For the first time in the history of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, a Beagle won the top prize, Best in Show. Uno the Beagle won over the audience by baying at the judges and by trotting around the ring with a somewhat puzzled look on his face and by looking really, really cute. It may also have helped his cause that he did not have his fur fashioned into weird pom poms like the poodles. How can all this have anything to do with libraries, you may be asking yourself now? Luckily, everything can be related to libraries, books and librarianship, which makes it pretty easy to justify writing about almost anything here at the BHPL Blog.
You may also have been wondering what are those mysterious standards which the judges use to rank the dogs? Well, and here's where the library part comes in, BHPL has your answers in the 20th edition of the American Kennel Club's Official Publication called the Complete Dog Book (call # 636.7 COM in our non-fiction stacks.) Turn to the Beagle pages and notice that the photo (page 147) of the perfect Beagle looks just like Uno! And also, the book explains (page 149) the ears when drawn forward must almost come to the tip of the dog's nose, which test Uno really aced and was very patient about having his ears pulled forward by the judge for a rather unecessarily extended period of time, I thought.
If you browse further in 636.7 in the Dewey Decimal System, you will happen upon lots of really entertaining and informative dog books, from puppy picking, to various training methods, to breed-specific books to heart-warming memoirs. Another source of great dog information, including adverts for dog breeders, dog fashions, and centerfolds (yes, really) of the dog-of-the-month, is Dogfancy magazine which BHPL subscribes to.
And finally, for an hysterical piece about Sasha, her beagle, read Emily Yoffe's "Dog Dancing, My beagle and I try America's weirdest pet hobby" in Slate, the online magazine. Yoffe's book about when Sasha the Beagle first came into her life, What the Dog Did, is a laugh-out-loud story that Beagle owners, dog owners, dog lovers, book lovers and people with a sense of humor will love.
PS: another library/dog connection - The world's biggest dog library is the AKC Library in NYC.