A Cambridge dog that holds “best in breed” bragging rights from the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show has given her owner a “dream come true”.
Two-year-old Soul, a Belgian Shepherd Tervuren, picked up the title earlier this month, and her owner Don French sat down with CTV News to reflect on Soul’s success.
“We started showing her just over a year and a half ago,” French explained.
“I saw the Westminster as a kid, and thought it would be so cool to have a dog down there; just to be down there.” he added.
Still, it was no walk in the park.
“A lot of work goes into it,” French said.
“There’s a lot of dog shows you have to do .. you have to be an American champion, so she had to go to the US to show on numerous weekends to become American champion, based on their pointing system.”
Soul’s achievement, French said, is the “holy grail” of dog shows.
“Westminster is the oldest and most prestigious dog show, and it’s still sinking in that she won best of breed there.”
French says there’s no cash – just the rosette ribbon staying the kennel club name and the year that she won best in breed.
He says it wasn’t until he reviewed video of Soul’s performance afterward that he could fully appreciate the achievement.
“You could just tell she owned that ring; it was her day.”
“I’m still shocked,” he added. “I’m not one of these huge professional dog show people or dog breeders; I just do it because it’s fun and my dogs have fun doing it.”
“She’s a very beautiful girl, and she just has one of those faces that people are drawn to.”
“Unfortunately she doesn’t have all the fur she should have, but the way she moves … she’s graceful, she floats, it’s her confidence. She actually smiles when she’s in there”.
French says he’s sure the win will sink in one day – but for now, Soul can bask in all of the glory.
“It’s her ring – she owns it”.