266 – Westminster KC Treasure Trove: The VOICE of MSG and Yukon Vet | Pure Dog Talk

Treasures from the Garden

Westminster KC Treasure Trove: The VOICE of MSG and Yukon Vet

Michael LaFave, Westminster Kennel Club Announcer

“May we have the hound group please” may be the most thrilling line in dogdom. Westminster Kennel Club announcer Michael LaFave has been the announcer voice at Madison Square Garden for 18 years. Host Laura Reeves caught up with LaFave and Yukon Vet Dr. Michelle Oakley in New York City earlier this month.

LaFave was a Basset Hound fancier and president of Eastern Dog Club in Boston when the revered Roger Caras fell ill before the 2001 Westminster dog show. That last minute “fill in” assignment launched nearly two decades associated with his deep, powerful voice describing each dog being judged on the green carpet.

Intense moments and gorgeous dogs mark his tenure speaking to the thousands of fans filling the seats at the famed Manhattan venue.  His favorite winner? Uno, the Beagle. His most memorable moment? The presentation to the Search and Rescue dogs who worked 9/11, just months after the tragedy.

Yukon Vet Debuts at Westminster

Nat Geo Wild series star Dr. Michelle Oakley, Yukon Vet.

Unlike LaFave, Oakley was brand new to Westminster Kennel Club. The TV star of the Nat Geo Wild reality series Yukon Vet was star struck herself as she met our famous canines. Fan girl moment? Biggie the pug. Oakley has a pug herself who she zips up in her snowmobile suit to take on two hour rides to her cabin.

She compared the agility competitors to sled dogs in their enthusiasm to work and reported “puppy breath wafting” from the floor of the show while watching the groups.

Her practical tips for living in sub-zero weather with dogs is to make sure they have boots, coats and possibly even an outdoor heat lamp for a place to potty when the weather is extreme.

Take a listen to her stories of weather change extremes in the Yukon, which disrupt and even kill hibernating animals.

Westminster was a “happy hunting ground” for podcast topics this year and we’re happy to share our discoveries with you.

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