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Hey Westminster, Please Let These Dogs In (The Baha Men Kennel Club Remix)

Uno

Awwww, wook at his wittle face. Um, we mean, cute dog.

While the Olympians are up in Vancouver being all Olympian-y, another group of way cuter and way furrier athletes are taking the stage — PUPPIES!! OK, dogs. Proper, well-bred, very fancy and expensive dogs. They’ll be competing for the title of Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show tonight. You can watch it on the good old USA Network, starting at 8 (ET). And good news, Mario Lopez is hosting!!

Every year, some star emerges after winning the title. Like Uno, the beagle who won Best in Show in 2008 (the first beagle to do so, ever), and sent droves of Americans out to buy, you guessed it, beagles. Uno, by the way, gets his own seat on airplanes, has been to the White House, threw out a first pitch at an MLB game (in a manner of speaking) and rang the bell to open the NASDAQ Stock Exchange. So that should make you feel good about yourself.

Anyway. We think the show could use some additional star power before the winner is announced (not that Mario Lopez isn't a great start). But what about the celebrity at-large entrants? Usually, for a dog to qualify for Westminster, he or she has to already be an American Kennel Club champion. We’d like to take a page from the NCAA tournament and reserve a few spots for dogs deemed worthy by a special panel. And by a special panel we mean us. So, no offense to this year’s favorite, Sadie the little Scottish terrier, but here are a few canines we’d like to see walk the green carpet tonight.

At least one dog mascot should get a nod every year. But with a plethora of options – from the Georgia and Gonzaga Bulldogs, to the University of Tennessee’s Smokey to the Southern Illinois Saluki – it’s no easy choice. This year, we’re going with Rhett the Boston terrier, mascot of Boston University. For several reasons. First, his name is Rhett after Rhett Butler in “Gone With the Wind” (blank stare). Because “no one loves Scarlett more than Rhett” (blank stare). Because BU’s colors are scarlet and white. (hhhh, got it!) So points for that. Second, he comes in both mascot and puppet form. Third, he’s entrepreneurial. So we think he’d take tremendous advantage of the exposure brought on by winning, if he should win. And fourth, he's healthy as a horse.

Another spot should always be saved for dogs belonging to famous athletes. Being raised in that kind of competitive environment and all, they’d have to be strong contenders, right? Shawn Johnson’s golden retriever, Tucker, is a good option considering he goes on runs with her and is probably very well disciplined. It also appears he’s bigger than she is. But we’re going with skater Rob Dyrdek’s bulldogs, meaty and beefy. Because … well, because they’re funny.

From athlete’s dogs it’s one quick step to athletic dogs, so let’s save a spot for them each year. The obvious choice is Larry, as in Larry the lead dog on Lance Mackey’s Iditarod-winning team. We imagine a froufrou dog show would be no big thing for Larry, who’s used to trekking 1,1000 miles through the Alaskan wilderness, but who knows. Maybe it’s a different skill set.

Lastly, we definitely need a wildcard category for dogs like this one who RISK THEIR LITTLE DOGGIE LIVES TO RUN OUT IN TRAFFIC AND SAVE OTHER DOGS. And dogs don’t even have nine lives like cats; they just have the one. Other contenders for the wildcard category should have special skills as well. Like Poochie, the rapping surfer dog from the Simpsons. Or Snoopy. Or Snoop Dogg, who is a combination of both those things (rapper dog + Snoopy = Snoop Dogg). Why do we think the dog from this category would be a fan fave every time?