Westminster Kennel Club to choose top dog in New York

Tue Feb 11, 2014 4:22pm EST
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By Jonathan Allen

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Hair driers blew and nail files flew in final preparations on Tuesday for seven furry finalists vying for "best in show" at the 138th annual Westminster Kennel Club dog show.

The top dog in each of seven groups will go nose-to-nose at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan in the championship event that concludes one of the oldest sporting events in the United States.

Among the preeminent pedigreeds are a bloodhound named Nathan, who was best of the hound group; Classie, a miniature pinscher tops in the toy group; a standard poodle named Ally, who won in the non-sporting group; and a Cardigan Welsh corgi named Coco Posh, leader of the herding group.

They won their rounds on Monday and the remaining three groups - sporting, working and terrier breeds - will compete late on Tuesday, prior to the "best in show" competition, which will be judged by Betty Regina Leininger of Frisco, Texas.

Dog handler Angela Ewald was headed back to her hotel room with Pauli, a 4-year-old black Labrador retriever from Clio, Michigan, who needed a little pampering before competing in the sporting group.

"(We'll) get a little quiet time, cool her off, get her real hydrated and relax," said Ewald, 41, of Columbus, Ohio, who coordinates a Head Start early education program when she's not on dog duty.

She revealed her winning strategy: "We'll shine her up a little bit with mink oil."

The winner is expected to be announced by 11:00 p.m. EST Tuesday.   Continued...

Nautilus, a Golden Retriever, gets dried after a bath by handler Diana Mason during the 138th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York, February 11, 2014. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine