So, last night was the final day of Crufts, and I was surprised to discover that people still watch this shit.

The sight of manicured poodles being trotted up and down by a group of vicariously aspirational oddballs is one of those regrettable tastes of former decades, like orange and brown upholstery, prawn cocktails and IRA pub bombings. You’d like to think that these things are all long past. But apparently, Crufts is still shown and enjoyed on prime time television. Perhaps, like the prawn cocktails and decor, it’s experiencing a retro comeback. Or, perhaps, the incomprehensible alien hive mind that is middle England still genuinely enjoys it.

But hey, aren’t I being a cultural snob? Isn’t it all just a bit of fun? Well, no, it isn’t. For a start, there’s the dog who dropped dead, allegedly poisoned, shortly after the competition. Even if it was natural causes, the fact that the owner jumped immediately to the hysterical conclusion of poisoning by a competitor, gives a sense of the type of bitter, deranged competitiveness that Crufts inspires. And if it was poisoning, the conclusion is the same, just more tragic.

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