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Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show TV commentators sneak peak

David Frei, Host of the USA Network live coverage and Director of Communcations for Westminster and telecast partner Mary Carillo, now in her fourth year with the show, took part in a National Media Conference Call as the fun, hype and road to Westminster 2012 begins. FIDO Friendly has some inside scoop on the doggone news and will be covering Westminster for the second year in a row:

David Frei on 2011 winner Hickory:

“She just had 9 puppies in October and is living comfortably on a farm in Virginia.  We don’t know yet if she is going to be able to make it to the show.  We might have to stick her in a cab to get there.”


David on increase in popularity of the show:

“The increase in viewership is because of all the different types of media that we have now.  We have the website –  plus Facebook, and Twitter going strong now.  Last year, we had the highest TV ratings of the last five years and I think that was mainly because of the social media and a lot of people were able to interact with us.  We call it a two screen experience and were able to have conversations with the audience about the dogs both before and during the show.”


Mary on working with world class dogs vs. world class athletes:

“At the Olympics I would always notice that the sprinters all have- by necessity- confidence.  They are about to run the race of their life that in front of millions.  I think terriers, my personal favorite breed, are a lot like this.  They show the same kind of confidence at Westminster.”


David on his work with therapy dogs:

“I’m just the guy holding the leash, the dogs really do all the work.  It’s really special and great that we can use Westminster to spread the word about therapy dogs.  We have had a few Westminster champions that were therapy dogs, most notably Rufus who won in 2006 and James from 2007.  Last year we took Hickory to the Ronald McDonald House after she won Westminster.  Then in 2008, we took Uno to Milwaukee to throw out the first pitch at the Brewers game and along the way stopped at the Ronald McDonald house there.  They usually don’t allow dogs, but they decided that they wanted him there for the families.”


Mary on what her favorite dog breed is:

“I have had a couple of dogs throughout my life.  Right now I have a Westie who I am crazy about.   I like terriers because of what’s going on inside of their head and in their hearts.  I like how bossy they are and how crazy they can be, but they are also sweet and good natured at the same time.  I have recently developed a soft spot for rescue dogs as well.  I just got my hands on one, Petie, and he is part terrier.  He seems like he is really happy and has a great smile.”


David on the new Purina Sponsorship:

“We love Purina.  Purina is very involved with rescue dogs.  We are happy to have them and so is the dog show world as well.  I know that dog’s lives are very important to them and that comes first.  They have been very loyal to the dog show world throughout the years.  I have been working with them for 10 years now at the National Dog Show.  Dog’s lives are very important to them.  Whether it’s a rescue dog or any other family pet, that comes first for them.”

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