For the canine contestants who competed at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City, it's all over but the tail wagging. The three-day show drew dogs and their people from all over world, including Marco, the Grand Champion Tibetan Spaniel from Menlo Park.
Although the coveted title of Best in Show went to Siba, a female standard poodle with amazing hair, Marco and Gerba are returning home triumphant from their trip to the Big Apple. Marco was presented with the Award of Merit in the Tibetan Spaniel Breed Class.
Marco (aka "GCHB CH Brill Padme Dark Passion"), Diana Gerba and the story of how dog and human made it to Westminster are profiled in this week's Almanac.
The show, which was held from Feb. 9 through 11, is called the Super Bowl of dog shows by fans of the sport. It is such a big deal that there is even a $1 million "bracket" competition tied to the top eight winning dogs. Who knew?
The award, which is presented at the judge's discretion, is given to an outstanding entry after the Best of Breed selections are made. "The dogs that are entered are the best of the best," said Gerba. "Just to be there with Marco was oh so cool, but to win an Award of Merit in competition with such quality dogs is the thrill of a lifetime."
Marco, however, was his usual cool self both in and out of the ring. Despite huge crowds of people clapping and cheering and cameras everywhere, "He got right down to business, put on his game face and strutted his stuff," Gerba said. Outside the ring, he was happy to receive visitors. "He sat on top of his crate and invited everyone to pet him," she said.
A good time was had by all, but for Gerba, who grew up watching the Westminster show on television, being there at last was nothing less than a dream come true.
"What an amazing trip this has been," she reflected. "I have dreamed this dream with every dog I've owned. This year I got to live the dream with Marco!"