With its enviable fluffy coat and dainty prance, a white bichon frise by the name of Flynn won the best in show title at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York on Tuesday night.
The prestigious competition held at Madison Square Garden attracted thousands of canine enthusiasts, including one man from Niagara Falls, Ont. who was one of four Canadian judges working at the event. Steve Dainard scrutinized nearly 100 dogs and eight different breeds during the competition on Tuesday. Although he’s judged many dog shows all over the world, and has showed dogs himself, it was the first time Dainard worked at the Westminster event.
“It’s kind of surreal. You don’t realize the enormity of the event,” he told CTV’s Your Morning on Wednesday. “I’ve been there a few times before but when you’re judging it’s definitely a different calibre. You have to kind of take a few deep breaths and say ‘okay, this is similar to other processes.’”
The mortgage broker revealed that judging dog breeds can depend on the country.
“Each country of origin has a breed standard that explains in detail what the breeds should look like and it talks about temperament and weight and coat quality, etc. so we have to really be aware of what those standards say and then compare that written standard to the dogs in front of us,” he said.
In fluffy Flynn’s case, Dainard said the blue ribbon was well-deserved.
“There were seven awesome dogs in the ring,” he said. “All the dogs performed amazingly and it really was truly exciting.”
As for what’s next for the top dog? On Wednesday, Flynn will charm viewers on the morning TV news shows circuit, enjoy a steak lunch, a trip to the top of the Empire State Building and maybe even a walk-on appearance on the Broadway show “Kinky Boots.”
Following that, Dainard said the bichon frise will be given a lot of publicity and have the opportunity to meet with people all over as a spokesperson (or spokesdog) of sorts, for the Westminster Kennel Club.
With files from The Associated Press