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Beauty and the bark

Tuesday, Feb 14, 2012 - 02:19

Feb. 14 - Getting dogs ready for the carpet at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show can be a costly venture with preparations ranging from a simple haircut to a visit with a pet psychic. Bobbi Rebell reports.

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Getting ready is half the fun at the Westminster dog show- the shaving, the brushing, and the primping. SOUNDBITE: LORI GILLESPIE, OWNER AND HANDLER OF GRAND CHAMPION MAGIC CASTLES PRETTY IN PINK, A SILVER STANDARD POODLE, (ENGLISH) SAYING "We just got to get up there without getting our hair wrecked." That's dog owner Laurie Gillespie- who spent more than 2 hours getting her dog "Magic Castles Pretty in Pink" ready- after 3 hours of preparation last night. Dog handler Laura Leibenow is excited just to be at the show: SOUNDBITE: LAURA LIEBENOW, DOG HANDLER (ENGLISH) SAYING: "It's a huge honor just to be able to go out on that carpet and show." An honor that can be pricey in both time and money. Breeder Valerie Diker warns aspiring dog show participants should be prepared to dig deep and clear their calendars. SOUNDBITE: VALERIE DIKER, DOG OWNER AND BREEDER (ENGLISH) SAYING: "It depends on how much they are interested and willing to do by themselves . It can cost well over $100k." According to the American Pet Products Association, the U.S. pet industry generated an estimated $50 billion dollars last year. REPORTER BRIDGE: BOBBI REBELL, REUTERS REPORTER (ENGLISH) SAYING: "No doubt a lot of that is spent by dog enthusiasts like the ones here at The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show; where there are 2-thousand dogs representing 185 breeds- all competing to be named Best in Show." Ahead of the show, dogs were treated to a doggie spa- including everything from exercise regiments to doggie massages- with similar prices as humans. There is even a pet psychic- who charges a dollar a minute-with a 15-minute minimum. Laurie Zembrzuski does her own grooming which she says would cost about $150 per show. Her dogs travel in their own customized ride: SOUNDBITE: LAURIE ZEMBRZUSKI, DOW OWNER AND GROOMER (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I have a 40-foot motor home that was bought specifically for the dogs. The dinette was ripped out I have a bank of crates built in there." David Frei, Director of Communications at the Westminster Kennel Club says it's like any other hobby: SOUNDBITE: DAVID FREI, DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS, WESTMINSTER KENNEL CLUB (ENGLISH) SAYING: "If you want to spend up into 6 figures for that hobby you can do that. It's like buying a boat if you want to be the biggest, baddest boat on the lake you can buy yourself some cabin cruiser or you can buy yourself a Boston whaler and just tool around and have fun with it." But be prudent in pampering your pet - all that spending means your checkbook could literally go to the dogs. Bobbi Rebell, Reuters.

Beauty and the bark

Tuesday, Feb 14, 2012 - 02:19

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