Dog owners, cat owners, reptile owners, fish owners, bird owners, rodent owners, and even goat owners had a chance to connect this weekend over the most important beings in their lives: their pets. The Olympic Stadium was full of all things pet at the SNAC, the Salon National des Animaux de Compagnie. Exhibitors included everything from cradle to grave. And yes, by grave, we mean that there was an exhibitor offering a private mausoleum for the deceased.
While there was plenty to buy in terms of treats, meals, and toys, it’s the animals themselves that get the attention. Service and therapy dogs accompanied their handlers. Many organizations that specialize in providing service and therapy dogs to others, such as Mira, had dogs on site. These animals were unfazed by all the bustle around them, and both service and non-working dogs were happily stroked and cooed at.
Breeders with litters on the way or simply interested in getting their breed more well known brought their dogs and sometimes puppies. While there were the more familiar dachshunds and French bulldogs, there were also more unusual dogs too like the Havanese and the Xoloitzcuintle.
For kids, the reptile display and the goat pen provided an opportunity to interact with animals rarely seen on the streets of Montreal. Baby goats bleated and clambered over mind-blown toddlers in a small pen set up for that express purpose. A large box tortoise caused another kid to burst into tears. “Are you scared of the turtle?” his father asked as he whisked him safely away from the benign, slow-moving beast. Other kids excitedly let the handlers drape snakes on their hands.
In one ring, a dog breed show was underway. Judges explained to the audience what they were looking for as gorgeous golden retrievers, English sheepdogs, Poms, and more were walked down the aisle.
In another ring, agility trials had other dogs racing over jumps, through tunnels, up and down bridges, and even through hoops. A few dogs had stage fright or took the course according to their own desires. Some simply flew through as if they were performing a familiar routine at the Olympics (Australian shepherd, I’m looking at you).
The highlight, though, was probably the cat show. A cat show is, let’s face it, a beauty contest and these cats were all winners even without judges. Enormous Coons, skinny Cornish Rex, sleek looking Bengals — the cats were all exemplary. The judges held them aloft as they studied their bones, their weight, the shape of their faces, and quickly marked down who won and who didn’t. But when it came to judging the best, the judges explained their reasoning for their choices, overviewing each cat’s best features.
Here are some more pictures from the day:
The SNAC takes place every year in November. Info on the event can be found HERE.