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Best in Show: View From the Floor


There is something about the electricity that comes with the green carpet at Westminster.  It is unlike any other show in the world, the feel, the tradition, the prestige.  It truly is one of a kind.

From the middle of the floor, with it down to just 7 beautiful dogs, the adrenaline runs through your veins…

For me, I learned about dog shows from watching it on tv around 1988/89.  I thought, how beautiful to see all the breeds and then it all comes down to 7 dogs, in the middle of the arena and just 1 taking it all home each year.  


YES!  I dreamed it would be me one day with one of those beautiful dogs.  What i never dreamed of, was being with a breed I’ve had such a passion for over 20 years.  With an amazing team of people that are involved with this dog. And I never dreamed of a dog quite like Buddy Holly.  

It’s your time to shine…

Buddy, is as one of a kind as his win. Would the judges appreciate the years of breeding that made this special dog?


His structure is hard to fault. His movement is so effortless for him, that it is hard for him to take a wrong step. His coat has such correct texture, his short ears and short tail, he just screams PBGV. But his temperament has always been fire. He was a spunky youngster to say the least. We all learned really fast that there was no teaching him, we were all to learn from him. And how to harness his energy.


His performance was everything I had hoped for. He did everything we had worked on perfectly, even to his free bait where his little tail popped up a little bit more like we had practiced, but to do it on the biggest stage, that was a sense of pride that meant so much.

A handler in a purple dress leads a dog in a competition ring. The background features the words "Giant Schnauzer" on yellow signs and a flower arrangement.

The last dog goes around and now the wait…

What you don’t see when you watch the show on TV is the 30 years of losses.  We all win some we shouldn’t and lose way more than some should. With some of those losses being more painful than others. 


The day in and day out dedication to dogs and conditioning, their mental health as well as yours. The hours that add up to years of work behind the scenes, that people don’t see. The big life moments you miss out because of the shows and the friends that fade away because you chose this life to put your whole heart and soul into.  It’s a little selfish and also the least selfish, because every moment revolves around the dogs in your care.  


These are the thoughts while you wait for the decision to be made.  I knew Buddy was a dog made for history books, but would everyone else see it that night?

The Reserve Best in Show Winner….

30 years flashed by. Was this is, was this the time that all of the hard work, and a lifetime of dedication to a sport, was this it?


I watched each of those 3 judges go over Buddy and fall in love. Each one just couldn’t deny what their hands felt and their eyes saw. I just knew in my soul it was to be him.

A woman in a purple outfit smiles while posing with a dog and multiple award ribbons and trophies on a purple rug at a dog show.

I had to tell myself to breathe so many times. Just breathe, you cannot pass out in the middle of this ring!!

Best in Show tonight, is the PBGV…

It took a moment to register. The reaction is never quite what you imagine. I melted, about crumpled, ugly cried (and thank the lord covered my face a bit) all while Buddy celebrated and knew it was big!


That’s what made Westminster so special. My only job was to harness Buddy’s energy and let him do the rest. I knew the judges and fans would love him. My job was to keep the 4 feet on the floor and to just let him shine. And boy did he!

After Westminster Kennel Club Best in Show…

Having his breeder, Gavin, there to experience this win was just so special.  Him and Eric, my husband, somehow made it to the floor.  And then more tears than I care to admit. The most surreal moment!


What you may not realize is the world wind of events after the win leaves your head spinning a bit in the best way! We were whisked away to do photos, media and then celebrate with the party after! Buddy met every single person at the party! He took photos with everyone and so many belly rubs, he was in absolute heaven.


I finally was reunited with my phone to find it completely exploding. To this day I feel bad not being able to personally thank every single person. Speaking to my Mom and Dad were definitely the highlights. The disbelief in their voices, but their belief in me since I was a kid, were still to this day some of my favorite reactions.


Around 2 am we headed back to our hotel after collecting the last of our stuff while the show dismantled around it. Then up at 4 am for a whole new adventure!


We were picked up in a Rolls Royce, driven from one morning show to another to another. Went to the AKC offices to meet and greet so many fans. Had a custom lunch for Buddy of shredded chicken and some more options for us. And ended our tour at the Empire State Building like the celebrity Buddy was now. Then back to the room to get some hard earned naps in! And boy were we happy about that!


After we returned home, Buddy simply enjoyed more of the limelife. Retiring that night, his days were more about Purina photo shoots, Ecovac Commercials, and interviews. Being named the first Canine Mayor of Palm Springs, he had some fun events after that like the Breast Cancer Walk, Tree Lighting ceremony and his own float at the Christmas parade. Then this week before the next Westminster was more fun! Meet and Greets, Rolling out the first pitch at the Mets game and more! This boy has enjoyed every bit of the fame and it has absolutely gone to his head!


And when Buddy demands something, he gets it. Just as he should bc he is the first PBGV in the history of the breed to win Westminster Kennel Club! We could not be more proud of such a fantastic breed ambassador as him.

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