NEW YORK—For every dog that wins at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, there are hundreds who don’t make the cut.
On Monday morning, one of those dogs was Joey Bag A Donuts, a black French bulldog from Boston who was eliminated from a packed competition that featured more than 30 other dogs.
Joey, who has a brother named Mafia, seemed unfazed by his loss. Lounging at his purple-and-gold holding area, he posed for picture after picture taken by a steady group of fans. Only once did he yawn—and even that move elicited a coo of joy from one woman, who snapped at least a dozen photos of the Frenchie.
“He’s actually really tired,” Penny Wyatt, Joey’s handler, said, adding that they woke up at 4:30 a.m. to make it to the show.
Last weekend’s blizzard in the Northeast had put a wrench in their travel plans, she said. Wyatt said she knew other dogs from Boston who had arrived late to the show because of the weather.
It was Wyatt’s second year at Westminster. Last year, she showed her own dog, but this year, she decided to handle Joey, who is owned by her friend Kerry Boyd, also an owner and handler.
“It can be tough for people like us here,” Wyatt said. “It’s not like I'm a well-known professional handler that judges recognize, and that makes it hard sometimes. It can be very political.”
But, she added, “I just come to have fun. For me, it’s about the experience. It’s an unbelievable experience.”
Although Joey was eliminated early, Wyatt said they would stick around for the full show. “I love talking to people about French bulldogs,” Wyatt said, as she gave Joey an ear massage. “They are wonderful dogs. Just wonderful.”