"I'm going to speak my mind because I have nothing to lose."--S.I. Hayakawa

Friday, February 15, 2013

I Coulda been a Contender

Terry: You don't understand. I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a house pet, which is what I am, let's face it. -- Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront

Sakes alive, what happened in New York last weekend?

I was lying on the living room floor watching that Westminster Kennel Club dog show the other night and was in my usual funk when that thing’s on.  I shoulda been there.  I’d show those hounds and terriers and herding dogs what a champion is. 

 An Affenpincher?   Really?  How about this for a championship breed:  Weimaraner.   

And it's name?   What were they thinking?  What kind of name is Banana Joe for a champion anyway?  Here's the name of a champion:  Sterling Ice Fog of Alaska.  How does that roll off your tongue?  Can't you just see that engraved on a trophy?  After all, we are called the Gray Ghosts because of our coat color.

Banana Joe?  He wasn't even yellow.  Just a ball of black fuzz with a monkey face. 

See what a champ I am?

I have the pedigree.  I have the medical records.  I have the special training diploma.  I coulda been a contender.

Even as a puppy I had the look.

Look at those ears.  Aren't they special?

Even at so tender an age, I knew how to look like a champion.  No, I didn't choose the sofe because it matched my color.  I could never be so vain.  Sorry about the flash-eye.

I woulda shown that little black ball of fuzz Banana Joe what a real Best in Show should look like.

Why, I was bred for speed, good scenting ability, courage, and intelligence.  I used to hunt big game, . like deer, bears, and wolves.  (I was fearless, except for riding in cars.)

After big game was gone in Germany, where my breed began, I was trained to be a bird dog.    (Fine by me, except I didn’t like to get my feet wet.)

I was bred for the nobility,  Why, it was illegal to even take me out of the country until after WWII when Gen. Patton was presented with one of our kind.

I am not only a personal companion, I am also friendly with everyone.   If you don’t understand that your first duty is to pet me, I will stand on your foot until you get the message.

I don't flaunt my noble status.  I'm a regular guy.


I am a loyal member of the family and I love children.  My intelligence made me easily trainable and I often flabbergasted my adoptive parents with my ability to understand English, though German is my first language.

Yeah, I coulda been a contender.    If I still lived in Europe, that is.  I’m allowed to be shown there, not here in the U.S.  All because of my long coat, with my beautifully feathered legs and tail.  And my ears?  I defy you to find a dog with more handsome ears.

Huh.  My hair isn't even as long as Banana Joe's.  Go figure.

Why, they don't even dock my tail because it's so pretty, unlike the short-haired dogs of my breed.  I'm pretty special.  There aren't many of us long-haired Weimaraners whelped.


I'm not even as hairy as some sled dogs I know.

If not for the short-sightedness of the American Kennel Club, I coulda been there.   I coulda been a contender.  

I coulda been somebody.

(You were somebody, Sterling.  Rest in peace.)


  1. What a beauty! Was that your husband in one of the photos with Pablo? Happy for the great memories for you.

  2. I forgot all about Sterling...when did you lose him? Love the pic of Ken and his dog. Great story!

  3. Aaaawwww....! Sterling was the BOMB! So pretty and smart...miss them both...

  4. I love this post for the gorgeous photos and your narrative. I especially like the close up profile photo with Sterling's fur blowing across his face. Beautiful!!!!

    He's definitely a winner in my book.

  5. A very nice post. Very original and cute. I have a dog which I love. She was a street dog, but now she is like mi daughter. I love her so much. We live in a buenos aires apartment which is not so big. Some times I feel she needs more space.

  6. I've never seen a long-haired Weimaraner before. Sterling's gorgeous. Clearly a champion. This was the first year I watched the Westminster Show. The Affen and Sheepdogs were cute, but I like to see a dog's eyes!

  7. I found your blog through a note you exchanged with Ann Linquist; I'm taking her on-line writing class. I loved your tribute to Sterling. I first started raising border collies when I moved to Anchorage in 1995 (left in 1999 for Seattle) and my last girl is now 16. They are beautiful souls to share a life with; I can see yours with Sterling was, well, sterling. Thank you for touching my heart today.