Bonhams NY Barkfest 2012 for Westminster Dog Show Week

Standard poodle London with owners (right) Michele Molnar and Jamie Danburg.
Russell Bianca, courtesy of Bonhams
Standard poodle London with owners (right) Michele Molnar and Jamie Danburg.

My mom loves both dogs and dog art -– there’s little better than that combination for us. So, she took me to the Barkfest annual charity brunch at Bonhams Auction House on posh Madison Avenue in Manhattan Feb. 12. It was fun for a Georgetown pup to sniff out the buffet brunch which included dog treats on the tables with the bagels and mini muffins. The event benefited a worthwhile cause: the American Kennel Club's Humane Fund, a charity which promotes responsible pet ownership.

While the 130 humans, many of them collectors or breeders, checked out the prized dog art collection, I met a canine celebrity, London, the reigning AKC/Eukanuba national champion, whose show name is Grand Champion Jaset's Satisfaction, as in the Rolling Stones' “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.” He’s a black standard poodle and competed at this year's dog show at Madison Square Garden. He is much larger than I am and among the 50 dogs at the brunch. He strutted around me and was primping and posing on the eve of his Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show appearance. We also met Clare, a four-month old Havanese, closer to my size, with owner Joan Ambrose, who had her father, P.J., the number one of the breed.

Richard Vulliet, a veterinarian and professor at University of California at Davis, attended the brunch without Magnum, his Canaan, the reigning national champion. “He’s in ‘doggie jail’ because he’s showing tomorrow,” Vulliet explained. He described his dog as “a coyote crossed with a Holstein cow.” The Israeli government uses the breed as bomb sniffers. Vulliet shared with us the exciting potential of his extensive research in California using stem cell technology to extend dogs’ lives. That deserves a big “woof.”

Bonhams annual "Dogs in Show & Field: The Fine Art Sale" of dog-related objects and art coincides with Westminster week. “The AKC has the largest and best collection of dog art in the world,” said Alan Fausel, director of fine art at Bonhams NY.

And, yes, you might have heard about this year's winner of the 136th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show: Malachy, the Pekingese, is more my size but with a lot more fur.

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Feb 16, 2012 at 4:41 PM Mary Bird

I am so proud that my goddog is such a stellar journalist.

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Feb 17, 2012 at 12:16 AM Tasha & Shilo

Nicely done, Campari! Love those ears!

Your friends,
Tasha & Shilo

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Feb 21, 2012 at 9:22 AM Ron Burns

I always wonder why there isn't any contemporary dog art at these auctions. Warhol painted dogs. And I have for over 20 years - my "Sirius" painting will be in the 9 11 Museum - odd....

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Mar 9, 2012 at 7:01 PM mercedes goldsmith

Campari needs an editor.

The Georgetowner needs a better screener for submitted articles.

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