There were an army of dogs from a wide array of pedigree breeds; on leashes; licking boots; and wagging their tail at the sight of a cup. The 93rd championship dog show, which was the canine version of a sports meet, was organised by the Madras Canine Club here on Sunday.

More than 355 dogs participated in the event and the competition among the exhibitors, if not the dogs themselves, was intense.

According to J. Rajaraman, one of the founding members of the Madras Canine Club, the main objective of dog shows like these is to improve the breeding of pedigree dogs and popularise some of the fast vanishing breeds.

Many of the participants also said that seeing other people who shared their love for dogs was rare and dog shows served as a great platform to get to know people with similar interests.

The day was a dog lover’s dream and there were many of them who egged on their ‘family’ to give their best. Sunil, a software executive and owner of five dogs said “We have not taken a vacation for as long as I can remember. Today was an exception. I came all the way from Bangalore just so that my dogs can participate.”

Love for the four legged ones had created and altered the careers of quite of a few participants. “I used to feed stray dogs while I was young. My father had difficulty funding my education, so asking him to buy a dog was out of the question. I joined an MNC and now I can fund my childhood passion.”

Mohammed Shakeel Akther, Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic), was the chief guest at the event and he distributed the prizes.

A two-and-a-half year old Rottweiler died at the event due to a heat stroke during the show.

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