This Is How the Westminster Kennel Club Pets Travel

Feb 15, 2017

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Hollywood can keep its Oscars — this year’s award season is going to the dogs. As the canine-loving world looked on this week, nearly 3,000 of the world’s most pristine show dogs were whittled down to one finalist as a German Shepherd named Rumor (full name: GCh. Ch. Lockenhaus’ Rumor Has It V Kenlyn) claimed the coveted Best in Show title at the 141st annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. But every competitor turned up a winner, especially when it came to their travel game.

Show dogs sure don't travel light. Image courtesy of The Washington Post via Getty Images.
Show dogs sure don’t travel light. Image courtesy of The Washington Post via Getty Images.

While the main event takes place at Madison Square Garden, Hotel Pennsylvania, located just across the street, is the main off-hours hub for the show’s well-bred competitors, not to mention the humans who love and train them.

The 1,700-room Hotel Pennsylvania plays host to hundreds of Westminster competitors each year. Image courtesy of The Washington Post via Getty Images.
The 1,700-room Hotel Pennsylvania plays host to hundreds of Westminster competitors each year. Image courtesy of The Washington Post via Getty Images.

Though it’s always pet-friendly, the hotel essentially transforms itself into a doggie paradise each February in anticipation of the world’s most famous dog show. Four-legged guests are even greeted by the hotel’s onsite Doggie Concierge, who makes sure their every need is met.

“This year’s show’s was great and we welcomed hundreds of dogs with open paws,” said Jerry Grymek, the Hotel Pennsylvania’s longtime Doggie Concierge. “They loved our Dog Spa facilities, which came in handy when it snowed last week. We love our VIPs (Very Important Pooches),” he said.

The Hotel Pennsylvania's onsite Doggie Concierge attends to a pooch's every need. Image courtesy of Lam Thuy Vo via <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/lamivo/8463531412/in/photolist-dTTP2o-9k1zwi-9jdv2t-9j196B-7CAV5Y-5ZHeHP-5ZMryq-5YZrZp" target="_blank">Flickr</a>.
Hotel Pennsylvania’s onsite Doggie Concierge attends to a pooch’s every need. Image courtesy of Lam Thuy Vo via Flickr.

Upon arrival, Westminster pets receive a welcome gift and treats, plus access to the now-iconic “Room to Groom S’paw,” New York City’s largest dog spa that rivals most human versions with bathtubs, grooming spaces and exercise and fitness areas.

Looking good! Image courtesy of the Hotel Pennsylvania.
Looking good! Image courtesy of Hotel Pennsylvania.

There’s also an indoor pet relief area, complete with fake fire hydrants. Though this may be the pups’ favorite spot, the grooming area is essential for Dog Show contestants, whose every detail will be picked over by the show’s eagle-eyed judges. Translation: there can’t be a strand of fur out of place.

Primping the perfect poodle. Image courtesy of The Washington Post via Getty Images.
Primping the perfect poodle. Image courtesy of The Washington Post via Getty Images.

When it comes to mingling, the hotel lobby is where it’s at. Dogs and their handlers can relax before the show — and check out the competition.

Competition? What competition? Image courtesy of The Washington Post via Getty Images.
Competition? What competition? Image courtesy of The Washington Post via Getty Images.

Just two blocks away, the art-deco style Wyndham New Yorker Hotel is yet another popular venue for Kennel Club contestants. In anticipation of the influx of furry patrons, the hotel transformed its bottom floor into a dog fitness area and restroom. Luxury has officially gone to the dogs.

Featured image courtesy of Hotel Pennsylvania.

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