High Drama at the 1909 Tacoma Kennel Club Show

The entry below recording a dog show held in Tacoma, Washington in the spring of 1909 may look mundane but let me tell you, the show was lit.

Skinner, F.J. (Ed.). (1910). Breeders’ and exhibitors’ of dogs guidebook and directory (2nd annual volume). New York, NY: The Bulletin Company

The Tacoma Kennel Club brought in a judge from California for the event. His arrival made the newspaper:

Tacoma Daily News, April 27, 1909, p. 11

Check this seemingly ho-hum summary of the show from Dogdom magazine:

Dogdom, June 1909

“A little shooting” just creeps in there with the elegance of a blobfish. And it fails to earn a mention in other papers that covered the show:

Portion of the article on page 12 of The Tacoma Daily Ledger, May 2, 1909
From the same article as above, a dog who was not shot at the show
Portion of an article about the show on page 10 of The Tacoma Daily Ledger, May 1, 1909

I guess the courts were speedier in 1909 because the shooter immediately went before a judge and received no punishment:

Anon. (1909, May 1). Slayer of dog given freedom. The Tacoma Daily Ledger, (no column/section), p. 7. Retrieved from https://www.newspapers.com

In related news, a cross country race was being organized at this same time to showcase that newfangled bit of technology, the automobile. The race was sponsored by Robert Guggenheim, who was also a dog fancier. He decided to delay his rendezvous with the Pathfinder car (which was mapping out a course for the race) in Boise so he could stay in Tacoma for the dog show, where he had one of his bulldogs entered.

The Tacoma Daily Ledger, April 27, 1909, p. 10

As for how Mr. Guggenheim’s dog did, he lost. The bulldog, Newguard, was undefeated in 50 shows. Losing at Tacoma was a big fucking deal. I include the following bit of grace, with more than a little sadness at its diminished state at present day:

Snipped from The Tacoma Daily News, April 30, 1909, p. 13

All in all, a pretty memorable inaugural show for the Tacoma Kennel Club, which still holds (slightly less dramatic) dog shows today.

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