I am in Orlando FL for the 11th Annual AKC/Eukanuba National Championship and while we wait for tonight’s Group judging, I want to bring you The Back Story. I missed last year’s event and had forgotten how much walking one does. No wonder dog show people live forever.  Just witness today’s Italian Greyhound judge, 90 year old Maxine Beam.

As much as you will hear about the nationally ranked dogs that are here, there are some notable absences. The country’s Number Two Dog All Breeds, the Pekingese, GCH CH Malachy, has split his week between Cleveland OH and Allentown PA, taking three Group Firsts. Likewise the Number Six Dog, the Whippet, GCH CH Starline’s Chanel split her time between Jackson MS where she got two Hound Group Firsts and Allentown PA where she was today’s BIS.

Among the surprise encounters here in Orlando have been 2009’s Number One Toy Dog, the Toy Poodle, GCH CH Smash Jp Moon Walk, last year’s Number One Dog All Breeds, the Smooth Fox Terrier, GCH CH J’Cobe Kemosabe Vigilante Justice, and 2009‘s Number Three Dog, the Puli, CH Cordmaker Field of Dreams.

The Toy Poodle, Walker, has already picked up one BIS, two Group Ones, and a Group Two and will represent his variety in tonight’s Toy Group. Walker will also represent Japan in the World Challenge.

 The Smooth Fox Terrier, Dodger, will  compete in the Championship competition, as well as competing  in the World Challenge representing Brazil where he finished 2011 as Brazil’s Number One Dog All Breeds.

The Puli, Conrad, whom you may remember as the back2back Herding Group winner at the 2009 & 2010 Westminster Kennel Club shows, will represent his native Australia in the World Challenge.

Check back with me on Monday for more Back Stories from Orlando!