Cosby’s terrier could become top dog
Comedian enters No. 1 show dog, Harry, at Westminster Dog Show
Lawrence Jackson / AP
Take a look at some past Best in Show winners at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
NEW YORK - No joke, Bill Cosby’s funny-looking terrier could become America’s top dog.
Meet Harry, a 6-year-old Dandie Dinmont that’s a cross between a Dachshund and a bigheaded poodle with a bad haircut. Pepper and white, this pooch’s mug and manner delight his co-owner.
“I love Harry’s face and his attitude!” Cosby wrote in an e-mail.
The No. 1 show dog in the country, Harry soon will get his chance to work those stubby front legs at the No. 1 dog show in America. The Westminster Kennel Club event starts Monday morning with more than 2,600 entries ready to walk the green carpet at Madison Square Garden.
Shortly before 11 p.m. Tuesday, judge/cardiac surgeon Robert Indeglia will mark his ballot, step to the middle of the ring and, with upward of 20,000 fans standing and hollering, point to his pick as best in show.
Cosby, who will be absent because of a previous commitment, will be rooting in spirit when the silver bowl is presented. The comedian is a true dog fancier and has won several ribbons in person at Westminster.
“Dog shows are somewhere between a sport and an admiration society,” he wrote this week.
“The dog breeders and owners are like parents who have kids in soccer games, swim meets, ice skating, etc.,” he said. “Only the breeders are better behaved. They are proud of their ‘kids’ and want to see them do well. The breeders arrange the marriages that produce the pups and raise them. The owners pay for the uniforms, the referees, the coaches and the tournament fees.”
Playfully called the Super Bowl of dog shows, Westminster is gathering quite a following.
There’s no betting, though. The lines are for entertainment only.
“I’ve done a lot of events — ‘American Idol’ and the Oscars and others — so we thought it’d be fun to add Westminster,” said John Avello, director of race and sports operations at Wynn Las Vegas.
Avello owns two dogs, incidentally. He said his cocker spaniel and West Highland white terrier would have no chance at Westminster.
The Martha Stewart radio show will simulcast USA Network’s telecast of the final. The Westminster Web site hopes to match last year’s 125 million hits from more than 125 million countries. And once again, the Empire State Building will be lit in purple and yellow to highlight the show.
Harry, officially named champion Hobergays Fineus Fogg, was bred in New Zealand and won big in Australia before coming to the United States. He took 57 best in show ribbons last year, yet finished fourth in the terrier group at the Garden.
Guided by star handler Bill McFadden, Harry might be a good bet to become the first Dandie to go best in show at Westminster. Some sort of terrier has won 44 of the 99 times the prize has been awarded.
Dandies, by the way, are the only kind among the 165 dog breeds and varieties present to be named for a fictional character. Sir Walter Scott’s early-1800s novel “Guy Mannering” had a farmer named Dandie Dinmont who owned terriers.
“They’re odd-looking,” longtime USA Network host David Frei said. “They have a head that looks to be too big for their body. They have these big eyes that just look at you.”