They Look Like Their Owners

D. E. Larsen, DVM

It was a lovely Saturday in the Spring of 1971. I was close to graduating from Oregon State University with a degree in Zoology. I had just been accepted to school at Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

I lived in the trailer court beside Benton County Fair Grounds, and they were having a dog show this weekend. Sandy was visiting, and we decided that it would be good to go check out the dog show.

“I have never been to a dog show,” Sandy said.

“I guess I have never been to one either,” I said. “That is unless you count the pet show that I took my dog, Pinto, to when I was four years old. I had given her a haircut with scissors on the front porch.”

“How did that turn out?” Sandy asked.

“I won the prize for the most unusual pet,” I said. “I remember doing the haircut, and I remember the prize, but I don’t remember much about the show itself.”

“People say that when you go to one of these dog shows, you can really see people who look like their pets,” Sandy said. “Have you ever heard anything about that?”

“I guess I have not been into dog shows,” I said. “I haven’t heard that, but that might be something we can watch to see if we can find anybody that supports that opinion.”

It was a short walk to the fairgrounds. If we could have climbed the fence, it would have been really short. We purchased a couple of tickets, and I stopped to talk with a classmate who was just coming out of the show. After a brief conversation, Sandy and I opened the door to the auditorium.

There, standing in the middle of the breezeway, probably getting ready to take his dogs for a walk, was a man with three English Bulldogs pulling on their leashes.

This man was leaning back against the powerful tug from the dogs. The three Bulldogs were broad-shouldered and leaning into the leash. They sorted as they looked at us. The man was short, and heavyset, portly would maybe be a good description. His hair was in a crew cut, and his nose was pointed and turned up, giving him a short upper lip that showed his teeth. He snuffed his nose as he leaned back, trying to restrain the dogs.

Sandy grabbed my hand and pulled me into the main auditorium while she stifled a laugh.

“I can’t believe it!” Sandy said. “If that doesn’t fit the picture, I don’t know what will.”

We took our seats in the bleachers and took in the view before us. There was just one large show ring. It filled this end of the auditorium. 

The back half was filled with people, dogs, kennels, and grooming tables. There was a constant buzz of activity in the back of the auditorium. 

Just then, they started showing a group of Afghan Hounds. Six or eight dogs and their handlers began circling the ring with the judge in the center. And there she was, Sandy spotted her first.

She was a tall thin young lady. She was attractive, even from this distance. Sandy would call her thin, I would say skinny. Her long blond hair flowed over her shoulders and bounced as she made the wide circle around the judge. At her side was a beautifully groomed Afgan Hound. She was tall and thin, bordering on skinny, with a long, flowing hair coat that waved and bounced as she kept pace with her handler.

Sandy buried her head in my shoulder. “I can’t believe it,” she said. “We need to go. This is just too real.”

We made a hasty exit. We were on the edge of the bleachers so we could leave without disturbing anyone. We both laughed as we walked back to my trailer.

Whenever anybody asks my opinion about owners looking like their pets, the scene that greeted Sandy and me when we entered the auditorium immediately comes to mind.

Photo by David Cain on Unsplash.

Published by d.e.larsen.dvm

Country vet for over 40 years in Sweet Home Oregon. I graduated from Colorado State University in 1975. I practiced in Enumclaw Washington for a year and a half before moving to Sweet Home to start a practice.

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