Westminster Dog Show: A (Champion) Dog’s Life

By Nikhil Hutheesing - 2012-02-15T15:44:25Z

Photograph by Jennifer Graylock/AP

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Best in Show

Before 2,000 champion dogs strutted their stuff at the Westminster Kennel Club's annual dog show in New York this year, they were coiffed, coveted, caressed and coddled. Not surprising given that many owners spend upwards of $100,000 a year prepping their pooches for this most prestigious U.S. dog show, according to Susan Hamil, a dog owner and breeder from Laguna Beach, California. The costs cover everything from taking out ads to visits with a masseuse. Oh, and lounging in the doggy jacuzzi. While competition is fierce, Hamil says it's all for the love of dogs. "You have to be able to laugh at yourself," she says.

Left, Malachy, a Pekingese, won "Best in Show" at the 136th Annual Westminster Kennel Club dog show on Feb. 14 in New York City.