Wednesday, February 11, 2004


We have a winner. And I have many questions.

The big black Newfoundland dog won the 2004 “Best in Show” award at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Say hello to the blue ribbon, Josh.

Mr. Big Black dog’s name isn’t really “Josh”. It’s "Darbydale’s All Rise Pouchcove". Now, I’ve seen Liz and Beth come from “Elizabeth” I’ve seen Vicki and Tori come from “Victoria” and I’ve even seen a Peg or Peggy come from a “Margaret”. But how they got Josh out of "Darbydale’s All Rise Pouchcove", I’ll never know. Don't get me wrong. I prefer "Josh". It’s a lot easier to say for one thing. If you need to call your dog to dinner, or tell him to “drop it”, one syllable beats out nine any day. And "Pouchcove"? That had to cause a lot of teasing on the doggie playgrounds. But Josh should have been able to handle it. After all, it would seem that a Newfie would look on most any other dog as nothing more than a tasty Scooby snack.

When speaking of the 2004 champion, the judge for the final round said “He responded to the crowd. When they applauded, he just perked himself up and said ‘here I am.’ It was awesome.”

Well, who could deny a talking dog a blue ribbon and enormous water dish? Not I. Although you must admit, “Here I am” is no “Call me Ishmael”.

According to an article in USA Today, at the announcement of his victory, Josh celebrated by “barking his head off.”

That came after his famous, “here I am” speech, right? Because there must be some sort of deduction for a talking head rolling around on the competition floor. And besides, what with this televised event being called the “Super Bowl of Dog Shows”, I have to think a decapitated dog would be more upsetting than, lets say, a wardrobe malfunction, if you know what I mean.

Co-owner Peggy Helming called the barking “His signature.”

Always the skeptic, I have to question the likelihood of scoring any sort of legal protection over the alleged originality of “Woof.”

So now, Mr. Pouchcove is off for his 15 minutes of kibbles and bits of fame. Commercials, Voice-overs (natch, with the whole “Here I am” thing), and lots of signature barking. With all the hoopla surrounding this dog show, I have to wonder why there isn’t a Cable TV Dog channel? After all, there is already one for cats, complete with a theme song and really squicky PSA. Honestly, a song for being neutered? I'd like to know if someone was actually paid for coming up with the line "It don't mean that you've failed if you don't spend your nights chasing tail."

There should be a Dog channel. It would show reruns of Lassie and Rin-Tin-Tin. It would ban all Brady Bunch episodes where Tiger is the family scapegoat, which, by the way, is every single episode in which he appears. Ruined wedding? Tiger. Jan’s allergies? Tiger. Kitty Karry-All goes AWOL? Tiger. The tension-filled competition building a house of cards that eventually falls down, meaning the boys get to buy the boat and the girls don’t get their sewing machine? You guessed it: Tiger. Is it any wonder this dog mysteriously disappeared after the first season?

My Dog channel would also be educational. I would have dogumentaries, like the 2000 hit film, Best In Show. There would also be obedience training the Barbara Woodhouse Way (Walkies!). It might help with puppy coordination, and then the poor little guy that tries in vain to catch the Purina Dog Chow Covered Wagon wouldn't find himself smashing face first into the kitchen cabinet. Barbara could help with that, if only she hadn't died in 1988.

The most important service a Dog Channel could service would be to provide instruction in reading. Who among us hasn’t been moved to tears when we hear the anguished cries of the poor illiterate bacon-loving mutt, “Only one thing smells like bacon, and that’s bacon! What’s that say? I don’t know. I CAN’T READ!!!”

Don’t worry puppy. I’ll teach you to read. Ready?


Big Dog.

Little Dog.

Go Dog, Go!

It’s my new mission. Must-Woof TV.

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