October 25, 2020

Pekingese becomes America’s top dog at Westminster 


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Malachy, a Pekingese, sits in the trophy after winning best in show during the 136th annual Westminster Kennel Club dog show Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

NEW YORK (AP) — Malachy the Pekingese, whose smushed-in face frames a mop of flyaway fur and whose pace rivals a snail’s, is the fairest dog in the land.

The Peke put on a peak performance Tuesday night, wobbling off with best in show at the Westminster Kennel Club.

This little stump of a dog beat out the likes of a Dalmatian, German shepherd, Doberman pinscher, Irish setter, a Kerry blue terrier and wire-haired dachshund to become America’s most prized pooch.

“He saved all his energy for the ring today,” handler David Fitzpatrick said.

The 4-year-old Malachy won his 115th overall best in show title. The crowd was clearly was on his side, hollering his name at Madison Square Garden.

Fitzpatrick gave his 11-pound champ a bit of help — he carried him onto the green carpet for the final lineup, shortening the long walk around the ring.

Malachy’s pink tongue popped out from his black face, his eyes sparkling like black diamonds as he soaked in the cheers.

“No other dog moves like this,” Fitzpatrick said. It’s true, as a Pekingese is supposed to move with a “slow and dignified” gait.

Malachy chilled out after his win, resting his silver and white coat on a cool pack. He had plenty of time to get ready, having won the toy group Monday night.

“I kept him quiet all day,” Fitzpatrick said.

Judge Cindy Vogels chose Malachy in front of adoring fans. The No. 2 show dog in the nation this year had heard it before, having taken the toy group here last February.

“Super dog, and he had a stupendous night,” she said. “There’s a lot of dog in a small package.”

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