After 129 ‘Best in Show’ Awards, This Top Dog is Calling It Quits

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By Richard Horgan Comment

When your dog’s name is the impossibly majestic word-combination Afterall Painting the Sky (more recently abbreviated to just Sky), you have perhaps a karmic edge at big stages like the 138th annual Westminster Kennel Club contest, which came to a close last night at Madison Square Garden.

2014BestinShow

We feel we owe it to this five-year-old terrier, who delivered to her Malibu, CA owners a triple-crown grand prize last night, to celebrate her Tuesday night victory. According to a report in SoCal newspaper the Press-Enterprise (Sky was put through the pre-show paces in Rialto), that’s all she wagged:

Gabriel Rangel, who has a reputation as one of the country’s top dog handlers, led Sky through her paces. This was the second dog he has taken to victory at Westminster — he won in 2010 with a Scottish terrier named Sadie.

Westminster was not only Sky’s crowning achievement, but her last show. The dog’s owners plan to retire her.

Let it be noted that a week after Jay Leno called it quits while on top, another crowd favorite from the west coast is following that lead. Our advice to any, all SoCal photogs: try to wrangle ASAP a photo opp involving Leno, the appropriate convertible vehicle from the comedian’s massive collection and this retiring pooch.

P.S. For those deeply into this animal topic, the Press-Enterprise also recently ran a nice profile of Sky’s trainers, the aforementioned Gabriel Rangel and his wife Ivonne. Meanwhile, in the video from last night’s MSG finale, Sky comes in first at the 9:30 mark and the prize announcements are made starting at the 20:30 mark. Congratulations to the owners and trainers of all winners.

[Photo courtesy: westminsterkennelclub.com]
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