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Beauty isn't easy for this Shih Tzu

February 10, 2009 |  5:43 pm

Shihtzu

Author Kahlil Gibran said, "Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart."

But for Bell the Shih Tzu, a light in the heart -- while it might provide the animated showmanship that Westminster judges are so fond of -- isn't enough to win dog show prizes.  The process that goes into getting Shih Tzus (as well as other long-coated breeds like the Yorkshire terrier and Maltese) ready for the ring is nothing if not intense. 

Our colleague, sports columnist T.J. Simers, is on the scene at Madison Square Garden and shares some of his observations:

Hair spray is everywhere, many of the poodles also getting a touch of mascara and makeup, while a pinch of Vicks or vanilla is applied under the nose of males in an effort to keep them focused around females in season. Who says NBA players couldn't learn some new tricks?

For more photos from the Garden, check out the 133rd annual Westminster Kennel Club dog show photo gallery.

--Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Chris McGrath / Getty Images

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