I’m sure when Robert R. Frost signed his judging contract for yesterday’s Santa Cruz Kennel Club show he didn’t think he would have the opportunity to crown the dog world’s Queen, the 2008 top dog. He had judged neither of the two top dogs this year, the Pointer, CH Cookieland Seasyde Hollyberry, nor the Giant Schnauzer, CH Galilee's Pure Of Spirit. In fact, he is not yet approved to judge either Giant Schnauzers or Pointers. A judge with fewer preconceived opinions would be hard to find. However, familiarity would not have made it easier for the Greenville IN resident as he went over two nearly perfect specimens.
In the end Judge Frost side stepped the issue by reminding us that an AKC dog show always has seven dogs in contention for Best In Show and choosing the Sealyham Terrier, CH Efbe's Hidalgo At Goodspice, as his best dog of the day. In addition to the Pointer, the Giant, and the Sealie, Judge Frost had the Scottish Deerhound, CH Jaraluv Ouija, the Miniature Pinscher, CH Kimro's Soldier Boy, the Keeshond, CH Windrifts Non-Negotiable Asset, and the Bouvier des Flandres CH Voodoo Slam Dunks Susant's, to consider. The Deerhound had left the Harrier, CH Downhome Family Tradition, back in Judge Monica Canestrini’s ring with a Hound Group Four ribbon.
So here we are. It’s the last show of the year. Our top two dogs have amassed nearly 120,000 points each and are currently separated by a handful of points. Today the burden of proof is on the Pointer, Holly. Anything less than a Best In Show win will leave the Giant Schnauzer, Spirit in first place. Dog fanciers could not have asked for a more dramatic end to the year.
One editorial note…much has been made of the assignment of today’s Sporting Group judge, Honey Anne Glendinning. As previously reported here, Mrs. Glendinning is the sister of Taffe McFadden, handler of the Giant Schnauzer, CH Galilee's Pure Of Spirit. While the coincidence makes for an interesting subplot, no one should read anything more into the situation.