Of all the days of the week, Monday is the most emotionally dependent. People regularly claim to hate it, except on the occasion of a National Holiday, the American workers’ equivalent of a Get Out Of Jail Free card. Its fellow weekdays, by comparison, enjoy an independence that is carefree. Tuesday and Thursday are unencumbered by having to follow the Day of Rest, and Wednesday’s designation as “Hump Day” promises an endless mountain of hope. Of course, Friday signals the beginning of the weekend and Saturday, good ole’ Saturday, can become anything or nothing at all.

For those who show dogs, however, there exists a kind of alternate workweek. On the dog show calendar, Friday is Monday and Monday is Saturday (unless you’re on a grueling 10-day circuit where every day is just another day.) To handlers of purebred dogs, Monday can mean traveling a thousand miles through a blinding snowstorm just to get home from work. Monday is the day for unpacking an overloaded van and for catching up on household repairs. Whereas the rest of the workforce has a lawn that is mowed and a house that is clean on Monday, “dog people” are just beginning to tackle these chores (if they’re going to tackle them at all!) If a clean house is the sign of a sick mind, then exhibitors surely rank among the nation’s healthiest thinkers.

The breeding, training, grooming and exhibition of purebred dogs is a full-time occupation. The demands are 24/7 and many are the skills required to achieve success, from nursemaid and bottle washer to auto mechanic and politician. For professional handlers, Monday might as well be every day of the week. It ‘s all the same; after all, when there are hungry mouths to feed, dirty kennels to clean and a thousand miles between the show grounds and a lawn in need of a good mowing.