The American Kennel Club has recognized six new breeds that will be competing this year — the bluetick coonhound, the redbone coonhound, the Boykin spaniel, the Cane Corso, the Icelandic sheepdog and the Leonberger — but O’Hurley will be appearing with one less dog in his life.
“We had some sad news this year,” he tells Zap2it. “Skoshi, our Maltese, finally passed away at the age of 20 years and four months. I guess the oldest dog in the world was 21, but he was getting up there. We had to, but it was kind of a sad day.”
O’Hurley’s household does still include a Havenese and a King Charles spaniel.
“They’re doing great,” says O’Hurley. “They sleep with us at night, and now we have a four-year-old boy who’s trying to weasel his way into the mix.”
In conjunction with the dog show, Petcentric.com has started a photo contest for pets — both pedigreed and not — and one of the categories is “Best John O’Hurley Lookalike.”
“That was Purina’s idea,” says O’Hurley. “I said, ‘This is going to end badly no matter how you look at it.’ The site just opened up a couple of days ago, and apparently there are a number of entries already. I’m trying to avoid going there. I’m not allowed to vote or judge, for obvious reasons, and they will have a blue-ribbon panel deciding when the contest is over.
“I don’t know whether they’re going for the silver hair or the eyebrows or the fact that I’m pompous and arrogant, or a fly fisherman or a wine collector. I don’t know if one of those figures in.”
Reminded that dogs neither collect wine nor fly-fish, O’Hurley says, “All right, I was throwing that out there, hoping people go in that direction.”