Best in Show

The 2000 mocumentary “Best In Show” helped bring the world of professional dog showing to the eyes of the masses – mainly focusing on the Westminster Kennel Club show, in a comedic fashion (well, it’s not a comedy to those of us who have shown dogs professionally!). The film starred many dogs, including a nervous Weimaraner (well, nervous owners), an overly spoiled Norwich Terrier, and a bloodhound. The film was directed and written by Christopher Guest (“Spinal Tap“).

The movie starts off with each dog owner in their own corner of the country as they set off to the premier of dog shows, The Mayflower Dog Show (based on the Westminster Kennel Club show). Of course, just getting to a dog show in itself can be quite an adventure as some off them realize.

First, we have Gerry and Cookie Fleck (played by Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara) and their Norwich Terrier, Winky (played by Can Ch. Urchin’s Bryllo). Gerry and Cookie seem to be your average dog showers who show because they love their dog. They drive to the national show (with issues along the way) yet still find time to over pamper their terrier (as well as sing to it). Oh yes, we learn throughout the film (many times) that Gerry has two left feet – literally.

Next, Meg and Hamilton Swan (Parker Posey and Michael Hitchcock) as the very argumentative couple and their Weimaraner, Beatrice (played by Can CH Arokat’s Echobar Take Me Dancing). The two spend more time arguing with each other and overreact when anyone comes near their dog. Of course, anyone who works with dogs knows what happens when you have an overly nervous owner and/or handler. 😉 Don’t forget about the Busy Bee.

Harlan Pepper (Christopher Guest) has his working Bloodhound, Hubert (played by AKC Ch. Quite Creek’s Stand By Me). Harlan Pepper comes from a long line of Bloodhound breeders he feels that Hubert is the best bloodhound there is. If the police needed a dog for tracking, he feels that Hubert would be more than up to the challenge.

Sherri Ann (Jennifer Coolidge) and Leslie Ward (Patrick Cranshow) with their standard poodle, “Rhapsody on White” (a.k.a. Butch – played by Can Ch. Exxel Dezi Duz It With Pizaz and Brocade Exclamation) as the two time returning champion. While Sherri spends more time nervously eating, Leslie spends more time over-grooming the poodle (nervously).

Scott Donlan (John Michael Higgins) and Stefan Vanderhoof (Michael McKean) are an overly flamboyant couple with their Shih Tzu (played by Can Ch. Symarun’s Red Hot Kisses and Can Ch. Rapture’s Classic). Being as stereotypical as they can be, they spend the show gossiping with all the other participants and towards the end, Stefan gives one of the movies’ best lines, “Will you look at this, Rhapsody has two mommies!”.

In the best of show ring, there was also a herding dog, a collie, on display but we did not get a back story to the owner, handler, or the dog. It is suspected that this is a professional handler as well as a professional show dog being shown just to complete the “groups”.

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