As each of the seven competitors for best in show at the 140th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on Tuesday approached Richard Meen, the judge, he told them, “Relax.” But you wonder if any one of the four-legged champions, let alone their handlers, could heed the advice, even if they were aware that his non-canine work is psychiatry.
Relaxation would seem to be the last thing on the mind of the last 14 dogs and humans standing after two days of competition.
Whatever anxiety existed dissipated quickly. Meen is not one of those judges who drags out his decision as if he were telling a mystery story. He eyed each of the dogs, held out both his hands to frame their expressions, had them take a last lap around the green-carpeted ring at Madison Square Garden and headed straight to the judge’s table to write down his decision:
He chose C. J., a 3-year-old male German shorthaired pointer.
C. J. appeared to have grasped Meen’s advice to relax….