While it was entirely possible to go to the Annual Gem and Mineral Show at Place Bonaventure this weekend, most folks were heading to the SNAC, the Salon National des Animaux de Compagnie of Montreal, an annual companion animal event.
Dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets, reptiles, ponies, and parrots were all there. Parents with children went from booth to booth — okay, I did too — equally happy for a lick or a rub from a friendly creature. Breeders gladly talked about their animals’ temperament and personality. Rescue groups and training schools showed their successes with pride. Cat litter, toys, food, and similar pet products were on sale. It was a good mix.
There is such variety in animals. Animal lovers of all kinds could find something they liked.
The best part, imho, was watching the events. One area was called Dock Dogs. Here, a large pool was set up for trained dogs to leap into. The owner had to toss a frisbee or object and the dog had to jump out and fetch it. I think the goal was to measure the distance the dog covered in the leap. However, most dogs simply went to the edge and simply changed their mind about jumping in before the cheering crowd. Performance anxiety affects even the pooches.
The main ring was for the agility trials. Jumps, tires, and poles were set up for trainers to race their very obedient dogs through. We watched an Australian shepherd kill it, but the dog was so fast, my hope of getting a picture on my little point and shoot camera was negligible. A little jack russell proved he could match the shepherd pound for pound. There was also a frisbee throw. The owner stood behind a line and tossed a frisbee. One Boston Terrier proved that little can still be still mighty when he ran again and again and again after his mini frisbee.
Another highlight was the cat show. In special soft cages with plastic windows, beautiful cats lounged without a care in a world. They were organized by breed: Maine Coon, Bengal, Persian, Sphinx, and others I’d never heard of. Some cats were true divas, like Boudha here, who simply lolled on her white lambskin rug.
When it came time to judge, the cats were brought into special “rings” — more like squares — where a judge had a table at the centre. The judge went from cage to cage, sometimes waving a feather on a stick, and chose select cats to examine more closely. We caught site of the judges going through the Maine Coons. The judge brought certain cats out of their cages. The animals just lay limply in their hands like giant stuffed toys, clearly undisturbed by the experience. While I have no idea who won, they were all really gorgeous.
The SNAC took place November 7 and 8 at Place Bonaventure.