Last night was the finals of the Westminster Dog Show, which is just like the Super Bowl if it were sponsored to an insane degree by Purina Pro Plan. I'm sorry to say that my dog, Tralfaz, did not bring home the cup.
Of course, he was not entered, but that's a mere technicality.
We were rooting for his breed, anyway; from our cheering and booing, our neighbors might have thought we were actually watching the Super Bowl on DVR and too dumb to know it wasn't live.
We also had an endless stream of color and play-by-play in the living room. ("Who cut the hair on the Portuguese, Dr. Seuss?" "No jumping! Noooo!" "Is there actually a dog under all that?" "Berner's got the Bernfro working." "The Leonberger is the only known breed created with actual bear.")
Tralfaz's relative made the first cut for his group, but finished out of the final four. This is why I don't bet on things, because I would have felt obliged to wager on that dog out of loyalty, and that's not how gamblers make money.
Or anyone else, usually.
So we were disappointed, but it's not like Tralfaz got all mopey. He looked up at the TV once in a while. He liked the Swissie and some of the terriers.
Meanwhile, though, he was playing with one of his favorite toys and getting lots of pets and love from his momma. He looked like the happiest dog in the whole wide world.
We could have tried our luck at showing Tralfaz, since he is a purebred with the paperwork to prove it, but that's a project with lots of expense and very little fiscal reward. Even dog champions seldom make back all the dough spent on travel and training and everything else. Then he becomes the trainer's dog more than your own, or at least I could imagine that being the case. (Any wise trainer would have spotted me for a novice and told me to stay well away from the dog until he was, say, almost expired.)
Besides, I think Tralfaz is a little too goofy to get that self-assured show-dog strut down.
Ultimately, we wanted a pet, a companion, a canine chum, someone to be with us and make us smile, and he's all that and so much more. Tralfaz, you may not be a Westminster gold medalist, but you're the champion of our hearts.