2020 National Dog Show preview: What to expect

Photo: National Dog Show/Steve Surfman
Photo: National Dog Show/Steve Surfman /
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The Dog O’Day National Dog Show preview wraps up on a personal note.

The hosts’ easy banter that comes from a decades-long friendship continued after O’Hurley talked about his latest project, an upcoming film called Charlie’s Christmas Wish, which is a holiday-themed story featuring a very good doggo.

“I play the voice of God, as humbly as I can,” O’Hurley said, while Frei jumped in, adding that this seemed like typecasting, though apparently the Lord also had to audition.

“We have a great time doing the show side by side every year – every once in a while he’ll say something and I’ll be like, ‘Wait a minute, that wasn’t John O’Hurley – that was Peterman!’ I look over and say, like, ‘Where’s Jerry? Where’s Elaine? Where’s Kramer?’

“It’s fun being with John because he can make that voice fit just about any breed of dog, for one thing, and he has a great time. We have great fun with the show.”

While it’s fun to imagine which dog breeds you or other people you know might be, both of their answers were very on-brand.

“Well…I would like to be a fast, athletic, fun-loving therapy dog. [This isn’t surprising; Frei cofounded the organization Angel on a Leash, which is also the name of one of his books.] So I would probably be one of the two breeds that I have right now, either a Brittany or a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. They are so good at being therapy dogs and relating to people, and in fact, some of what they do and what they are has rubbed off on me, because there are times once in a while where I’ll do something with the dog in a therapy situation, and then I’ll come back later and it’s just me, not the dog, and you go, ‘Well, what would Belle do?’ (My previous Brittany, you know.)

“And so I’ll go up and interact with the person, maybe it’s someone I’ve seen on the street previously, just now without my dog, and I’ll go up and introduce myself, and it’s still a positive interaction for all of us. It’s more fun with the dog, of course, but it’s opened up a lot of paths for us.”

O’Hurley pretended to be shocked by this answer.

“Well it doesn’t surprise me that David has gone the beneficent route. I will go the narcissistic and say that I would like to be the Irish Setter, because I think that they have that wonderful athletic appearance in the ring – the blue carpet, that wonderful auburn hair flowing…the dog is always so erect as it runs…it really is a beautiful show dog. I don’t know that it necessarily would be the right breed for me, but in terms of appearance in the ring, you can’t beat the Irish Setter.”

Next. Akbar Gbaja-Biamilla partners with Purina for the Incredible Dog Challenge. dark

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We hope you enjoyed this 2020 National Dog Show preview, and again, this year’s NDS can be watched on NBC at noon across all time zones on Thanksgiving Day, November 26, or through their new Peacock streaming service if you aren’t near a TV.