Each breed of dogs has their day at the Kennel Westminster Show. That day can start by putting up against dozens of dogs – or elsewhere.
Outside the rings where 48 French bulldogs were on Monday to get the best of their breed, Peter and Tracy Rousseau had a sense of how they would look at a field that their Norwegian Lundehund could face later.
A member of the rarest breed in the American Kennel Club, Eva was one of the most important types of lute at the most prestigious show. Last year was the only one.
"We are trying to get people to understand this breed and have the opportunity to see" a small dog that is really a variety, "said Tracy Rousseau. Originally reared to reef cliffs, lundehunds have extra fingers and extra flexibility to help them climb.
"They are very unique," so fanatics try to make people realize that unusual legs are not deformities, says Rousseau.
For Rousseaus, it is worth traveling from Colorado to New York just to get attention for the lundehunds in Westminster, where Eva had an unforgettable turn in last year's television semi-final. She stopped to scratch her ear and back as she watched the ring and laughs at the spectators.
On Monday Eve only won a competitor, Pikka, and she started on TV. Owner Carrie Riley of Rockwall, Texas, said she would like to see more people interested in lundehunds.
Rare and super popularity is perceived as a mixed blessing in dog competition and sometimes in the world of a purebred dog as a whole.
Less competition in the breeding circle makes it easier to reach at least the semi-finals, which means Westminster means getting to TV. But that means facing other breeds that judges can know better. Points for championship titles are partly based on how many dogs of the same breed won the victory at the show. And the breeders sometimes care for the future of their beloved breeds.
"This is a very dangerous breed," said Donna Smiley, after Cora, who was co-fallen, was given a breed without a Monday. Harriers are a recognized breed in the United States since 1885, but are now the eighth most remarkable in the AKC.
Traditionally distributed to hare hares, medium sized dogs are training and great family pets if they are provided with sufficient exercise, says Smiley of Indio, California.
"We'd love more people to be interested, so we can keep the breed," she said.
Cora was not the only dog to round the ring on Monday. The English foxhound called Whiskey was also in itself, representing the nation's second most distant breed.
"It's very sad, it's a beautiful breed," said Katie Bernardine, clever, sometimes stubborn, but also sweet. "That's why we show them – to promote the breed."
The only slug that was given did not appear. Athletic dog dogs in the greyhound became eligible for Westminster two years ago.
Altogether, more than 2,800 dogs who have entered the competition for the best this year, come from 203 breeds and varieties. This is every registered breed, except Chinook, sledding, which is the official state dog in New Hampshire.
Dogs, such as French bulldogs and Golden Retrievers – the largest 57-run entry show that competes on Tuesday – have the best crowd just to get the breed.
The French have accelerated from 76th in the last 20 years to the fourth place in the AKC ranking, a kind of increase that makes fans proud, as well as concerns over lax breeders who are trying to get cash.
"It's a great breed and you want people to fall in love with it," said Christine Dudney of Temple Terrace, Fla., Waiting for her to show her French bulldog Millie. "You're just afraid people will get the money."
Some unusual breeds together create a strong presence for Westminster.
In Cirneco dell's Etna, nine flocks of faces appeared on Monday, although the rabbit breed was the seventh most distant in the US and debuted at Westminster in 2016.
Dr. Cheryl McDermott and her twelve-year-old daughter Brenn brought four of Cirnec's contestants.
"The biggest thing for us is to represent a breed with the best dogs," said McDermott, a veterinarian from Ethel, Washington, "so people can have a better chance of this breed as an option."
What to do to be at Westminster? Here is the view behind the scenes: