Related: Dogs and their owners descend on New York for Westminster Dog Show
Gallery: Press conference kicking off the 137th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show
Meet the dogs: Ollie | Charlie | Romeo
Meet the judge: John Ramirez
You're all dressed up and about to enter the ring at Madison Square Garden - with a dog on a leash.
There are cameras and millions of people watching from home.
What could possibly go wrong?
Just about anything.
By the time dogs and handlers make it to Westminster, most are seasoned pros. But there's always a bit of unpredictability in a dog show ring.
"It's very tense, everybody's a complete wreck," said Diane Amiel of Sherman Oaks, whose long-haired dachshund, George, is making his second appearance at this year's Westminster show.
This is the third year she's entered what is the nation's most prestigious dog show.
"You wait all year for your big moment," she said, recalling one year when the dog she entered developed a sudden case of stage fright.
Each dog has about two minutes in the ring.
"You hope your dog has its moment of divine inspiration when the judge is looking," said David Frei, who has announced the show for television for 23 years. "But dogs are dogs and it's a dog show. I think it's OK for dogs to do something funny or cute."
Gloria Henderson of San Pedro teaches a Wednesday night class in dog-show handling through the Lomita Obedience Training Club. While she's never shown a dog at Westminster, she has accompanied her own golden retrievers in show rings through the years.
The stakes are high and the pressure tremendous at shows like Westminster.
"In big shows like Westminster you're on display for the whole country," she said. "I've seen people stumble and fall."
There's an art to making a dog look its best in the ring, Henderson said.
"You don't want to attract attention to yourself, but you want to make the dog look his very best," she said.
Handlers must be able to move their dog gracefully "at the correct pace for that breed." Bigger dogs run. Little dogs with short legs have a more wobbly - call it cute - gait.
But it still all comes down to the dog.
"I don't look at (handlers), I'm looking at the dogs," said veteran dog show judge John Ramirez of Downey who will judge three of the working breeds at Westminster this year. "An amateur handler can't make a good dog look bad."
And about your clothes if you're a dog handler.
Dress sharp, even color coordinate with your dog. But don't be a distraction.
"I remember seeing a lady once in a great big full skirt that was just flowing all over the place," Henderson said. "Obviously it was disconcerting for the judge."
Women handlers should leave the high heels at home, Henderson said. Wear "sensible shoes," Henderson said, "shoes with ties or buckles."
But even a pair of flats can go wrong.
"I've lost a shoe in the ring before," Henderson said. "That was a little embarrassing."
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