The February high holy days for dog lovers have come and gone again. Miss P, a Canadian 15” beagle, is the Best in Show winner of the 139th Westminster Kennel Club show. A huge win for a dynamite little dog!
I’ve been a dog person almost literally my whole life. My family’s first dog was a puppy I mostly remember as soft, named Charlie Brown the Beagle Dog. As the oral tradition goes, back in the days before Pull Ups and piddle pads, Charlie and I taught Mom not to try potty training a two year old and housebreaking a puppy at the same time! I can still hear her telling about finding a suspicious damp place and asking—kind of needlessly—“What is this?” To which I would apparently respond, “Charlie did it!” Only to have her retort, “Then why are your pants wet?”
Lots of dogs came after Charlie. I started showing the summer I was seventeen. Mastiffs and Great Pyrenees. Springers and, finally, Newfoundlands. The breed of my heart. I won a little and learned a lot. Watching Westminster is like a family reunion. Every year there are fewer folks I know. And every year the memories become a little more dear.
This year, Sarah watched with me. (OK—mostly she snored!) Sarah is our third Newfie rescue. After we lost the old guys, I swore I’d never do it again. It hurt too much.
That lasted five months!
Then my friends at South Eastern Newf Rescue, Inc. called about an 18-month-old girl who needed a new home fast.
I did it again!
Sarah is sweet, wicked smart, and gorgeous in an unfortunately bred sort of way. She loves everybody, though the UPS guy isn’t convinced yet. She’s becoming an excellent therapy dog and specializes in creating the very effective kind of stress relief that comes through laughter. Usually by falling off the couch mid-session!
I assured her she’d have won the show if they knew her. She really wouldn’t. It’s all good, though. My knees are past running in circles and rescue feels a lot better than polishing trophies ever did.
Tomorrow she can wear herself out racing around in the cold and then we’ll work on “stay” some more!