Way Back When: Dog Days in Santa Barbara

Way Back When: Dog Days in Santa Barbara title=
Way Back When: Dog Days in Santa Barbara
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(Image: courtesy of New York Public Library)

By Betsy J Green

The first annual dog show was held this month at the Belvedere (formerly Potter) Hotel, sponsored by the Santa Barbara Kennel Club. Dogs are said to be man’s best friend, and the press was clearly the dogs’ best friend, judging by all the articles about the show. “Everything from falsetto arias by insolent toy canines, ranging down to the deep, ominous growl of Great Danes, greeted the visitor to the two-day dog show … There are sad dogs, glad dogs, philosophical dogs, pugnacious, quarrelsome dogs, calm dogs, fretful, nervous dogs, watch dogs and hot dogs.” More than 270 dogs were entered.

In addition to the usual categories of dogs that you see at any dog show anywhere in the country, there were a couple of unusual classes at this dog show – Best Dog Owned by Motion-Picture Man and Best Dog Owned by Motion-Picture Woman. All of them (dogs and owners) were from Los Angeles. 

Betsy's Way Back When book -- 1918 -- is now available in local bookstores and at Amazon.com. This is the fifth book in her series of the history of Santa Barbara, one year at a time. Learn more at betsyjgreen.com​


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Flicka Aug 03, 2019 01:58 PM
Way Back When: Dog Days in Santa Barbara

For years the Dog Show was held on the polo grounds. The Miramar Hotel allowed guests to have there dogs with them. One day I was riding my horse on Miramar beach and 2 Afgans dogs started chasing us. The owner just stood there, guess he thought his dogs were having fun, no reason to stop them. When I spun my horse around and started chasing the dogs, then the owner called to them.

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