February 10th, 2009
02:25 PM ET

That Beagle just robbed a Starbucks

Old English Sheepdogs wait in the judging ring during the 2009 133rd Westminster Kennel Club dog show at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Old English Sheepdogs wait in the judging ring during the 2009 133rd Westminster Kennel Club dog show at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Jack Gray
AC360° Associate Producer

Move over, Sully.  The Westminster Dog Show is in town.  It’s like a canine version of Fleet Week, only with fewer one night stands.  In fact it’s the one week of the year when Manhattan’s fanciest hotels can be trashed by long-haired creatures roaming the hallways on all fours and management can’t automatically blame Mickey Rourke.

Like all visitors to New York, the Westminster participants try to strike a balance of business and pleasure.  The Poodle window shopping at Cartier.  The Bichon having his picture taken in front of the Seinfeld diner.  The Schnauzer trotting into a Times Square massage parlor.

But if you think an influx of dogs into one of the world’s most populated cities might cause problems, think again.  In fact, one of the reasons why I like dog tourists better than regular tourists is that they’re much less disruptive.  You’ll never come across a Welsh Corgi blocking a busy sidewalk, digging around in his fanny pack for misplaced tickets to Mamma Mia.

And you don’t have to worry about a posse of Great Danes strutting through SoHo, clad in leather pants, pestering you for directions to Dolce and Gabbana.

Sure, not every dog is perfect. Border Collies are Kleptomaniacs.  And Pugs have an insatiable penchant for prostitutes.  But just remember that for every Cocker Spaniel who steals your iPhone there’s a civic-minded Pekingese willing to give you CPR…even if you don’t need it.

It is exhausting, though.  There are so many different breeds in the city this week, it’s almost overwhelming for a dog lover like me.  As you’ll learn if you watch the telecast of the dog show, each breed has its own special qualities.  Take for example the Maltese.  They excel at cuddling and conning senior citizens out of their Social Security checks.  Then there’s the Scottish Terrier.  They’re known for their loyalty and fondness for black market handguns.  To say nothing of the Dachshund, a dog small in stature but big in ability to launder money through the Cayman Islands.

And don’t even get me started on Saint Bernards.  They say they’re there to rescue you but they’re really just there to steal the gold fillings out of your teeth.

Now, some non-canine housekeeping.  First, Twitter.  My colleagues Alexander Mooney, star producer for the CNN Political Ticker, and Eliza Browning, AC360° Web Genius, convinced me to give it a try.  I’m still unclear as to exactly what it is, but I’m told it’s a convenient way to alert people when I write a new blog or, I suppose, sneeze.

So, apparently, you can now go to www.twitter.com/jackgraycnn and become one of my “followers.”  Which sounds not only cultish but disproportionately intriguing.  Because I’m telling you, if you follow me, the only place you’re going to end up is Baskin Robbins in Brooklyn, killing time while your friends are outside getting written up for open container violations.

By the way, it turns out that there are all kinds of other CNN Twitter pages, including one for AC360, so check those out, too.

The other thing I wanted to let you know about is that I’ll be live-blogging the Academy Awards on Sunday February 22nd at 8pm, right here at AC360.com. Our Golden Globes Live Blog was a big success so I hope you’ll all return for the Oscars.

In the meantime, watch out for the Basenji, the so-called barkless dog.  As if that isn’t a scam.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Jack Gray • Westminster Dog Show
soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. AraMellow

    You are my Mentor, what can say, I love your show about my kind (Dogs). Check me out.
    Best Wishes

    February 14, 2009 at 9:32 pm |
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