Knitting, Dogs and Life on the High Plains

Thursday, January 13, 2005
Setting the Record Straight

Most of you probably don't care, but I just HAVE to write this post.

Last night's episode of CSI:NY portrayed a murder at a dog show. The victim was a "top dog handler" and the murderer was a dog exhibitor who knits. The murder weapon was a knitting needle.

The show was entertaining and a bit campy in the style of the movie Best In Show. But there were a few glaring mistakes and mis-statements that I just can't let pass...

1) Most show dogs are NOT DRUGGED. The line in the show said somthing like "most of these dogs are on 9 or 10 differnt meds". NOT TRUE. It is a violation of AKC rules for dogs to take performance enhancing drugs, and while there are definitely dogs that take them, it's not "9 or 10" and it's not all that prevalent.

2) "Top dog handlers" don't wear high heels in the ring (okay maybe at Westminster and if they are showing a toy dog in the groups). Dog handlers wear flat shoes. You are on your feet all day and you gotta be able to RUN. Maybe at a big fancy show you might wear 1/2 inch heels, but not pumps as was shown on the victim. Handlers do sometimes wear expensive clothes which they promptly ruin by putting liver in the pockets. This is why I buy my show clothes at Goodwill. You don't feel bad if you put liver in the pocket of a Liz Claiborne suit if you only paid $6 for it.

3) It is true that it is harder to get into vet school then med school as was said in the show.

4) Because of #3 most vets are REALLY GOOD at what they do, they are not gambling addicted losers who pander to whacko show people. Most "show vets" are dog exhibitors themselves who donate their time at their local show one or two weekends a year and have full time regular practices.

5) At one point the detective comments on what a "full schedule" the victims dog had. Most dogs at a dog show show ONCE in a day. Some show twice. Only 7 will show a third time. Okay, sure, a dog could be entered in conformation, agility, obedience, rally and junior showmanship, but the show being portrayed was a Westminster or Eukanuba Classic kind of show and that is strictly conformation. Handlers, who may be showing 15 dogs, have busy days, the dogs do not.

6) A good show dog is NOT stressed out at being put on display. The difference between a good dog and good SHOW dog is that the good show dog LOVES the attention and thrives on it. As does his handler :)

7) The detective, when looking for a potential doggy witness, said they needed to look for a spaniel or small hunting dog. Then in the "line up", not a single spaniel was present. There were several beagles, the rest were neither spaniels nor small hunting dogs.

8) At one point it's said no one saw anything because "the grooming area is empty when the dogs are showing." The only time the grooming are is empty is the wee hours of the night and morning and during Best in Show. There are something like 170 AKC breeds. Even the biggest shows only have about 15 rings running at once which means the other 155 breeds are in the grooming area getting ready to show or winding down from having been shown.

9) Votes are not "tallied" at a dog show. At least not at an AKC dog show which is what this was obviously supposed to be. The winner, even in a huge 3000 dog show is decided by one judge. There are no votes.

10) I have NEVER, in 11 years of showing dogs at some of the biggest shows in the country, EVER seen anyone give their dog water out of baby bottle. Dogs get water in buckets that are clipped to the inside of their crates. Or in bowl. Or maybe in the case of some of the small dogs in a hamster bottle attached to their crates. But NOT hand fed with a baby bottle.

And did anyone notice that when the knitter was asked why she had her knitting at the show and responded "So I can make Hercule (the dog) things like this blanket..." the blanket she picked up was crocheted?

One more note... they did do some things very right... I noticed real judging programs in the hands of spectators in the final scene. Handlers really do have little notebooks tacked up in their grooming cases (which are big metal boxes not little briefcases) with their schedules on them. People really do take knitting (and books and refrigerators and radios and all kinds of things) to dog shows with them. The grooming area was not very crowded (I wish it was really like this) but very authentic looking. LOVED the scene when the detective was walking thru the crowd and they were flashing just a few frames of this dog or that dog. THAT is what being in the grooming area of a dog show feels like!

Anne at 10:07 AM        

getting a dog?
Read this first!!

on the needles
30. Fletcher
Noro Transitions

29. Rosedale
Patons SWS

28. Forecast
Cascade Quatro

27. Lady Eleanor (again)
Patons SWS

26. Marble Shawl Collar Sweater
Karabella Marble

25. Serrano
Dale Baby Ull

24. Tamarah
Artyarns Regal Silk, Silk Mohair

23. Apricot(Plum) Jacket
DB Cashmerino Chunky

22. Rusted Root
BS Cotton Fleece

21. Not So Shrunken Cardigan
Lavold Sily Wool

20. Sizzle
Nashua Kim

19. Hanging Garden Stole
KP Alpaca Cloud

18. Log Cabin Blanket
Cascade Pima Tencel

17. Mystery Stole 2
Crazy Monkey Lace

16. Petticoat Sallops
Opal Petticoat

15. CeCe
Lambspun Silk

14. Hyrna Herborgar
Silk for Life

13. Sea Foam Shawl
LaLana Phat Silk

12. Diamond Fantasy Shawl
CTH Possum Lace

11. Evergreen Cardi

10. Mystery Shawl 3

9. Jaywalkers
LL Shepherd Sock

8. Pi @ Sunrise Shawl
Crazy Monkey Lace

7. Follow the Leader Aran
BS Naturespun Worsted

6. Peacock Feathers lace

5. Kiri Shawl
Rowan Kidsilk Haze

4. Sampler Shawl
Starmore Campion

3. Highland Triangle Shawl
America's Alpaca

2. Leaf Lace Shawl
Misti Alpaca Lace

1. Total Maze Cardigan
Araucania Nature Wool


finished in 2006
1/21 - Shadow of Love Socks
1/31 - Pineapple Jacket
2/5 - Smokin' Blueberry Socks
2/7 - Angora Fingerless Mitts
3/9 - Neopolitan Socks
3/18 - Summer Scallop Socks
3/30 - Spectrum: Red & Pink
4/2 - Felted Clogs
4/15 - Violets by the River
5/3 - Felted Hedgehog
5/6 - Felted B-4 Bag
6/15 - Pomatomus Socks
7/1 - Snapdragon Socks
9/11 - Simple Knitted Bodice
9/13 - White,Biscuit,Cream Shawl
9/14 - Something Lilac
10/4 - Cabbage Rose Socks
10/29 - Neck Warmer
11/15 - Lady Eleanor


finished in 2005
1/21 - Seascape Shawl
2/12 - Wool Peddler's Shawl
3/21 - Fir Cone Square Shawl
3/25 - Misty Garden Scarf
4/7 - Obi
4/30 - Truly Tasha's Shawl
5/19 - Ivy
6/19 - Tasha II Shawl
7/13 - Cherry Blossom Shawl
7/26 - Mom's Birthday Shawl
8/9 - Birch Shawl
8/28 - Mystery Shawl
10/4 - Herbal Remedy
10/5 - Rosy Fingered Dawn
11/18 - Mystery Shawl 2
12/6 - Ostrich Plumes Triangle
12/26 - In The Dark Socks
12/29 - Red, Red, RED! Scarf


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My Noro Philosophy:
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I live in Colorado.
I raise and show Samoyeds.
I knit.
I spin.
I do beadwork.
I have too many beads.
I have too much yarn.
I love to start new projects.

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whitestarsams (at) hpi (dot) net

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