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October 21, 2009

The rain, gray skies, and cold weather couldn't stop over 25,000 visitors from attending AKC's Meet the Breeds this weekend at the Javits Convention Center in New York City. And it was amazing!

People from far and wide came to meet just over 200 breeds of cats and dogs, their breeders, owners, and even trainers. Of course, PetMD was there to share the excitement of the event with you. That's right. Over the two-day extravaganza we were able to witness dog training (and talk to the experts), dog and cat agility exhibitions, as well as exhibitions in obedience and even "earthdog" demonstrations.

If you’re wondering what is earthdog, you’re not alone. I, too, was curious to find out what it was, and was pleasantly surprised to learn that earthdog is a fun, non-competitive way of testing a dog’s natural aptitude in hunting and working in underground conditions. This evaluation is for small terriers and dachshunds.

People teemed through the aisles, eager to meet the cats and dogs and their owners. Everyone was amazingly well-behaved; narry a scratch or a bite to be had from the professional cats and dogs on display. And they were all professional! Sticky little eager fingers from toddlers and children didn’t even turn a whisker. Their owners and breeders were clearly doting companions to their pets.

Bravo, as well, to the show's coordinators. There were so many experts on hand to answer any and all questions. From distinguished vets to dog behavior experts to Animal Planet’s celebrity grooming specialists to the international cat show judges, they were all there to talk to attendees and answer any and all questions with grace, humor, and patience.

Basically, it was like PetMD brought to life.

I got to meet celebrity cats like Barrack Obama, the gorgeous black Bombay, and Coco, the award-winning (Best in Show at Crufts, England's largest dog show) terrier -- yes, she is that kind of fancy, globe trotting dog.

There were also plenty of vendors offering fantastic treats for dogs and cats, as well as a few fabulous new ideas we loved that we’ll gossip about in Haute or Not?, so keep your eyes peeled in the upcoming weeks.

With art from children on display and Whoopie Goldberg and Mario Lopez mingled with cats, dogs, and children, there was nothing left for the PetMD team to do but have our faces painted by the face-painting experts. Yes, we were cats …

Meet the Breeds was an amazing two-day exhibition celebrating the ones who enrich our lives on a daily basis -- our beloved cat and dog family members. It was a fabulous way for the American Kennel Club to celebrate its 125th birthday. But every day should be a celebration of our cat and dog friends. They’re the ones that bring so much joy into our lives without asking for a single thing back.

PetMD loves to celebrate our animal friends on a daily basis. So should you.

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