell you whether the burly pooch walking down the street was a Saint Bernard or a Bernese mountain dog or a Great Pyrenees.

But I’d never been to a dog show before a few days ago, when I went to New York to cover Westminster. Like many people, my main point of reference was the Christopher Guest satire “Best in Show.” So I learned a lot about the show-dog world, not least of which were the names of breeds that I’m sure weren’t in my family’s book, such as Xoloitzcuintli and Portuguese podengo pequeno.

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