Now that the Scotties are out of the running for the Westminster Best in Show title, the Scottish Terrier and Dog News is officially throwing its support behind Efbe’s Hidalgo At Goodspice aka Charmin the Sealyham, who won the Terrier Best of Group.
We particularly like USA Today‘s headline — “Judges find soft spot for Charmin at Westminster” — on top of a story all about how the 3-1/2 -year-old Sealyham Terrier got his nickname:
When (he) was a pup, he was fluffy and soft just like, well, you know …
“He was squeezeably soft,” says owner-handler Margery Good of Cochranville, Pa. If Mr. Whipple was around, he might even allow you to squeeze him. Of course, his name has led to the usual puns. “Charmin’s on a roll” became his slogan.
And what a roll. Charmin finished last year as the United States’ No. 4 dog and top terrier. He won Best in Show in the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship in December and best of the terrier group at the National Dog Show on Thanksgiving.
Frankly, the Scottie News find Sealies a bit on the goofy side compared to Scots, but then we would, wouldn’t we? His handler Margery Good has a different point of view and so does the USA Today reporter who interviewed her.
“He did everything I asked him to do in spades,” Good said moments after winning the group. Even though his legs are just 4 inches high, Charmin strides around the ring like a supermodel. “He covers a lot of ground. He sailed around the ring. He was spectacular.”
As far as the competition goes, the crowd favourite would appear to be Uno the beagle aka Ch. K-Run’s Park Me In First. While Sealyham Terriers have been crowned Westminster’s top dog four times, the beagle has never won Best in Show. According to the Associated Press, beagles’ problem is that they’re just too popular.
“Great show dogs often have an air about them. It’s like this is their world and we’re just living in it,” Westminster TV host David Frei said. “But beagles want to be in our world.”
They also have another disadvantage: They’re far from the fancy-cut, froufrou dogs that often win.
“To some, a beagle may not look as spectacular as the Afghan hound, flying around the ring with all that hair,” Frei said.
With pleading, golden-brown eyes and plenty of tail-wagging personality, Uno could break out of the Westminster doghouse. No beagle has even won the hound group since 1939.
“To have the general public see an average dog going and competing and actually winning would send a signal that everyone can do it,” said Eddie Dziuk, one of Uno’s co-owners.
Uno is not popular with everyone, however. In this outspoken dog forum, he’s taking flack for his lack of interest in chasing deer and rabbits. “He seemingly lacks the most meticulously selected for trait of the beagle – the innate tendency to speak on and follow a scent,” writes notsoape. “If he goes on to sire multiple litters, which seems likely, then that most fundamental trait may well be lost in a whole new generation of beagles, and their heritage will be diluted significantly. I don’t see how breeding from this chap, pretty as he might be, would better the breed. I don’t see how anybody would think it could.”
Along with Uno, Charmin will face stiff competition from Remy, the standard poodle officially named Ch. Brighton Minimoto who is the favourite of the Las Vegas oddsmakers. Johnny Avello, director of race and sports operations at the Wynn Las Vegas, sets odds on breeds’ chances of winning, not on particular dogs. He gave the standard poodle the best odds at 25-1. The toy poodle came in at 28-1, the German shepherd at 30-1, the Welsh corgi at 35-1, and the Sealyham at 40-1.
Ch. Brighton Minimoto aka Remy by Diane Fields
But Remy the poodle’s handler, Chris Manelopoulos, told the New York Times he’s not in complete agreement with the bookmakers:
“I think the beagle and the German shepherd should be the favorites,” he said as he shampooed the fur on Remy’s head, neck and floppy right ear in the grooming area just beyond the Garden’s judging floor. “Las Vegas should have called me. I have more inside information.”
He said a decisive factor might be that Remy had never seen any of the judges at the show.
But two other top-ranked dogs, he added, a beagle, Ch. K-Run’s Park Me In First, and a German shepherd, Ch. Kaleefs Geneva Aeval-Achtung, have been declared winners at previous shows by the breed and group judges they will see at Westminster, and by the best-in-show judge, J. Donald Jones.
“It’s not that I don’t have a chance, but these judges don’t have a previous knowledge of Remy to go by,” Manelopoulos said. “I don’t know if that’s good or bad. I don’t have any preconceptions.”
The last Best of Group prize to be awarded Monday night went to Ch Vinelake Collinswood Yablon OA OAJ, the Australian Shepherd who won the herding group after taking time off to have a litter of nine puppies. Known as Deuce when she’s not being called Supermom, this bitch is not to be confused with the Australian Shepehrd dog who won the Thanksgiving Day National Dog Show. That was CH. Buff Cap Cresland Arctionist also known as Swizzle.
To read all the Scottie News‘ Westminster 2008 coverage, click on the Westminster label directly below.