Stump, an adorable10-year-old (70 in human years) Sussex Spaniel, took the dog world by storm last night, when he became the oldest dog to win the overall 'Best of Show' trophy at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York.
What made his win extra special, was the fact that this was Stump's first foray into the limelight after being forced to retire five years ago, due to a near fatal illness. However, Stump, who was given his name thanks to his stubby brown legs, is no stranger to winning - this was his 51st career 'Best of Show' win.
The Westminster Kennel Dog Show, nicknamed 'the Super Bowl of the dog world', is the most prestigious dog show competition in the world.
Prior to the competition, owners pamper the dogs in all sorts of ways, to encourage them to perform well at the show. This includes allowing the dogs to sleep on the hotel bed, while the owners rest on the sofa, just so that the dogs can get their beauty sleep. The dogs are also fed special treats, like cheeseburgers from McDonald's (no onions of course!) or pizza topped with chicken and pepperoni. And of course to wash it all down, is special malt flavored doggie beer!
Right before the show starts, things get real crazy. Owners are seen putting curlers on dog fur, applying mousse and hairspray to make the fur look "fuller", giving sponge baths to get that last spot off and practicing the tricks that the dog is going to perform.
This year there were 2,500 entries, with more than 170 breeds represented.The dogs are judged in three rounds.The first level of competition is "Best of Breed". The winner from each breed than advances to what is called as "The Group", where dogs are grouped into categories such as Sporting, Hound, Terrier, Toy etc. One winner from each of those groups then advances to the final, where the "Best of Show" is picked.
Stump's competitors this year included a Scottish deerhound named Tiger Woods, a Puli with dreadlocks and a Scottish Terrier.
What's next for Stump? - Lots of fame and fortune - Just ask last year's winner Uno (see picture) who is still presiding over press conferences. First and foremost, he will appear on numerous TV shows. Then a traditional visit to New York's famous Sardi's restaurant where he will be provided steak on a silver platter. After that it could be an advertising deal, a visit to the White House to see the Obama girls, a movie deal or a TV show...............the possibilities are endless!