January 31, 2015


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Maggie Van Ostrand



The Green Carpet


by Maggie Van Ostrand


Movie stars will soon stroll the Red Carpet into Hollywood's Dolby Theatre for the Academy Awards. Frankly, that's small potatoes. The carpet that's really important isn't red, it's green. And the stars walking on it are walking on all fours. Should anyone from the media ask, "Who are you wearing?" the answer wouldn't be Vera Wang, Chanel or Versace; it would be "I'm wearing myself."

There are just as many celebrities in the dog world as in the movie world, and wagging tails are even more plentiful. No make-up, no face lifts, no steroids. And their noses are original.

The formally dressed judges for each dog breed, including the biggie, Best in Show, wield as much influence as celebrities do at the Oscars. Maybe more. Talk about your blue bloods, there are more on this carpet than on all of Park Avenue.

What was I saying? Oh yes, I was talking about the green carpet. It amazes me that this carpet remains unsullied and I sometimes ponder how that can be, considering such high-strung pedigree pups in an arena of high stakes for big bucks, loud applause, and sizzling excitement. No matter, they probably have their own marble bathrooms.

Unlike equally high-strung, dog-eat-dog actors at the Oscars who clutch their award with trembling hands, let fall tears of gratitude, and thank everyone they ever met, dogs maintain a noble dignity and classic discipline. Especially terriers.

Terriers always seem to give the distinct impression that they rather enjoy the judge's fiddling at their hind ends, though I assume their counterparts at the Oscars would smack down anyone who fiddled with theirs. Then again, maybe not.

At the north end of a dog, the judge lifts their upper lips and paws about in their mouths, presumably checking incisor quality, while the trainer, at the south end, raises the dog's tail straight up in the air, leaving an audience of socialites trusting that the dog has not eaten beans.

Sky, a fox terrier, won Best in Show 2014. My dog is a terrier, too, and he walks a green carpet every day. It's called grass.

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Westminster Dog Show, Madison Square Garden, Feb 16-17 Oscars, Dolby Theater, Feb 15

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Guest Links


Hey, Maggie doesn't get paid for plugging these. They're just cool sites.

  • The Lange Foundation
    Angel of mercy Gillian Lange founded this dog and cat rescue organization, as well as The Amanda Foundation. If someone you know lost a pet, you can sponsor a rescued animal for the bereaved owner in the lost pet's name. No greater gift can you give.
  • Dogs Deserve Better
    Love, not chains. Dogs can protect you better if they're treated as members of the family, living inside. This site educates people about the wrongs in chaining up your dog.
  • Sylvia Kent
    British author/photographer, historian and Essex expert, Sylvia Kent has a lively blog about life in the U.K. There's much more to it than you could imagine.

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