Westminster Dog Show Dog Names Have Gone to the Dogs

Heather Chaet

bearded collieI was watching the Westminster Dog Show last night and have one question for you: What's with the names?

In this, the 135th time dogs have competed for the title "Best in Show," in the second-oldest sporting event that's been continuously held in the U.S. (first is the Kentucky Derby), I didn't hear one Spot. Or Rover. Or Lucky.

No, we have Tiara Nekabu Show Me the Bunny (a Pharaoh Hound) and Doc's Seven Ships of Acadia (a Weimaraner).

Sigh, Winky never would have had a chance. (Winky, you know ... the winner in the mockumentary Best in Show.)

The judges at Madison Square Garden are judging the gorgeous dogs against the ideal of their breed, how close to perfection that Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen or Whippet may be.

I think there's a better way to judge a dog. By his (or her) name. The more wonkadoo the name, the better chance of taking home the top chew toy.

Four of the seven Best in Group winners were selected Monday. The winners from the sporting, terrier, and working groups compete tonight. All seven best in group dogs go on to vie for the ultimate prize in the dog world: Best in Show.

Well, let's look at the ones we do know.

In the toy group, the winner was Palacegarden Malachy, a Pekingese (you know, the smushed face dog). In the non-sporting group, we have Vaje's Miss Jane Hathaway, a Chinese Shar-pei. A Scottish Deerhound by the name of Foxcliffe Hickory Wind won the hound group (trumping a Beagle named Lola -- she didn't stand a chance with that name, even if she was named after Barry Manilow's show girl).

And rounding out Monday's winners: Tolkien Raintree Mister Baggins, the Bearded Collie from the herding group.

From these four, based purely on the wonkadoo-est name criteria, I have to say it comes down to either Tolkien Raintree Mister Baggins or Palacegarden Malachy.

Palacegarden Malachy only has two names, but together they create the most "Huh?" factor of the bunch. And every time I hear Malachy, I think of Children of the Corn (the 1984 version, of course).

On the other hand, we have Tolkien Raintree Mister Baggins. Not only does he have the Mister in an odd spot, but what the heck does Raintree have to do with anything in J.R.R. Tolkien's novels?

I just don't get it. Totally wonkadoo, so I have to hand the blue ribbon to the Bearded Collie.

Granted, if Rainbow Springs Wicklow's Warrior of Ber-D-Mar wins the Terrier group, all bets are off.

What's your wacky dog name?


Image via Westminster Kennel Club

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