There’s no better way to spend Valentine’s Day than by celebrating one love we all have in common: dogs! About 10,000 dog lovers gathered in New York City on Saturday at the Piers — overlooking the frozen Hudson River — for Meet the Breeds 2015.

For the first time, the American Kennel Club hosted this event the same week as the Westminster Dog Show, which happens this Monday and Tuesday at Madison Square Garden. After patiently waiting in a long line that stretched outside into the bitter cold, attendees roamed the rows of booths celebrating more than 150 AKC-recognized dog breeds.

And if you hadn’t guessed it already, red was, of course, the color of the afternoon. That worked out quite well for the Staffordshire Bull Terrier booth, which matched a giant "Love" backdrop with a huge illustration of the iconic red phone booths that the breed’s homeland, England, is known for. The Sussex Spaniel booth also joined in on the Valentine’s fun with a big, heart-shaped board proclaiming "two hearts are better than one" — with one cutout for the dog’s face and another for the admiring human’s. Red bandanas, blankets, collars, heart balloons, Valentine’s Day signs and the cutest pink and red outfits graced every aisle.

If you're looking for an opportunity to meet more than 100 dog breeds (and, of course, fall in love with more than a few), Meet the Breeds is the place for you.

Abbie, a 4-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier, cuddles with her owner, Toni Pawson.

Mimi, a 5-year-old Welsh Springer Spaniel from Easton, Maryland, dons a pink flower headband from her favorite place to shop: the baby section at Target.

Dominic Carota holds his 10-year-old Pharaoh Hound, Ethan.

Many of the volunteers at the booths wear outfits honoring their beloved breeds, like the Newfoundland here.

Hannah, the Brittany, will you be our valentine?

Bridget, the Dalmatian, steps up to the Dalmatian table for... well, shouldn't she already know everything there is to know about being a Dalmatian?

At the American Eskimo Dog booth, honesty is the best policy.

This is our second year in a row chatting with Bobbe Lord, who dresses up as the queen to promote her breed, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi.

Sushi, a 7-month-old Bull Terrier, loves mugging for pictures and showing off her tricks for treats. "It's too bad she's not friendly at all," her owner jokes.

Bella is an 8-year-old Pug who loves to do therapy work. "We hope she lives forever," her owner says.

The Bergamasco booth, which has been swamped all day with admirers wanting to pet the massive, corded dogs, features this Table Art & Event Designs canine-shaped arrangement made from fake flowers.

It has been a great day, and it looks like Team Italian Greyhound is ready for a nap!
And the breeders and owners at every booth never hesitated to share what they love most about their breeds. Betty Barth happily raved about her Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen dogs: "They love everybody. They love children; they love other dogs," she said. "They’re just wonderful, and they make everybody happy."

Awards for best booth went to one breed for each group, and then one best booth overall, which the judges awarded to the Bergamasco booth:
  • Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever (Sporting)
  • Otterhound (Hound)
  • Newfoundland (Working)
  • Irish Terrier (Terrier)
  • Papillon (Toy)
  • American Eskimo Dog (Nonsporting)
  • Bergamasco (Herding)
  • Lagotto Romagnolo (Miscellaneous)
We hope you enjoyed scrolling through our favorite moments from the day, and we’ll see you back here bright and early Monday morning for the start of the Westminster Dog Show!