Saturday afternoon, a couple of hundred dog-lovers assembled at the Truck Stop in San Pedro, Belize to cheer on seven fine examples of the world’s best “breed” at the 2nd Annual Potlicker Dog Show. To watch the champions compete and to raise money for our beloved humane society. And I was asked to help judge the contestants.
Move over Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
While you might be the world’s most well-known dog show, we, in San Pedro, Belize, think you have a few things wrong. The best dogs on the planet are NOT from “pure” bloodlines and are not purchased from breeders and pet shops. They don’t need long silly names like this year’s Westminster winner: “Miss GCHG Pequest Pickwick” – they have regular names like Gary or Buddy.
The world’s finest breed is not a breed at all. It’s a mix of 3…maybe 5…maybe 15 different breeds. It’s is the Belizean potlicker and they are most certainly spayed or neutered.
Potlickers are Belizean mutts (though that is such an ugly word) and can be spotted all over the country. The Breed name is derived from their traditional food source: licking the family stewed chicken and rice and beans pot after dinner.
“Breed” characteristics: Street-smart, picky and discerning when it comes to people and offered treats (potlickers have been known to take an offered breakfast burrito, unwrap it to eat the insides only, and walk away from the tortilla), protective of their owners, extremely grateful, and quirky/clownish.
The Truck Stop played a Frank Sinatra classic during the show that summed up the Belize potlicker “breed” perfectly: “I Did It My Way”
To the show! (You can see last year’s show: Potlickers Perform & I Declare Truck Stop Best in Show)
I arrived early. To take some pictures of the course before The Truck Stop was flooded with fans.
The course is not joke.
And later, as the show was starting, there would be baskets of hot dogs peppered around the obstacles for an added layer of difficulty.
You didn’t think of THAT Westminster, did ya!?
It was a very pretty day…
And there would be a 50/50 Raffle AND a raffle for a Dive Certification from Chuck and Robbie’s Dive shop. What a great prize!
They offer some cool, only-in-Belize flavors on tap…and you can try them all…
I saw Pina Pale Ale, Bird Pepper Dark, Fevergrass (lemongrass), Killa Pilsner and Valencia Orange IPA.
To the dogs!
The dog and owners were prepped by Dan, the MC.
And the judges were given our score cards.
A close up for the “special points”
Bonus points for peeing on a person! THAT WAS ME LAST YEAR! (A dog peed on my bag DURING the event)
There would also be a People’s Choice award.
The contests were: Cosita (with three legs!) – Indy, Taco (the Matachica resort pup!), Buddy, Gary, Minnie and Tonto.
I want to show you each one….and focus on their uniqueness but honestly? It all just flew by! And dogs that are all over the place? They are very hard to photograph!
But first…Ben showed us how the course works. From his warm-up and stretching at the starting line….
…to his impressive headfirst jump thru the hoop.
Cosita took everyone’s heart…she lost her backleg being hit by a car and…OH COSITA!
She wasn’t feeling it. And headed back to her spot to cool off with water and a doggy ice cream.
Minnie decided going around the hoop was WAY easier…
Buddy has some classic potlicker looks. Somewhere back in their gene line is a corgi…and so many dogs on this island are just a few inches too long in the middle. Short legs, looong bod.
Gary did a great job.
Taco was a STAR. So well trained. He was the only dog that went THRU the hoop. Taco and Ben.
Taco can be found at Matachica charming the guests and watching over the water sports most days. (Not a bad gig Taco!)
And Tonto, oh Tonto! And his owner Harriette. Tonto has been hanging out at the Truck Stop for years…mooching pizza and making friends.
He was WAY more interested in hot dogs than hoop-jumping.
Herding potlickers is like herding cats.
Getting a picture at the end? Close to impossible.
In the end…after some careful calculations and discussion…the WINNERS:
Cosita was fan favorite. 1st place and Best in Show: TACO! 2nd place: BUDDY and 3rd place; TONTO
Prizes were distributed…hot dogs eaten by all…the fans were happy. And best of all? A check was written to the SAGA Humane Society.
A big one!
And remember, as Bob Barker always said at the end of the “Price Is Right”
Remember to Have your pets spayed and neutered!