We’re All the Puli Lady

RANT WARNING.  If swearing offends you, please look away and spare your pearls the clutching.

Westminster Kennel Club’s annual show is upon us, a time when the best and brightest of the dog fancy are on display for the world to see.  Unfortunately, while the best and brightest dogs are enjoying the spotlight, some people choose to display their not-best and certainly not-brightest character traits.  This blog post is for you.

Herding was the fourth group up last night, and when the Puli was presented by a lady who happened to be wearing a yellow tracksuit and sneakers, some people took to social media to make fun of her and what she was wearing.  You know who you are.  You’re the same people who bitch about the judges looking at the handlers instead of the dogs.  Hypocrite much?

There could have been any number of reasons for this lady to be wearing what she was:

  • She normally has a handler and was not expecting to go into the ring;
  • She flew with checked baggage, and the checked baggage did not arrive as planned;
  • She forgot to pack a “show outfit;”
  • She brought a suit from home that she had not worn in a while, and discovered before judging that the suit no longer fit;
  • Since a fucking piece of cheesecake can routinely cost $19.99 in New York City, she did not have the disposable income to just “run down the street to Macy’s” and pick up a new suit on the fly;
  • She didn’t give a shit what petty, small-minded assholes think, and chose instead to wear what was comfortable and to focus on her dog (and, if this was the reason, then she is about 5000 times more awesome than you.)

I personally have taken clothes to a dog show, only to discover — when I donned them 10 minutes before ring time — that they *ahem* had shrunk since I last wore them.  I went into the ring wearing them anyhow;  I was overwhelmingly self-conscious in addition to being physically uncomfortable, and guess how I showed?  Like a fucking train-wreck, that’s how.  My discomfort traveled right down the lead to my dog, and while I can’t say that my tight clothes were the reason we didn’t get the major that day, their role in the entire debacle sure didn’t help.  If I had a do-over, I would have changed back into my jeans and sweatshirt, and all of you assholes who want to talk shit about what people are wearing could have made fun of me.

Yes, I have whispered behind my hand to a friend about some egregious show attire, and in that I am certainly no better than anyone else.  Social media is more than just a whisper, though, there and gone as quickly as the air on which it is breathed.  It’s there to stay, and to be seen and shared and spread.  It says way more about YOU than about the lady you’re talking shit about.  And what it says is NOT good.

The dog fancy has enough working against it without us devouring ourselves from the inside out.  Animal rights activists and their agendas, anti-breeder legislation, PETA ads on billboards…  How about we focus on presenting our best face to the public, instead of our asses?

I don’t know why “the Puli lady” was wearing a tracksuit.  And you know what?  Neither do you.  We don’t need to.  The dog is the one on display.  Look at IT.  And, another thing?  SHE was showing her dog in the Group at Westminster.  YOU were sitting on your couch making snotty remarks about her outfit.  Her:  1.  You:  Zero.

Yes, there was something inappropriate and unattractive on display last night.

And it wasn’t a yellow tracksuit.


Posted on February 17, 2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 71 Comments.

  1. Spot. on.

    I know the woman who owns the dog and it is a miracle she is above ground let alone able to show and groom her own PULI.

    She would have given the shirt off her back for someone.

    She is an owner handler and always has lovely dogs. Her dogs WIN because they are awesome. She could give 2 shits.

    High 5 for this post.

    • Yeah…great support of the OH Puli Lady. The other thing about OH-ers is they pay their own freight. Often by the skin of their teeth. No client dogs to cover the costs, help pay the hotel bill or split the mileage with.
      So right on Ms Puli….doesn’t say in the rules that you have to show in a $500.00 gold brocade suit to compete.
      Just gotta bring a good dog to the fight.

    • Please tell miss puli that she ROCKS! I’m very happy to say that she’s awesome!

    • You know i watched it. And many times i thought. Hum i hope that skirt doesn’t ride up any further :(. Lol or wow that outfit is a little bit tight for her and a few blazer jacket. But to me i seen the track suit. Wow i wish i could show in that! Maybe I will buy one just like it. It should be about the dogs not the person who is with them

  2. Bravo!! Absolutely Bravo!! That is all!

  3. Amen to everything you just wrote!

  4. I think we could be friends! 🙂

  5. Right on sista.

    My husband said, “Wow she looks comfortable and like she’s actually enjoying her dog. I’ll bet a dog peed on her fancy dress.”

    Thank you for posting this.

  6. Brilliant. Absolutely effing fabulous. Whoever wrote this – take a bow or six, because you bloody well nailed it. I’ll share and share again, because this needs to be read. Thank you!!!!

  7. She is a wonderful person and does not deserve someone saying something negative about her. She has beautiful dogs and loves them. And she won the breed to get where she was so shut up! She did something a lot of us only dream of doing which is to get to group at the Westminster.

  8. Excellent post! There is entirely too much public flogging on social media these days. Dog shows are supposed to be about the dogs, not the handlers (spoken as a person who went to their first dog show in 1973, when it WAS about the dogs!)

    • Hi, Helen, are you the Borzoi breeder from Kamloops? I heartily agree with what you said and it should STILL be about the dogs!! Hope all is well with you and all your beautiful dogs. Joan Longstaff, now living in Alberta.

  9. Didn’t see it but she obviously had a good dog, which is what the judge should be looking at. Maybe we should all show in khaki pants and a white polo them the judge couldn’t pick us out by what we are wearing.

  10. Yes, I know her too! And she IS a wonderful person and loves the heck out of her dogs! And I too know how it feels to handle a dog in the ring when one isn’t exact”dressed” for it! We had engaged a handler to show our bitch at a specialty weekend, and she could not make the ring time. She ent over someone to take her place, but out bitch would NOT go with her, so my husband, who was wearing very olf faded jeean, and a shirt a old sweater took her in the ring — and guess what? our bitch won WB for a 4 pt major, AND won an Award of Merit so much for being “dressed up”. Good for the Puli Lady!!

  11. Strange to read this today, as the thought did cross my mind, though I must say at first I was looking at the dog and didn’t even notice her outfit. When I did, I though either she had some sort of “wardrobe issue” or she clearly is putting more effort into how her dog looks than herself, but is that not how it should be?

  12. Oh you GO GIRL!!! I LOVE how you tell it about those who like to sit there and pass judgement on the outfits that owner/handlers wear at shows (or elsewhere for that matter – I think fashion police are best lined up for execution myself). Good Lord – the woman was showing her own dog at one of the most prestigious shows known!! She’s way ahead of those who sit in the stands (or on their couches) putting on airs and acting all high and mighty up on their personal pedestal. So she wore something a bit untraditional. What did her dog look like? Was it clean? Groomed? A lovely representation of its breed? THAT is what you’re supposed to be looking at when at a dog show. BTW – I also don’t care what the heck my food looks like or whether it is artfully arranged in tiny portions on a fine china plate. I am just concerned with how it tastes!

  13. Michelle Delaliaux

    Bloody fabulous! I only got home from a show in time to watch herding and didn’t even notice her attire until the go around when I thought, that colour looks great with the dog!

  14. MUCH rather see a track suit than a too tight too short skirt. The judge should be looking at the DOG, NOT the handler’s butt

  15. I know her well and she is an extremely strong woman and A GREAT PERSON. Definitely the last reason offered above, which is that she doesn’t give a shit about what petty people think. This person is an owner/handler and has been in the breed for many years. She is at Westminster almost every year with one of her dogs. Not only that but she had the FIRST Puli grand champion. Yes, the first in the breed. Not many people can say that. She is well respected and loves her dogs who she works very hard to maintain and show in addition to a full time job. Make fun of her all that you want, there are very few people as special as her in the dog world and I am sure she doesn’t care what you think. (This was a great blog post by the way)

  16. SERIOUS Kudos! I have not even had a chance to watch the show as I spent the night grooming and had not heard, but that woman is to be applauded for making it to the group level and beasting it regardless as to what she was wearing. My hat is off to her and I cannot wait to see the dog she was showing! Way too much shit talk happening across all hobbies, and most the time from straight haters. So go on and just remember who took Breed, Baby!

  17. I would love to own a dog good enough to show at Westminster…and for it I most likely would be wearing something worse than a comfortable tracksuit…

  18. This is great. A few weeks ago, I showed up just to hold dogs ringside, run dogs, etc. I was NOT planning on showing at all. Last minute a woman could not handle, I was there in work boots, jeans and a gray fleece – now I was in the ring with that dog in jeans, work boots and a fleece. The judge and I got a chuckle. Hey it happens. I was not planning on showing. Heck I was not even sure until that morning that I would be able to go watch and help because of the ring time and the possibility of a two hour school delay.

  19. I had no idea that was an issue. I watched the whole thing and did not notice anyone’s outfit. Except the chow owners and that’s just because they made a comment on it. Thank you for this post.

  20. Years ago, I was all dressed up to exhibit my dogs on what became a madly rainy day. The show rings were filled with water, and the muddy grounds sucked my ballet flats from my feet when I tried to walk. Back to the car, to commence with plan B.

    Long black skirt? Check.
    Fitted black jacket? Check.
    Fashionable, yet functional hat? Check.
    Frye pole climbers with Vibram soles? Check.

    From ladies who lunch to lumberjack. We made it to the ring on time … with no wipeouts.

  21. The irony is that by omission they are saying the rest of the handlers looked…good? And no, I don’t really care what the handlers look like. It really is about the dogs. It’s just hard not to notice the steady parade of bad fashion sometimes. I’ll admit it: when my wife and I watch, it’s part of the fun of the show for us. Same with the excellent commentary we used to get from Mary Carillo before someone ordered her to stop having a personality. But all that is within the confines of our home, and we don’t judge them as people for it.

  22. What am I missing? I went and watched breed level judging of the Puli, saw a lady in a yellow outfit ONLY knew it was the lady in question because I read she was wearing a yellow TRACK SUIT. Umm really people? It wasn’t a track suit. It was all bejeweled on the top and it looked good on her. I think she bought that outfit to wear for the show and frankly unless someone had pointed out people were talking I would not have thought a thing about it. So unless I’m missing something OMG people need to get a f–king life. I think she looked lovely and showed her dog spot on.

  23. Excellent post! Well said!

  24. I did not see it, but I will go look for it. Great post… and an OH, I’d like to meet.

  25. The last show I went to, I wished I had a track suit along. I had gained weight and my suits were too tight. I thought I was going to bust a zipper. But I only had jeans & tee shirts, and pajama pants along.

  26. The first time I handled a dog I was wearing jeans, with cell phone and keys dangling from the belt, and a John Deere Tee. My friend had 3 dogs entered and all three needed to go in- She had one person that was willing and able, then her eyes fell on me…So I took her dog in, he wouldn’t stand (puppy) I had no Idea what to do! (beyond John Deere Green) and We STILL took the class!! Since then I now take nice slacks because I refuse to worry about a skirt when I am in the ring, and I show my heart out even if I have no clue- We have a pretty good success rate for a bungling novice. So I say to the Puli Lady Way to Go!! next year wear fuzzy slippers and really give ’em something to talk about!! Its not about the clothes- Its about the DOG, the love of the DOG. Have you all forgotten that??

  27. I’ve often wondered about the clothes I see worn in the ring. Most people try to dress up but look so uncomfortable, and frankly most of the clothing doesn’t fit right for the level of activity that’s required to show a dog. The dogs are there to be judged, it’s not a fashion show!

  28. Didn’t realize Westminster was a fashion show too. It’s a dog show, about dogs. This is about the dogs and what they bring. People are just stupid.

  29. Well said! I couldn’t agree more. Why so some people have to focus on the negative? Why can’t we just say something nice? It’s a dog show! Not an international conference for world peace! I get it’s the Garden and all, but you don’t know the lady’s circumstances or what happened. If is the women who I think it is, she always dresses properly, so have some compassion!

  30. Amen! Though I admit I first I did notice for about a second. But I was watching the dog, not her. As soon as she started moving I forgot about it.

    That said, it’s not just what any of the handlers were wearing (also have seen comments about too long, too short, too tight, too – just pick something) but about some of the dogs as well. I was appalled that people were picking apart one particular dog from his picture of his breed win. It was NOT a good picture and really didn’t represent the dog well at all. Everyone who said anything negative had egg on their face when they saw him in the group last night and he didn’t even look like the same animal. I was so disappointed that instead of congratulating this woman who flew in from another country to show and win BOB from the classes all they could do was bash her dog and lament that the top dog didn’t make it due to weather. And a whole bunch of those same people would have been complaining if the top dog had won because he’s shown by a professional handler. They don’t seem to get when you put it in a public post on FB it is NOT constructive criticism. Sorry, end of rant.

  31. While I love your rant, I have to disagree with your title… we are not all the Puli lady. I have never gotten any of my dogs to qualify for Westminster, no less won the breed and shown my dog in the Group Ring at Westminster! The Puli lady is WAY ahead of me in accomplishments! Congratulations, Puli owner/handler, you did a great job of handling your dog!

  32. I wore jeans recently to a show with no intention of showing, I was there to help my friend with her dogs. Well as luck would have it she needed my help, I went in the ring with jeans. I said to the judge “sorry for wearing jeans to your ring”. She looked at me and said “are they clean?” “Yes” I replied. She then said – “good enough for me”.
    So there you go. Great blog, and it is still a dog show, it is just one with cameras.

  33. I thought the same thing, than I went and watched the breed judging and she deserved to win. I have gone to the show wearing new shoes and half way through the day couldn’t walk and showed in flip flop and apologized to the judges who told me he’s not judging me he’s judging my dog.

  34. Kudos! Great article, wish we all could wear khakis and polos, would be a much neater dressed group.

  35. Ohbthanks for thenorofanity warning. But your rant is just making me crack up. SOOOOOO right on!

    Go Track Suit Lady! She had the courage to go in National television doing what she loved no matter what. THAT’S American!

  36. I know her and her dogs…when I started showing my dogs in the ring…she was one of the first people to step up and welcome me into the dog show world. She is an amazing nice wonderful person with wonderful amazing dogs. I was so happy to see that her dog was going into the group ring and very happy to see her running in the ring with her dog.

  37. Awesome rant! I was surprised by what the Puli lady wore in the ring considering the venue but who knows what led to that decision. However, it was less bothersome to me than the women wearing skirts who had no business wearing skirts when they SQUATTED with the dog in the ring and gave glimpses of more than I wanted to see thanks to the camera angles. What happened to getting on both knees? Much less of a chance to flash what doesn’t need to be flashed. That had nothing to do with shrinking clothes. I would much rather see more ladies in track suits showing dogs if it means seeing more dog and less “inappropriate for prime time” skin.

    My daughter is a junior handler and we do play “what not to wear” but it helps her see what is appropriate in the ring and what isn’t. Her comments this year were mostly about the ladies that showed too much skin whether they were squatting with their dog or had jackets and/or undershirts that were cut too low and showed too much when they bent over to stack their dog or put it on the table. She’s 12.

    I did post on FB that she was critiquing the clothing choices. I also posted that, when buying show clothes, ladies needed to take a trusted friend with them to critique those choices. When trying on clothes please be sure to bend over, stretch up, kneel, and run in each one to make sure nothing “pops” that shouldn’t. I more than understand the “shrinking” that occurs overnight but what I’m talking about was more about poor choices and less about shrinkage as it wasn’t a “tight” issue.

    In all the choices of attire that were made for the breed rings and the group rings last night, what the Puli lady wore was not what bothered me the most about the choices that were made.

  38. I just read all these wonderful posts! It just goes to show that we do not know the circumstances in other people’s life. So, here again people are ready to judge someone and all about an attire worn in the ring? what happened to “only the dog gets judged”? I don’t know the lady, but my hat is off to her for having the courage and love for her dogs to participate!!!!

  39. I watched it, did not even notice the outfit (to be fair I could not tell you what anyone was wearing or the colour of their hair or even who they were)…my attention was 100% on the dogs!

  40. Gee. I always wonder about and think it is weird that everyone is so very extra dressed up for this show. On a side note, I proved that you can win (at a specialty) in nothing more than a T-shirt and jeans if you have a good dog. I did not know I was going to be showing a dog that day. 🙂

  41. I have had this same argument over the Juniors Ring. On average we spend $5,000.00/year to buy my sixteen year old the appropriate old lady garb. Kids look stupid in Poliester Suits. They can look fabulous without putting this BS about standards in the rings. I keep hoping it will change.

  42. I just watched the Puli group and this lady was very professional in the way she handled her dog. I think she looked just fine. Kudos to her.

  43. I agree with this post! Why do so many people give a crap what she wore? If it wasn’t indecent, then who cares? She was there to show the damn dog not put on a fashion show for goodness sake! And what were people watching the show for, handlers’ clothing or the freaking dogs? If so many people are upset with judges NOT looking at the dogs and looking at the handlers instead, why not have every handler wear the same thing. Something inexpensive, and simple such as kakis and plain white or black shirt.

  44. You are welcome to your opinion as is everybody else. If you made it to Westminster I don’t think you made it without a credit card. Come up with any excuse you can but you are doing a disservice to an old Institiution. Do as the Peke guy did and withdraw. You embarrass us all.

  45. Brilliantly put!

  46. LOVED it…and since you mention it I was more outraged by the lame Scottish deerhound then the yellow jump suit…that poor dog should have sat out the group it looked o truly be in pain..poor thing

  47. Christy Douglas-Featherston

    Well Said! It is about the dog and judging it against the standard for better breeding stock. Wish we didn’t need to curse though.

  48. love it 🙂 It is so true.

  49. Amen! More people would show dogs, If they could be comfortable & not have to break the bank buying designer clothes.

  50. I know this woman and she is a great lady, who loves her dogs and is very successful with them. This is such a pathetic person, who has to pick on what clothes people are wearing to make themselves feel better. Where did sportsmanship go?

  51. amen! I would rather see someone wearing correctly fitted clothes casual or not ,like what she was wearing rather than some of the dress outfits that others were wearing that clearly do not fit or flatter the figure. It really is all about the dogs and it shouldn’t matter if the jeans or tracksuits or anything else that is casual. On a sidenote, I never even noticed what she was wearing. I was too busy looking at the dog.

  52. It was the first dog show I had ever watched and personally I thought all the handlers looked pretentious and ridiculous. Even the Queen dresses appropriately when she goes riding. Why doesn’t the AKC develop a very nice track suit, with pockets for treats (vs a bra) and the AKC insignia? It could be worn from year to year as it would accommodate those extra 10 lbs that us folks over 40 are prone towards. Even better, you could borrow from a friend if needed. As everybody has said, all eyes should be on the dogs. I cannot imagine that any handler/breeder/owner really wants anybody’s eyes to be anywhere else after all the hard work that has gone into bringing a dog to Westminster.

  53. I think all the handlers should show their support by wearing track suits to Westminster next year!

  54. Would you mind editing my comment to remove “we should all” so that it makes sense? Sorry.

  55. hmmm let’s see – body parts that should be covered are – check; color choice is one that does not hide the top line of the dog – check!

  56. Wooo hooooo, good rant!

  57. I once went to a show straight from working a 12 hr shift at the hospital just to watch and had no intention of showing. A friend needed an extra pair of hands so I showed in hospital scrubs. I apologized to the judge for my appearance and attire and she just laughed and said “don’t worry about it”. My friend’s dog won WB and my “extra” got RWB. I only WISH I could always show in scrubs… now there’s an idea!

  58. When I started showing my Pumis in conformation a few years back, I remember, one of the first persons who talked to me at the show site was Rhonda. She walked up to me and nonchalantly started chatting, complimenting my dogs and asking lots of questions, basically making me feel comfortable as a newbie of the community of dog fanciers. She probably saw how lost I was at the show site… Since that first meeting, whenever we meet we always catch up with each other. Funny that I’ve never noticed what she wears. Last year when my husband Laszlo needed her help in the ring to show one of our dogs in York, PA (since I could not make the trip), Rhonda helped him out although she had only minutes before her other commitments – with no comments, no questions asked. When I think of her, she is one of the few reminding beacons of hope to keep this sport’s human and humane dimensions before it entirely “goes to the dogs.”

  59. Maybe they should issue AKC T shirts to “all handlers” like they did for Agility at Eukanuba – Orlando and make jeans standard attire.
    Nice to see pretty clothes but these are dog shows.

  60. Debbie Trueblood

    I agree 100% it’s a beauty contest anymore, I say she spent the money on her entry and if she wants to show in a running suit then go for it. I’ve seen people in wild and bright clothes hoping to catch the judges rye for a second longer. Apparently all the needed to wear was something comfortable then they have everyone’s eye 🙂

  61. good for you. wtf is with everyone critiquing peoples clothing? it is a freaked dog show for christ sake. why the fuck are women expected to wear such inappropriate clothing to run around a ring with a dog? this woman actually used her head and dressed appropriately.

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