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Newsmaker of the day: Miss P the beagle

Newsmaker, Feb. 18: The Canadian beagle who took top honours at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show


 
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

Another Canadian has emerged victorious in an athletic competition of talent and grace.

But this time, the winner is a tri-coloured beagle named Miss P–short for Peyton–who beat out 2,700 other dogs from around the world for the Best in Show prize at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show in New York City.

So what makes Miss P top dog? For the judge, David Merriam, it’s her “wonderful type” and “wonderful head”—compliments of the highest order in dog-show speak. 

The four-year-old Miss P, who splits her time between the homes of her owners, Lori and Kaitlyn Crandlemire in Enderby, B.C., and her handler, William Alexander in Milton, Ont., is the second beagle ever to win America’s most important dog pageant. But she clearly didn’t impress the audience, which showed its devotion to Swagger, a poofy Old English Sheepdog, by going nuts at his every move throughout the two-day event. He came in second, and gasps shot out from the crowd.

Perhaps Miss P, referred to by Alexander as a soft-spoken “princess,” really does live up to her kennel club name: Tashtins Lookin for Trouble.

But conservative pundit Ann Coulter was on board. In 2002, Coulter told the New York Post: “I personally know about a dozen beagles and they’re all right-wingers.”

She tweeted her support all Wednesday:

 

After her big win, Miss P was escorted by her handler around Manhattan, stopping by The Today Show, and the Broadway play Kinky Boots, for a special walk-on performance, a steak lunch at Sardi’s, and a meeting with Donald Trump, for some reason.

 

 


And now that she’s attained the highest honour for canines, Miss P will shelf her ribbons to settle down and start a family. Her owners, who run the Tashtin Kennels in Enderby, are most likely anxious to recover at least some of their sizable financial investment. While there’s no prize money to be won for all the trotting and posing around the ring, it’s the breeding—and bragging—rights that come with the Champion title that make it all worthwhile.

Stanley Coren, a psychology professor at UBC who has written extensively on dogs and breeding, and has also trained several of his own dogs for shows, says Miss P will likely breed for four more years, producing a litter of three to eight dogs per year. But these puppies won’t recover anywhere near the almost $100,000 it would have taken to turn Miss P into a winner.

“The people who do this aren’t in it for the money. They’re doing it because they truly love dogs and the breed,” says Coren.

As for Miss P, she’ll most likely miss her rigorous schedule of competing and training, but not for very long. “Dogs live in the moment. They don’t think about what’s past. They don’t have pride and they don’t have shame,” he says. “A few days from now, when she’s back home in B.C., she will have just as much fun munching on a bowl of kibble and relaxing on the sofa.”


 
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