Wednesday, February 18, 2015


GCH CH Tashtin’s Lookin for Trouble
2015 Westminster Kennel Club Best In Show
(photo courtesy of Westminster Kennel Club)

We had been expecting surprises at the 139th iteration of the Westminster Kennel Club show, but we nor any of the other dog show pundits or odds makers had the 15” Beagle, GCH CH Tashtin’s Lookin for Trouble, taking the top prize.  All of the smart money was on 2014’s Number One Dog All Breeds, the Portuguese Water Dog, GCH CH Claircreek’s Impression de Matisse.  After all, Matisse has won more BIS than any other dog in AKC history save one, the German Shepherd, CH Altana’s Mystique.  Matisse was a hometown favorite, owned by a New Yorker.  Matisse was handled by a top tier professional whose wife had already won in the Garden twice.

GCH CH Cragsmoor Goodtime Charlie
2015 Westminster Kennel Club Reserve Best In Show
(photo courtesy of Wesminster Kennel Club)

There was also the top winning Old English Sheepdog of all time, GCH CH Bugaboo’s Picture Perfect.  Swagger had burst on the scene by winning the first ever Westminster Reserve Best In Show in 2013…from the classes.  He went on to defeat 118,634 dogs in 2014.  That’s more than most Number One Dogs from the past decade.  There was this year’s RBIS, the Skye Terrier, GCH CH Cragsmoor Goodtime Charlie, who bested the Best at December’s capstone AKC/Eukanuba National Championship (AENC).  Charlie was 2014’s Number Five Dog All Breeds and holds the Number Four Spot this year.

There was 2014’s Number Three Dog, the ubiquitous Standard Poodle, GCH CH Dawin Hearts on Fire.   There was the Shih Tzu, GCH CH Hallmark Jolei Rocket Power, the AENC’s Toy Group winner.  Although relatively unknown, the English Springer Spaniel, GCH CH Wynmoor Sweetgrass White Diamonds, had beaten the top two Sporting Dogs, the Brittany, GCH CH Rainbow Splash’s Ruggedly Handsome, and the English Setter, GCH CH Stargaze'R 'N Wingfield Wait Wait Don't Tell, to make it to judge David Merriam’s final.

Then we remembered the Beagle’s call name, Miss P, and we got a BGO (Blinding Glimpse of the Obvious).   It is a feminist mantra that a woman has to be twice as good as a man to get to the top in America and so it is with breeds like the Beagle.  They have to be twice as good as their more flashy opponents to get a Best In Show.  Miss P did just that last year.  She finished as the Number Two Hound and Number 11 Dog All Breeds with 19 top prizes in 91 trips to the final ring.  

Last night Miss P raised the bar again, never allowing judge Merriam to ignore her.  In the end, she brought the performance with the structure necessary to overcome the Beagle’s everyman status in the dog world.  Today Miss P is not everyman, she is the 2015 Westminster Kennel Club Best In Show winner.  Congratulations to breeder/owner Lori Crandlemire, owner Eddie Dziuk & Kaitlyn Crandlemire, and handler Will Alexander.


  1. what a shock. Was not expecting Miss P to win, after hearing your interview with Madeleine Brand yesterday. It was a happy surprise.

  2. In speaking (well, emailing anyway) with several judges, I found that they concurred with my own humble opinion that several of the top dogs in that stellar BIS line-up were over-groomed and, perhaps surprisingly, they stated that fact alone would have stopped them from using those individuals in this particular ring where final decisions when choosing among such outstanding representatives of their breeds had to be made on 'splitting hairs' (pun intended).

    That said, I would have been happy with any dog the judge had chosen - the quality of that ring's dogs literally made my eyes water.