If you missed the Westminster 2011 Dog Show this year, you missed the victory by "Hickory" (full name GCh. Foxcliffe Hickory Wind), the first Scottish Deer Hound to win Best In Show.
Hickory is shown here with her handler Miss Angela Lloyd.
I have known Angie's family for around 20 years. Every time Angie is competing and on TV, I get an email from her mother giving me the times to watch! I confess that those are the only times I tune in to watch the competitions.
Angie has been handling and showing dogs since she was 9 years old. She is 31 now and this was her first Best In Show win and quite the accomplishment. I was very proud to see it happen.
A congratulatory reception was held for Hickory and Angie last Sunday night at a small restaurant in Flint Hill VA. Angie invited us to come.
It was quite impressive to see the Westminster Best In Show ribbon up close! That and many of Hickory's trophies.
When Angie bought a house a few years ago, she asked me to do the home inspection. Her main criteria? A separate three-car garage, which she finished, insulated and converted into a self-contained, year-round kennel/care facility. Made sense to me!
The reception was packed with well wishers, but Angie found a moment to allow my daughter to snap a photo of us. Finding that moment was not easy!
The place was so crowded that Hickory and Angie had to set up the Meet and Greet on the rear porch of the restaurant!
I actually clicked off these photos over other people's shoulders!
Angie was able to slip away as Hickory took time out to enjoy a hamburger treat.
You could see the dog's training as she was very demure and dainty when eating the fragrant and very good-looking burger!
Hickory is home now to her 500 acre Warrenton VA farm after a whirlwind tour around New York City. Her owner, Sally Sweatt, is a cancer survivor, and in the past couple of days Hickory actually visited cancer patients at a Ronald MacDonald House. Miss Sweatt feels that Hickory has had lots to do with her personal recovery.
Unfortunately my pretty daughter's photo with Angie was not without blinking, so we won't put it up here!
But at least I was able to get another on the front porch as we left!
She was impressed not only by the crowds of people, but by Angie's, and Hickory's, friendliness.
This was her first, and my first, time meeting a Westminster Dog Show winner in person!
Or in dog, as the case may be...