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Friday, February 15, 2013

Top Dog: Day 2 at Westminster

Oakley (Reuters)
On Tuesday night, the Westminster Kennel Club wrapped up its 137th annual dog show in Madison Square Garden.  The featured event of the night was the crowning of the coveted Best in Show title.  But, before that could take place, three more group winners needed to be determined.

Sporting Group:  The evening's events got started with the sporting group.  This is a very popular group made up largely of hunting dogs.  When you think of the word "dog" this group is what comes to most of our minds.  These are the types of dogs that you'd see in paintings hanging in the billiard room of a Vanderbilt mansion.  Oakley, the German Wire Haired Pointer certainly fit that mold and took home top spot in the group.

Matisse (Reuters)

Working Group:  As the name would suggest, the dogs in this group are bred to do a job.  Among other things, this group includes rescue dogs, guard dogs and sled dogs.  Matisse, a Portuguese Water Dog, edged out the Doberman Pinscher to win the group.  If Matisse looks familiar, that is because a Portuguese Water Dog is the family pet in the White House.

Adam (Stan Honda/AFP/Getty)
Terrier Group:  The final group of the night was the terrier group, which also happens to be my favorite group to watch.  While these dogs might be too yappy to make for a good neighbor in a townhouse, they are perky and cute and therefore entertaining to watch in a dog show.  Adam the Smooth Fox Terrier recaptured his spot as top dog in the group by upsetting the favored Wire Fox Terrier.  Adam won the Best in Group title in 2011.

Best in Show:  After the Terrier champion was crowned, it was time for the much-anticipated Best In Show competition.  The Best in Show competition included all three winners from this night as well as the four group winners from Day 1.  For the second year in a row, when the top dog was announced at Westminster, the general public was left asking, "Wait ... Is that thing really a dog?"  Last year, Malachy the Pekingese took home the top prize.  This year, the adorable, monkey-faced Affenpinscher, Banana Joe, was named Westminster's Best in Show for 2013.

Banana Joe (Stan Honda/AFP)

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