Calgary area dogs compete at Westminster Kennel Club Show

Dog owners from around the world — including two friends from the Calgary area — are taking their well-groomed pups to one of the most prestigious dog shows in the world, which starts next week.

'This is a bucket list thing for me,' says Langdon pet owner

Two dogs from the Calgary area, Steel, left, and Cinderella, right, are competing at the Westminster Dog Show next week. (Cathy French)

Dog owners from around the world — including two friends from the Calgary area — are taking their well-groomed pups to one of the most prestigious dog shows in the world, which starts next week.

The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show has been around since 1877 and will have nearly 3,000 dogs competing in New York City on Monday and Tuesday.

Dog owners Diane Kingston from Airdrie and Jan Osterbauer from Langdon told the Calgary Eyeopener on Thursday that not only are they friends, but they will be taking their dogs to the competition together.

Kingston says dogs are entered based on their breeding stock.

Jan Osterbauer, left, and Diane Kingston are heading to New York City together this weekend for the well-known competition at Madison Square Garden. (Natalie Valleau/CBC)

Osterbauer's bearded collie, Steel, and Kingston's standard poodle, Cinderella, have competed before, but Osterbauer says winning this specific challenge would be a "dream come true."

"Well for me it would mean that I got there. I've been in dogs for a very long time now, and took a break to raise my girls, and I'm back with a vengeance," said Osterbauer.

Osterbauer says Steel has been competing since he was a puppy. (Cathy French)

Steel will be competing in the herding group — which includes all dog breeds that are natural herders.

"This is a bucket list thing for me," she said. "Just to be able to attend and watch my boy out there is gonna be just like a mother watching her child get a wonderful award." 

Managing your pup can be time-consuming and costly, says Osterbauer.

"If you take the brush over them once a day and quickly add a little spray, they're really easy to keep, and then give them a proper groom once a week," she said.

Steel's breed, the bearded collie, originates from Scotland. They are known for being herding dogs. (Natalie Valleau/CBC)

Kingston's dog, Cinderella, is a standard poodle, whose look is more unique and exotic than the average dog.

"They were used as a water retrieving dog, so that's why they have the funny haircut," she said.

Cinderella already has experience competing and won best in show in Regina last year. (Cathy French)

She says that prior to a competition, she spends roughly nine hours a week on grooming Cinderella's poofy fur.

"I give her a bath once a week and dry her out, and that doesn't sound like much, but it is a full day," she said.

"It is a good time commitment at this level of competition."

Cinderella will be competing in the non-sporting group, which means she will be judged for her appearance and personality. She won best in show in Regina last year.

While there's no financial gain from winning, Langdon says you do get bragging rights!

Cinderella's poofy hair is bundled back while she prepares for competition. (Natalie Valleau/CBC)

With files from the Calgary Eyeopener.


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