ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Andy, a 3-year-old silky terrier from Albuquerque, is not just a very good dog – Oh yes you are! – he was crowned Best of Breed at Westminster Kennel Club’s 136th Annual Dog Show this week.
“It was validation for a lot of hard work and determination, and I was just thrilled,” said Tarianne Gallegos, Andy’s co-owner and handler. “I put my hand over my heart and got tears in my eyes.”
Andy got a little emotional, too, she said. “He jumped up and down. Any time he gets to stand on the platform and get his picture taken, he knows he’s getting a cheeseburger as his victory dinner.”
It was a big win for the little dog, who also took fourth place in the “Toy” group, competing against 22 other dogs and making Andy the first silky terrier in 12 years to place in that category, Gallegos said from the Dallas airport as she headed home.
The dog that won the Toy group, a 4-year-old stub-faced Pekingese named Malachy, went on to take the “Best of Show” title.
In terms of prestige, the Westminster Kennel Club’s annual dog show at Madison Square Garden in New York is like the Kentucky Derby, but with less prize money and smaller animals. Still, Andy is something of a Triple Crown winner. Not only did he win his Best of Breed division at Westminster, in December he won the American Kennel Clubs’s Eukanuba National Championship for silky terriers. Then in June of last year he won the Silky Terrier Club of America National Specialty Championship.
Next for Andy is a national invitational in which the top 20 silky terriers compete. “If he wins that, there’s nothing else for a silky terrier to win,” Gallegos said, except the affection of the ladies. “His stud fees will probably be pretty significant for people who want to improve their breeding programs.”