Ringside with Dog Show Hosts John O'Hurley, David Frei, and Mary CarilloPublished November 23, 2010
National Dog Show: Lana Vitsup
Gossiping between the group judging events, we asked John O'Hurley, best known for his role as J. Peterman on "Seinfeld," his 12-year daytime TV career, and his first-season win on "Dancing with the Stars," which part of the show he most looks forward to.
Without a second's hesitation he replied, "Being backstage with the dogs. We [O'Hurley, his lovely wife, Lisa -- who had on a killer pair of heels by the way -- and cute son, William] make it a point to meet all the dogs and breeders. It's so fun to see how the dogs act when they're just being dogs."
And even though O'Hurley's own dogs didn't come along for the fun, he assured us they were well taken care of at home. "My assistant is watching them."
Expert analyst and AKC-licensed judge, David Frei's dogs were at home as well this year, even though his Cavalier King Charles, Angel, has been found in her Sherpa bag under the presenter's table at dog shows past.
"Our good friend is watching her," said Frei's wife, Cherilyn, who is the director of family support for the Therapy Dog Program at Ronald McDonald House in New York and who was saying, "Hi" to her hubs during a break between rounds.
David is the chair of Angel on a Leash, a therapy dog program with health care facilities around the country.
We asked if his love of show dogs and his love of therapy dogs go hand-in-hand.
"My passion is for therapy dogs. I've spent a lot of time in the dog show world, showing and breeding. It's great fun and it brought me here, but it brought me to my therapy dog as well."
So, we asked, which part of the show do you think is the most fun?
"We're all here to see who's going to win the competition, but what I like is the cumulative effect of all the cute things the dogs do in the ring. They remind us of our own dogs at home."
We agreed, and so did Mary Carillo, veteran Olympics correspondent and the newest addition to the hosting team.
"I'm guilty of rooting for dogs that remind me of dogs I've had," she admitted.
What kinds of dogs? we asked.
"I'm lucky. I've had a couple of really nice dogs in my life. I had a French Poodle growing up and a Bischon. Mine never looked as good as these though. Mine just had a puppy cut. And right now I have a Westie who I just love," she said.
And how does covering the National Dog Show compare to covering the Olympics? We had to know.
"I have never been at a sporting event where I smile as much as I do at a dog show. That is the biggest difference."
What made you smile the most today? we asked.
"I went backstage and got my hair done with a couple of the dogs," she said, touching her well-groomed locks and still grinning away.
To hear some top-notch commentary from the team, tune in on Turkey Day!