For just the fifth time in the 145-year history of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, a Pekingese was crowned Best in Show, and his name is Wasabi. Despite going up against a Samoyed named Striker (the number-one ranked dog coming into the competition) and a handful of other popular breeds like an Old English Sheepdog, a French Bulldog, a German Shorthaired Pointer and a Whippet, Wasabi was the last pup standing.
“He is just a wonderful dog and he's made correctly,” David Fitzpatrick, Wasabi’s owner and hander, said after his win on Sunday. “He has showmanship. He fits the breed standard. He has that little extra something, that little sparkle that sets a dog apart.”
Coming in second was a Whippet named Bourbon, who will actually be taking home some serious bragging rights as well. And that’s because Bourbon’s handler, Cheslie Pickett Smithey, is married to Justin, the handler for Matthew the French Bulldog, who was also going for the crown. No doubt making for some interesting dinner conversation.
“It’s really hard to wrap our minds around it, it’s beyond our wildest dreams,” Pickett Smithey said. “But we’re very excited.”
But the real spice of the night came from Wasabi’s win, which was a bit of an upset with Striker the Samoyed being heavy favorite. And those who were also judging the competition from the comfort of their own phones had some harsh words for Wasabi on Twitter. With comments like, “No way would I have picked the Pekinese as winner” and, “I think the judge is senile. ... Must have had free cocktails in the hideout.”
And some viewers were less upset about the win, and more confused about what they were looking at. They tweeted some pretty funny comments like, “The Westminster Dog Show has been won by what appears to be a fishing lure,” and “the winner of the Westminster Dog Show looks like Eric Cartman.”
But whether Wasabi looks like a fourth grade cartoon character from Colorado, a Tribble from Star Trek or something else altogether, judge Patricia Trotter saw something she liked.
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