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Hickory snubs a steak from Sardis

Among the traditional perks of winning Westminster’s Best in Show are a trip to the top of the Empire State Building, ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange and going to Sardi’s in Manhattan for a steak.

You’d think that last one, at least, would appeal to the average dog — and especially to the pampered pooches that strut before the judges every year at the Westminster Dog Show.

But Hickory, the Scottish Deerhound chosen as Best in Show this week, had virtually no interest in the juicy filet, prepared medium rare, sliced into bite-sized chunks and placed in front of her at Sardi’s. She took only a taste or two before ignoring it entirely.

As her trainer pointed out, there were lots of lights, and hordes of media, and Hickory’s never been real big on steak in the first place.

You could view it as a photo op turned photo flop, but I kind of like the fact that she turned up her scruffy nose at the offering.

In light of all the human control inflicted on dogs during dogs shows, not to mention throughout history, I like seeing, for some reason, a little canine independence and rebelliousness exhibited in that setting. Of course, I don’t know what Hickory was thinking when that juicy red meat was set before her, but I like to think it was this:

Two hundred people have gathered, pulled up in their news vans, and started their cameras rolling, and are lined up outside  — all to watch me eat a steak? OK, then, I’m not going to do it.

Silly humans.


Comment from anon
Time February 17, 2011 at 5:24 pm

Let it end! I’m dead tired and my dogs…er..uh….FEET are sore from all that prancing…quit choking me with the leash and get that stupid camera outta my face…. I wanna go home and go to sleep.

Comment from Judith Pannebaker
Time February 17, 2011 at 7:01 pm

Wonder if Hickory got to take home the uneaten steak in a doggie bag?!

Comment from jwoestendiek
Time February 17, 2011 at 9:36 pm

Or, in that case, would it be a human bag?

Comment from Anne’n’Spencer
Time February 18, 2011 at 12:58 am

They should have fixed her up with some nice chopped liver.

Comment from Kelly
Time February 18, 2011 at 4:59 am

Hey, Hickory, if you’re not going to eat that, can I have a taste? What a gorgeous dog, and a breed with which I am totally unfamiliar.

I have mixed feelings about the whole dog show biz. “Best In Show” is one of my favorite movies. I would never put a dog thru all that, but understand the devotion to one’s pet. Rather see that than folks setting them on fire, that’s for sure. I’m all for jail time in animal abuse cases. Hope MD passes the bill…

Comment from Sue
Time February 19, 2011 at 7:05 am

I found the handler’s comment interesting: Hickory’s never been that big on steak. Too bad Sardi’s didn’t check to see what Hickory might actually have enjoyed as a treat. (Too bad its all about the humans… not about the dog)