Local dog wins award at Westminster

A Broadalbin giant schnauzer finished eighth out of 28 dogs in the working group class at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Tuesday after earning a best in breed award.

Doug Hill and Luke Norton’s 4-year-old Dora earned the honors at the 137th annual show at Madison Square Garden. The competition for best in breed took place in the afternoon at Piers 92/94. The final working-group judging took place at Madison Square Garden.

Although Dora fell short of making it to the final four for the best in group award, which would have been the next step toward winning the best in show top honors, she still drew at least two village of Broadalbin residents to the show, and Hill said he was very pleased with the entire experience.

“It was still very, very exciting,” he said. “It is indeed a competition. You never know who is going to win or which dog is going to come out on top. [And] it is very possible for people who don’t make a career of this [to] have a dog that does that well. It’s full of people who love dogs. There was a lot of excitement. There was a lot of cheering for your favorite dog.”

Hill said he thought Dora still had a chance heading into the working group round when she made it down to the final eight dogs in the entire competition, but the judges decided to go with a Portuguese water dog.

Hill was very pleased with how well their handler Amy Booth prepared Dora for the competition, and he and Norton are looking forward to more competitions.

“We were pretty confident she was going to win. She had been winning all year,” he said Tuesday.

“Our handler worked very hard,” he said this morning. “She’s going to take a week off and then start working for next year. Maybe next year is the year she moves on.”

He said Dora is an outstanding show dog because she enjoys what she’s doing, understands what she needs to do and “owns her space.”

“She looked outstanding today,” he said Tuesday. “She has a lot of energy.”

Hill said it was thrilling to see how much people enjoyed the dogs at the competition.

It shows how important man’s best friend really is in people’s lives, he said.

“These dogs are people’s pets,” he said. “When they’re not in a competition, they’re sleeping on someone’s couch.”

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