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Westminster 2011: Fred Willard reveals what he loves most about the canine competition

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Everett Collection; Westminster Kennel Club

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Last February, Sadie the Scottish Terrier clinched the greatest honor in all dog-dom: the title of Best in Show at at the 134th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. (She’s pictured on the right side of the photo, posing with some real estate guy.) This year, a new crop of over 2,000 pups — and their dedicated owners — will be vying to succeed her. As a wise man once said: “And to think that in some countries these dogs are eaten!”

In honor of the WKC’s annual competition, I called up Fred Willard — who played Buck Laughlin, the colorful dog show commentator in Christopher Guest’s Best in Show — to see if he had any advice for the furry guys competing today and tomorrow. Though Willard didn’t share any tricks of the trade, he did wax rhapsodic about why he loves the show: “I went to a Westminster Dog Show years ago, and there was one man — one guy would pick up his dog and pet him and put him down, and the dog did not win because it was not disciplined. And I thought, ‘That’s kind of nice, he really loves his dog,'” he said. “From what I can see, they’re all very well-treated. And nobody will know next year who won Best in Show. It’s like the Super Bowl. I don’t know who won the Super Bowl last year. But it’s fun to treat the dogs and let them know they’re loved.”

Wise words indeed. What do you think, PopWatchers: Are you planning to watch Westminster, either tonight (from 8-9 p.m. on USA and from 9-11 p.m. on CNBC) or tomorrow (8-11 p.m. on USA)? And do you remember who won the Super Bowl in 2010?

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