No shock, lots of awwwww

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ViewFinder

February 18, 2007|By Monica Lopossay | Monica Lopossay,Sun Staff

What could be more fun than hanging out at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City, with champion mastiff George Bailee, a slobbering 215-pound hunk of casual good humor from Maryland? George wasn't one of those show dogs with teased hair and a model's nervous posture. He is actually a family pet who spends much of his time lounging around on couches begging for hot dogs back home in Cockeysville.

At this point, I should make a confession. I fell in love with George. The more than 900 photos I took of him were a tipoff, as was my inability to stop petting his broad soft belly.

The first time I gazed into George's droopy-jowled face, I could feel my own heart sinking into every flap of folding skin. I knew at that moment saying goodbye would be as hard for me as it would be for George to walk away from a whole roasted chicken and an entire bowl of turducken.

Someday I may get a dog of my own; until then I will always have my hundreds of photos of George, always remember the burning sting of his tail whipping against my legs, and at least until I do laundry I will have huge globs of his drool on my favorite jacket.

George didn't win at the Westminster but he'll always be my champion.

ONLINE --A portfolio of other images taken by Sun photographers can be seen at www.baltimoresun.com/viewfinder

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