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"Snoopy would be proud"
February 13, 2008 4:16 AM   Subscribe

Uno the Beagle named Best in Show at Westminster. For the first time since its inception, a Beagle took the top honors at Westminster Kennel Club's annual Dog Show. The honors usually go to dogs such as Wire-Haired Fox Terriers, Poodles, and Welsh Corgis, with traditional household dogs such as Beagles being honored merely by appearing in the ring. The winsome Uno took the top hound honors, and was the audience favorite for Best in Show.
posted by pxe2000 (59 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
This was predicted to happen a few days before the show. Makes one wonder just how judgmental these judges are. IIRC last year or the year before the same thing happened.
posted by Gungho at 4:22 AM on February 13, 2008


I grew up with a beagle. She lived to nearly 20 years old, she was utterly loyal, and fiercely intelligent.

About freaking time they got some respect.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:28 AM on February 13, 2008


Uno the concept of a Beagle named Best in Show at Westminster.

FTFY.

I have a Beagle. Love her to death. Damn thing is perpetually hungry.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:33 AM on February 13, 2008


Whoops. Hey mods, could you take out the typo that Thorzdad pointed out? Thanks.

I hadn't meant to do that. This is what I get for cobbling together a FPP before the coffee kicked in. Me talk pretty, etc.
posted by pxe2000 at 4:35 AM on February 13, 2008


Oh, wait. Thorzdad was making a funny.

Never mind.
posted by pxe2000 at 4:36 AM on February 13, 2008


I predict the beagle's ribbon will be taken away when the compromising puppy pile photos are leaked to the press.
posted by srboisvert at 4:37 AM on February 13, 2008


We have a little 11" red-coat beagle we got from an animal shelter. She is utterly loyal and fiercely stupid.

I mean, we can't leave her tied up outisde, because she'll wrap herself around whatever's out there in three minutes or less, and will be too dumb to whimper for help. We can't let her outside without being tied up, because she'd follow her nose right off a cliff (or into the path of an oncoming semi.) Potty-training is slow going, and can be challenging to correct... ninjas pee louder than she does.

That said, she's playful, friendly, affectionate and fun in ways many dogs just aren't. They're the clowns of the canine world, you can't help but smile. OK, clowns are creepy. Beagles are the D-list celebrity gameshow cameos of the canine world. Silly, stupid, and very funny because they're perfectly happy being silly and stupid to get your attention, or just to amuse themselves.
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:54 AM on February 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


"My sister called me today and said she's always turned off the dog show on TV because she's tired of all those poodles winning,"

Amen. Someday the Sighthounds will get their due. SOMEDAY.
posted by god hates math at 5:18 AM on February 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


I have waited many, many long years for a beagle to get its due.
posted by absalom at 5:22 AM on February 13, 2008


Still waiting for a Portuguese Water Dog to end up in even the top four for the working group. :(

/one of my PWDs dams was shown at Westminster, if it means anything.
posted by elmwood at 5:27 AM on February 13, 2008


Uno celebrated by chewing on the microphones of reporters who tried to interview his winning crew.

Better that than humping someone's leg.
posted by orange swan at 5:30 AM on February 13, 2008


Was Snoopy actually a beagle? I cannot recall ever seeing a white beagle with black markings, do these exist?
posted by psmealey at 5:33 AM on February 13, 2008


I will never understand the appeal of the poodles.
posted by ninjew at 5:35 AM on February 13, 2008 [2 favorites]


Your favorite hound dog...is adorable.
posted by rtha at 5:46 AM on February 13, 2008


Owner of an eight-year-old Blue Tick Beagle here. We should celebrate somehow. Extra time chasing the laser-pointer, perhaps?
posted by sourwookie at 5:46 AM on February 13, 2008


Snoopy was supposed to be a beagle, at least in the earliest strips -- Sparky Schulz owned a pointer/beagle mix as a kid and early pictures of Snoopy were based on this dog. However, as the years passed, Snoopy looked less like a beagle and more like a "non-animal animal" (to use Jonathan Franzen's term).
posted by pxe2000 at 5:49 AM on February 13, 2008


We had a beagle for a couple years. She was very sweet but the wrong dog for us. Beagles are very much working dogs and if you can't work them, or at least give them a lot of work simulation, they will tear up your life. We gave her on to someone who loved her beagleness for what it was. Everyone: more happy!
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:53 AM on February 13, 2008


Call me when a greyhound wins. But better a beagle than some sort of bichon frise or other ghastly dog.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 5:55 AM on February 13, 2008


I have a shelter beagle who's a dead ringer for Underdog (well, except for the silly cape). Now I guess the neighborhood children will chase her around shouting "Uno!" instead. She's smart as a whip, too. We watched the last two categories of Westminster last night, and I think she was a little bemused when I jumped around yelling, "You're a winner, baby!" Dogs don't personalize things the way we do, thank goodness. She got extra kibble before bedtime as a special treat though, so she was happy.
posted by lassie at 5:56 AM on February 13, 2008


psmealey: They do, in fact. My beagle is a tri-color, but as a pup he only had two colors: Black and while. He is still primarily black and while, the brown only shows around his eyes and on some freckle like spots on his coat.
posted by absalom at 5:56 AM on February 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


That's not a real beagle -- that's a Gund plush beagle. Do the rules allow stuffed animals to compete?
posted by maudlin at 6:13 AM on February 13, 2008


Dramatic Beagle approves of this post.

yes, that's my Cookie
posted by Doohickie at 6:19 AM on February 13, 2008


Clearly they've added ear softness as a factor in judging. The ears of the beagle are one of the softest substances known to man.

To Hell with poodles.
posted by louche mustachio at 6:35 AM on February 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


When I was a kid, we had a beagle named Snoopy. I bet we were the only ones who thought of that.
posted by MrMoonPie at 6:45 AM on February 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


What's with all the poodle hate? I grew up with poodles my whole life (though I'm now a feircly loyal cairn terrier man, to the point of screaming "The Sealy? The Sealy? What are you smoking?" during the terrier judging). Poodles are wonderful, often smart (though we had one that was incredibly dumb) loving dogs -- particularly the standards that so often win their group at Westminster (as one did this year). Aesthetically I prefer the black to the white and yes, the show cut is totally idiotic, but they are great dogs. Just because the Westminster judges have an obvious and pronounced poodle-bias that doesn't make them bad dogs.

Hell 14 wire-haired fox terriers have won in the 101 (I think) Westminster Best-In-Shows, but that doesn't make them any less awesome.
posted by The Bellman at 6:52 AM on February 13, 2008


What's with all the poodle hate?

The haircut.
posted by pieoverdone at 6:55 AM on February 13, 2008


Too bad Triumph the Insult Comic Dog wasn't there this year.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:56 AM on February 13, 2008


Yes, the haircut. A standard poodle is an intelligent and, I think, reasonably attractive dog if it is not groomed like a circus clown. Miniature poodles and puffy poodles are repellent, and their owners should be shamed by all right-minded people.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 7:07 AM on February 13, 2008


In other news, the Westminster Fruit Club picks a tangerine over an apple and an orange for the first time in 100 years.
posted by GuyZero at 7:09 AM on February 13, 2008


Your screen appears to be dirty. Here, try this.
posted by SteveInMaine at 7:16 AM on February 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


OK, fair cop on the haircut -- but no one actually grooms a poodle that way outside of the show ring.
posted by The Bellman at 7:20 AM on February 13, 2008


awwwwww he looks so sweet.
posted by dismas at 7:23 AM on February 13, 2008


Oh and my dog is never going to win Westminster, but he does win at things your not even supposed to win at. He wins at IRONY!
posted by The Bellman at 7:23 AM on February 13, 2008


I sincerely thank everyone who supported me in this contest. It has been a long, hard road to the top, and I couldn't have made it without you. It feels great to finally succeed, but I will wear this crown humbly, and strive to do honor to my breed.
posted by beagle at 7:47 AM on February 13, 2008 [5 favorites]


Ah-roo!
posted by onlyconnect at 7:47 AM on February 13, 2008


There's three kinds of people in the world. Those who've never had a beagle. Those who love beagles. And those who have/had a beagle and have sworn to never get a beagle again. I'll assume from my name that one can guess the category I fit into.

It's kind of a shame about the beagle temperament, as they're so cute and intelligent. Ours came via surplus from the local animal testing facility via a friend who's 2 year old kept getting knocked down while he was learning to walk (and the beagle decided she also wanted to walk and play "king of the floor" I guess). "Surplus." Never mind that she's wall-eyed, bull legged in front to the point of walking like a bull dog, and well above 15" at the shoulders.

Lots of exercise, lots of toys, and lots of games, and she's still evil (not just stubborn (she is stubborn, don't misunderstand), but evil as well) - but at least she's finally given up marking. Most amusing is our son who likes her most, she clearly dislikes. If he's carrying a toy, she'll stalk him (trying to not be seen, as then he'll pet her and make coo'ing sounds), and if he puts the toy down where she can reach, she'll destroy it. She's left the same toy that belongs to a different kid alone (and there's no doubt that via smell she knows who owns what). When she was mad at ms. nobeagle once, she went into the hallway and pooped *in* her shoe.

And I'll bet anything that she'll live to be 22 - a very old, cranky, 22 at that.

Training the beagle was a pain - they don't deal well with correction, they're stubborn, smart and quickly find exactly what they can get away with. Ms. nobeagle can rarely get obedience without food, and even if the kids have food/treats, she doesn't listen to them. A beagle, willing to snub a food-based reward (cut up chicken hot dogs - her favorite training treat) purely because she appears to not want to consider the kids as anything other than peers. Pure insanity, even if I do get an inward kick out of seeing that.

But when she's in one of her rare good moods, she's such a great dog one can almost, *almost*, understand the class of people who love beagles. Almost.
posted by nobeagle at 8:06 AM on February 13, 2008 [2 favorites]


Nobeagle, pleased to make your acquaintance. I, obviously, cleave to the second group of people you enumerated.
posted by beagle at 8:24 AM on February 13, 2008


Poodles not getting any respect? Fa! Labs and Goldens are the ones that consistently get shut out in this competition. Perhaps because they're too common, too popular with us lumpen dog lovers?

And...

Your favorite dog sucks.
posted by Ber at 8:38 AM on February 13, 2008


A good friend of mine has a beagle that bears no resemblance whatsoever to all the positive descriptions of beagles, and conforms perfectly to the negative ones. My big fear is that the beagle will now become a "must-have" dog for some people who have no business owning that breed. They can be a very, very challenging pet.

I missed the Westminster but an article mentioned a wildly popular Neapolitan Mastiff dog. That's one of my favorite breeds. Could somebody who watched the contest fill me in on what the crowd was cheering about re: that dog? Thanks.
posted by vito90 at 8:52 AM on February 13, 2008


nobeagle, may I gently suggest that your comment via surplus from the local animal testing facility ... she's wall-eyed, bull legged in front to the point of walking like a bull dog, and well above 15" at the shoulders might indicate that your "beagle"'s temperament may not be exactly representative of a beagle either? :]

I guess you can tell which category I fall into.
posted by fiercecupcake at 8:57 AM on February 13, 2008


My beagle celebrated the news with a few biscuits in Uno's honor.

Disclaimer: my second beagle, they can do no harm, and yes, your dog sucks.
posted by fijiwriter at 9:01 AM on February 13, 2008


In praise of mutts
The Folly of Eugenics
Our creepiest genetic invention

My mutts could kick the ass of any of those dogs in that show in any Dog Decathlon you could contrive.
posted by MasonDixon at 9:04 AM on February 13, 2008


Patty Hearst's French bulldog won a breed award. And French bulldogs look like either aliens or amphibians so your favorite breed sucks.
posted by hydropsyche at 9:10 AM on February 13, 2008


beagle - likewise pleased to make your acquaintance. One of the things that had me almost choose a different name was that I didn't want to possibly ruin the reputation of you or the hms beagle ( . ) through having beagle in the name. But I'm here as nobeagle nonetheless, so hopefully people can really notice the "no" in front.

fiercecupcake - I'm with you on the possibility of her temperament being a bit off from beagle-ness. However, on numerous "beagle" webpages, an issue that I've seen frequently raised is that there are a lot of neurotic beagles out there. I have a neurotic beagle. It just so happens that she has a lot of physical traits that helps to understand she might not be the ideal of the breed.

However, through my anti-beagle ranting when conversing with people while dogs have come up, I've met a number of other people who had neurotic dogs who looked normal. I've also met a number of people who thought that had naturally neurotic dogs, but the dogs might have been fine with more exercise/mental stimulation :/ . Beagles are not meant to live in apartments with a single person who's gone more often than not.

vito90 - beagles are already more popular than they probably should be because they're so freakin' cute. I also hope this won't spur still more beagle-lust from people who have no business owning such a high-energy, intelligent, easily bored, stubborn, working dog.
posted by nobeagle at 9:26 AM on February 13, 2008


I have had three beagles in my life and really, the only similarity between all three is the tendency to follow the beagle nose blindly and a streak of stubborn-ness that only rivals my own.

My first beagle, Bonnie, was my first dog ever. She walked me to school, sat outside the playground for recess and was let in by the teachers, and walked me home every day. She was the most affectionate and loving dog, very loyal and smart, but blindingly sneaky about food. She would knock kids down for their ice creams, beg for food at every neighbor's door, and steal sandwiches from unsuspecting hands. Because we had access to a farm, she had access to bunnies and would run rabbits until she flopped exhausted in a puddle. The greatest tragedy of her life was that she was a slave to the nose. In fact, that's what killed her. She followed me across the street, and unusually for her, she didn't check the traffic, just followed the nose blindly and got hit.

My second beagle, Buford, was, god bless him, dumber than a bag of wet hammers. He had no manners, could not be let off a leash, and barked at everything that moved. He didn't live very long, he got off his leash and a car got him.

My current and final beagle, Ben, is adorable and sweet but just smart enough to be a huge pain in the ass. He can escape from almost any fence, and while he loves chasing rabbits, he hates to get his feet wet or be cold. Potty training was difficult at first, but after a weekend camping, he got the clue. His dedication to the beagle nose is soooo strong, that at one point in his life he got his head stuck in a plastic drainage pipe because a rabbit went up it. He was trapped for a good full day before we heard him howling. Of course, immediately after we cut him out, he rammed his head right back up there because the rabbit was still there.

Since I don't have access to a farm anymore, and my current situation means he has to live outside, Ben's not so happy as he once was. He's also got a number of health issues that seem to be common with beagles, thyroid issues and yeast infections in his ears. As much as I love the little guy, when he returns to the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm in the sky, I'll be done with beagles and probably with dogs.

But I tell ya, there's nothing like watching him to the Snoopy dance when he's excited about something or the the look he gets when he knows he's doing something he's not supposed to. They're characters the beagles are, and I'm glad Uno's a winner.
posted by teleri025 at 9:31 AM on February 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


PETA vs. the Dog Show (nyt), including a funny KKK bit.
posted by swift at 9:41 AM on February 13, 2008


I grew up with a dumb beagle, God I love that dog. But to my incredible shock my parents new beagle is smart as hell. yup he fetchs, was never taught. learned about the doggie door on day one from watching the cats, the first beagle took months. can walk without a leash, oh yea, he's not 1 yet. seriously this beagle knows that staying with the pack is more important than smells on the ground, my dad thinks we are the victims of some kinda breed/bassinet swap. I am just astounded
posted by MNDZ at 9:50 AM on February 13, 2008


About freaking time they got some respect.

Beagles are the breed that student veterinarians (at least, the ones I know) dissect most frequently, since they have the best examples in general of all the working parts of your standard dog. Or something like that.

I visited the training dissection lab, and it was a horrific scene of mass beagle slaughter. So, I guess in a sense they've been getting respect for a while.
posted by Adam_S at 9:58 AM on February 13, 2008


What's with all the poodle hate?

The haircut, AND a complete lack of personality. Those glassy eyed freaks creep me out. (And I grew up around poodles.)

My big fear is that the beagle will now become a "must-have" dog for some people who have no business owning that breed. They can be a very, very challenging pet.

Very true, but for every typical, "challenging" beagle, there's a quiet, calm, lazy beagle out there too (I had one sleeping on the couch next to me during Uno's big win). What I hope is that Uno's win will increase traffic to beagle rescue organizations (instead of breeders or puppy mills), who can screen appropriately, and help match the right beagle to the right owner.
posted by somanyamys at 10:13 AM on February 13, 2008


PETA vs. the Dog Show (nyt), including a funny KKK bit.

So nobody's ever told PETA that comedy is about nuance, eh?
posted by god hates math at 10:23 AM on February 13, 2008


somanyamys writes "The haircut, AND a complete lack of personality. Those glassy eyed freaks creep me out. (And I grew up around poodles.)"

Yeah, but labradoodles are great dogs, at least the ones I've encountered. Poodle crosses tend to turn out better than purebreds, IMO.
posted by krinklyfig at 10:28 AM on February 13, 2008


that I won't deny. mixing up the gene pool makes all the difference.
posted by somanyamys at 10:30 AM on February 13, 2008


god hates math writes "So nobody's ever told PETA that comedy is about nuance, eh?"

Nobody told PETA that the only way you can get a dog in Colorado (to cite one example) is through a licensed breeder. Their program has been very effective in controlling strays, to the point where there's a dog shortage. It's a good idea to encourage the adoption of strays and rescues, but breeders are the good guys in effective population control of dogs.
posted by krinklyfig at 10:31 AM on February 13, 2008


I'm so bummed that I missed the broadcast last night and Monday. My toddler loves dogs, even though we have two cats (apartment living, natch), and Westminster would have been the be-all-end-all for her. Doesn't look like USA is going to re-broadcast any time soon, either.

I need a Tivo, bad.

I was anti-poodle until I read Travels With Charley.
posted by joseph_elmhurst at 11:37 AM on February 13, 2008


krinklyfig, PETA should be happy about a dog shortage. Their eventual goal has always been to eliminate the whole idea of domesticated animals. So they would likely be against the whole licensed-breeder thing too.
posted by fiercecupcake at 11:58 AM on February 13, 2008


I was pro-Steinbeck until I read Travels With Charley.
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:36 PM on February 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


Good for Uno, but I'm still rooting for a basset hound to win. :(
posted by gyc at 3:32 PM on February 13, 2008


I've just gotta counteract all the poodle hate and put in a good word for standards. I'm not wild about the toys and minis but standard poodles are adorable, expressive, goofy, loyal dogs and they make terrific pets. And they're really smart. Look past the goofy haircuts you see at the shows.

I was really happy to see Uno take it though. Talk about a crowd favorite! The audience went nuts! Gotta agree with god hates math though - sight hounds don't get nearly enough love.
posted by LeeJay at 7:25 PM on February 13, 2008


uh, krinklyfig, I live in Colorado and there is no dog shortage here... I can assure you that we have dogs in shelters. Here is one example, Maxfund.
posted by fieldtrip at 9:19 PM on February 13, 2008


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