Azawakh, the only new breed presented at this year’s National Dog Show in Oaks, was introduced by Aliya Taylor, a former Philadelphia cop and one of the few hijabed women in the dog show world, writes Stephanie Farr for The Philadelphia Inquirer.
When she first showed up at the dog show, Taylor said people mistook her hijab for a costume.
“They thought I was dressing up like this to showcase my breed,” she said. “No. This is me. This is a Tuesday.”
The 47-year-old is hoping to inspire more Muslim women to enter the dog show ring.
She is also hoping to introduce Azawakh, a rare breed native to West Africa, to a wider audience. Azawakh are the only dogs that are taller than they are long, with very lanky frames. And while they can be distant with strangers, they are fiercely loyal to their owners.
The results of the show will be revealed on Thanksgiving Day, during an NBC broadcast.
Read more about the National Dog Show at The Philadelphia Inquirer by clicking here.