Now in its 35th year, the World Series of Dog Shows is taking Reliant Park by storm this week, offering thousands of hopeful canines the opportunity to compete in some of the most competitive breed shows and agility events in the nation.
CultureMap stopped by Reliant to scope out the competition (don't miss the video at the top of this story).
When we met Kathleen Farlow, she was busily grooming Bailey — a massive white Samoyed who wagged his tail everytime her heard his name. He looked pretty happy to be at the show, but surely that smile had more to do with Farlow's careful brushing than the chance to compete for top dog. (Sorry, the pun was bound to happen anyway.)
Bailey looked happy to be at the show, but surely that smile had more to do with his owner's careful brushing than the chance to compete for top dog.
"The breed originally comes from Siberia," said Farlow, who is also a chairperson for the Houston Kennel Club. "They took care of the Samoyedic people [and] their children. They kept them warm . . .
"He's out of coat now, but if he lived in the North or it wasn't the hot summer here, he'd have a lot more coat."
Across the hall, rookie dog-shower Beatrice Guzman and her family watched three of their pets circle a show ring in front of a discerning judge for the Dogue de Bordeaux circuit. She explained that she and her husband have always had a fondness for the breed, which is also known as a French Mastiff, but have only recently thought of showing them. So far, it's been more of a learning process than anything.
"We practice with them at home to get them used to what they'd be doing," she laughed. "We do a lot of treats . . . They like that part."
Of the three Mastiffs, the judge chose one to go to the next round — not bad at all.
The Reliant Park World Series of Dog Shows is open everyday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Sunday. Visit the event website for details and scheduling.