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New York, New York:
The Big Apple:

Madison Square Garden 2001

by Betty Hayward

The 125th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show where only Champions come to meet and compete.

Just attending the dog show was in itself a dream come true but to have my dog entered made it all the more special. As I sat in the Garden watching the Best in Show Competition I couldn't help but let my mind wander back to where it all started.

This dream all started on October 21,1999 when our little fuzzy [AKC registered] bundle arrived at Tampa airport. My first chore was to pick a name. Not just any name but one that suited our new arrival. This little dog was very regal looking and quite lady-like in her demeanor so we decided on Kadin. Kadin in Turkish refers to woman/lady. When Kadin turned 6 months old it was time to start her show career. Prior to entering AKC shows we got our feet (or paws) wet at the local Canine Kennel Club Dog shows. She looked promising in the ring and even won a few times. The first few AKC shows I took Kadin in the ring but due to injury I had to use a professional handler. Kadin competed at the ASDCA National Specialty and came away with a big win :… her first 5 point major. She had four points to her credit prior to the specialty and now she had nine.

At nine points and one Major was when I first entertained the idea of attending the Westminster show but then Kadin was so young - could she get the fifteen points that was needed by October 21st. This was the cutoff date, she had to have her championship in order to attend. Her next big show was the Northeast Regional Specialty held in Goshen Connecticut. This was a long tiring trip for us all but the reward was well worth the trip. Taking top honors with a Best of Breed win gave Kadin her second five point major … Now the total was at fourteen, Just one point shy of the fifteen needed for her championship and this was already August. Kadin earned the remaining point with a Best of Breed win on the 21st of October in Alabama.

That was really cutting it close…The first big hurdle had been mastered now the dream could become a reality. Finally it was January and time to finalize the plans for the big trip. My roommate was to be Ann Collins who Co-owns a sister to Kadin who by the way won Best of Opposite Sex last year at the Garden. Ann works in New York so she made reservations at the Holiday Inn hotel for the four of us. Ann and I with two female Anatolian Shepherd Dogs. Space is scarce in the big city so the rooms are not large but the price tag is. Now this could be a scary thing if the two didn't get along.

It was challenging when dealing with the airlines and getting our passage. Yes of course I could take my dog with me as long as I had the health certificate and a note from a Veterinarian stating it was safe for the dog to travel and the temperature variations she could withstand and a seven hundred crate…. No problem. Wrong !!!! When calling to confirm three weeks prior to departure (a little voice said to do this) they could only fly a five hundred series crate. The next big question …Would Kadin fit in the 500 crate and have enough room for the airline's approval? With a direct and relatively short flight I felt the 500 would be all right. And by the way we were told that Kadin would have to fly freight, she could not go as my companion.

On February 10th we loaded the van and set out for the airport. First stop was at the freight office. There we learned of another change, it was going to cost more since Kadin weighed over a 100lbs. Now on many occasions we had spoken to workers in the various departments and we did not keep Kadin's size or weight a secret. Well seeing is believing so I had to come up with more money. Next stop the passenger terminal. As I settled into a seat to wait for the boarding to begin I started to worry over the dog actually getting on the plane. My anxiety level rose in direct proportions to the lapse of time. When I was ready to stand up and embarrass my self I saw the carrier and Kadins crate come into view. Whew!!!! That was a close one now all was ready for the flight.

We arrived in New York at the same time but Kadin had to be picked up in the freight building. Now a big Piece of advise: Never go to New York without having the ground transportation already set up.[DO NOT LISTEN TO YOUR HUSBAND] I was told all I had to do was go out the front door and hail a yellow Van. First off yellow vans do not exist in NY. I never found one. After accosting a transportation Van driver And threatening him with bodily harm he called his office and I was able to secure a van to transport myself and Kadin to our Hotel. Just finding the freight building and getting Kadin out took about an hour. During the drive to the Hotel the driver agreed to take me back to the airport Wednesday morning for my return trip home. This was a big load off my mind and now I could start enjoying my first trip to New York City.

Kadin and I had to wait in the Hotel lobby until Ann arrived since the room was in her name. Right away Kadin started charming the doorman and any one else that would stop to pet her. Finally we were all In our room getting settled and talking over old times. The dogs did not know each other so we took turns with the dogs out of their crates. It wasn't long before the dogs were walking together down the street. They made quite a formidable looking pair and the sea of people would just part and let them pass. We found a little park, about 7 blocks from the hotel, that became a favorite dog place. The dogs adapted very rapidly to city living. Riding the elevators was not that bad and each would walk to the rear turn and face the door. A favorite for Kadin was watching the trucks pass, she seemed to like the noise they made.

Sunday Ann's family joined us for the day. I had a great time just walking in times square and seeing all The familiar places and landmarks that I had seen before on Telivision. It was cold and I did purchase a headband for my ears and a pair of warm gloves. We were able to secure tickets for a play, Dinner Party, Written by Neil Simon. We all laughed our way through the play. It was filled with good one liners. I found the food (especially the cheesecake) to be delicious.

CH Breezy Way's Kadin of Huzur - Best of Opposite Sex
CH Breezy Way's Kadin of Huzur was awarded Best of Opposite Sex

Monday arrived early and the dogs had to be on site by 8 am sharp. They spent a boring day in kennels at the handler's area. They had frequent walks to the "Potty" area and to the ring at show time. They went into the ring at 10am sharp. The winner was CH Sakarya's Kasif "Chief " A white anatolian from California, CH Breezy Way's Kadin of Huzur was awarded Best of Opposite Sex and a merit award went to CH Birinci's Sage. The judging was over quickly. The rest of the day we had to visit with old friends and to make new ones. Tues. we were part of the audience for a TV talk show. Then back to the hotel, walk the dogs and return to the garden to watch the judging. We gathered most of the Anatolian owners together And had dinner at a local restaurant We had a most enjoyable time then back to the garden to watch the Group judging and Best in show. Ann and I sat in the middle section of the Garden drinking Champagne and eating Strawberries. this was the climax of the show and we were going to go out in style. As we sat sipping we reminisced of past times and talked of the coming year both vowing to return next year. The trip home was very uneventful. I would encourage all to attend for the thrill of just being in the Garden And participating in an event that has been occurring for the past 126 years. Yes there is no place like New York City.

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