If you are like me, when you get home from a dog show, especially a big event like Westminster, you need to go to the grocery to replenish those stores and you look at your bank balance and you say to yourself, “I can’t believe I spent that much this weekend!”

Well, being the numbers nerd that I am, I started researching just how much we dog fanciers spend at dog shows. I found a study that the American Kennel Club (AKC) did that said the average dog show exhibitor spends $320 locally on a typical show three-day weekend. Now that figure does not include transportation to and from the show or the entry fees. Assuming a 600-mile round trip and a $30 entry fee, you can tack on another $195, bringing the cost of an average weekend to $515 or 61 percent higher than the AKC estimate.

Now make that a place you need to fly to, say New York, and a high cost area, say New York, and the cost is substantially more. Airfare for you and your dog is around $600 or more; plan on $200 for ground transportation; three nights in a hotel come in at around $750; and meals will be about $300 (I paid $20 for a corned beef sandwich & a bottle of water at a Madison Square Garden concessionaire.); and your Westminster trip cost you just under $2,000.

AKC estimates that dog show participants contribute $330 million annually to show-hosting communities. Add in the transportation and entry fees and that figure grows to a $483 million economic stimulus. This does not include all the contribution the show hosting club contributes to the community in facility & equipment rental fees, trophy purchases, and temporary employment for security and other support personnel. There’s no business like dog show business. And that’s today’s Back Story.