The Sacramento Kennel Club puts on a two-day dog show every spring. I’ve gone to it two or three times and I have a big goofy grin on my face the whole time I am surrounded by all that doggone fun.

How could I not be grinning after seeing a face like this one? It was puppy-love at first sight.

What a face!

What a face!

The American Kennel Club, like many clubs are wont to do, has rules, regulations, bylaws, codes of conduct, policies, standards, statutes, guidelines, procedures, requirements, parameters, and the like. Every aspect of being dog-crazy, er, I mean dog showing, has a rule to go along with it. With all that writing and reading o’rules, one wonders when they have time to breed, train, handle, and show dogs.

There are also many unwritten rules that dog show participants must adhere to.

I set before you what you need to know if you want to enter the heady world of dog showing without making rookie mistakes and getting laughed out of the show ring.

Exhibit 1:

Your dog must be insanely adorable.


Or slightly bizarre.


Exhibit 2:

You must tote around copious amounts of dog paraphernalia. Consider hiring a Sherpa.

Doggie stuffExhibit 3:

Dog grooming combs must be stored in your hair.
Grooming comb

Exhibit 4:

Frequently use a drool rag to wipe off slobber. Dog drool and concrete floors are a deadly combination.

Drool 2

Or feel free to humiliate your dog by making him wear a silly bib.

Drool Exhibit 5:

Dog tattoos are a plus. Judges dig ’em.

Dog Tattoos

 Exhibit 6:

Mom jeans and sensible shoes are a must.

Mom jeans

 Exhibit 7

Bring your checkbook so you can:

Shop at the dog leash emporium.

Dog leash emporium

Hire an animal communicator. I kid you not.

Dog Whisperer

Book a massage appointment for your dog to relieve his stress so he performs in the ring to the best of his ability.
Massage Therapy

Exhibit 8

Attend beauty school so you know how to properly style your dog’s hair . . . um, fur.

And finally, this is what the dogs must do:

Wait around . . .


And wait . . .

Waiting . . .

And wait some more . . .


Honestly, if you have a chance to go to a dog show, I highly recommend it. It is DOG-some.

My husband is a lucky man. I can hear you saying, “Why, yes he is! He is married to you, isn’t he?” That isn’t the only reason he is lucky. I came close to coming home with about two dozen dogs.

But this guy, my Sir William Wallace, would be jealous if I did that.

"Don't even think of bringing home a dog!"

“Don’t even think of bringing home a dog, you big cheater!”