Yesterday, Beck, Sio, the dogs and I all piled into Smokey to visit the Incredible Dog Challenge at Forest Park. The event was being taped for TV, as it always is. It was a cold day in the 40s, and the crowd was pretty light because of it. Of course, moving the venue from Purina Farms to Forest Park may have had something to do with the light crowd, too.
Seeing that one set of stands was very full, we set about crossing over to the other stands where there was ground seating for the dogs. Once we got there, we were told by a uniformed officer that we had to sit in the other stands. Why? The producers wanted the stands over there to be completely full so it looked better on TV. I told him that I had a dog for whom the trek to the top of the stands was not safe, and he smugly said he couldn’t do anything about it. Even one of the competitors was trying unsuccessfully to get any of the other four stands open for folks to sit upon.
We packed up and left. As I told that competitor, viewing this event was not a fair trade for the health of my dog. Period.
So, my take from this? Purina, at least yesterday, cared more about appearance and ratings than the potential harm to my dog. Good thing I didn’t have a kid with a wheelchair, as I’m sure it would’ve been suggested to take to the stands then, too.
Needless to say, I’m very irate, and have a significant, bitter taste in my mouth concerning Purina and significant questions about where their true focus lies — caring for animals, or placing product.