NEW YORK – America has a new Snoop doggie.
Barking and baying up a storm, Uno lived up to his name Tuesday night by becoming the first beagle to win best in show at the Westminster Kennel Club.
The nation's new top dog was clearly the crowd favorite, and drew a standing ovation from the sold-out crowd at Madison Square Garden when he was picked.
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It's a shocker in the show world, where wire fox terriers usually wobble off with the prize ribbon. Sort of like the boy-next-door becoming president — that's how it is to see a baying, barking backyard pet sip from the silver bowl.
Westminster has presented its best in show award 100 times. Not only has a beagle never won, none had even won the hound group and reached the final ring of seven since 1939 before Uno.
A standard poodle, a top-winning Sealyham terrier and Australian shepherd earned spots along with Uno on Monday night.
The top dog in the nation — a toy poodle, naturally — with 108 career best in show titles earned her spot early Tuesday night. So did a Weimaraner, the 'gray ghost' of dogs. A proud Akita hoped to join them later in the evening.
Exactly why beagles haven't done better at shows is somewhat of a mystery. Some say that they're so common, they don't stand out in the ring. Others say they're hurt by being an "honest dog" — as in, they're not a masterpiece carved with a pair of clippers.
This week, though, Uno was all the rage. Not that he knew it.
As a thousand dogs whirled around backstage Tuesday, Uno buried his wrinkled, white muzzle beneath a fuzzy blanket. After a brisk morning walk around Manhattan, he needed his nap.