Getting Hounded

A dog show is basically the best thing in the world. Anytime a large number of domesticated animals are gathered in a small space, there is a high potential for hilarity (not unlike office Christmas parties, actually). Even better is the seriousness with which the dogs’ handlers and judges conduct themselves. Despite the palpable human tension in the air, you know those dogs have little idea what’s at stake. All they know is if they let an officious stranger inspect their rear end without fussing, they’ll get a treat. Whether you’re a dog fan or a human fan, the Malibu Kennel Dog Show should provide plenty of action in both camps as dogs do whatever they think they’re supposed to do and humans battle for fleeting glory. It’s just the kind of ultimately low stakes spectacle we need right now to ease us into what is sure to be a politically contentious new year.

Sun., Dec. 7, 8 a.m.; Mon., Dec. 8, 8 a.m., 2008

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