After this weekend, most of last year’s top dogs will be heading to New York for the Westminster Kennel Club show.  The show’s February date makes it a kind of canine all star game.  The season is already over and all the final rankings are out.  It will be the last hurrah for many of the participants with several retirements already announced.

t is also a springboard for the new season with winners catching the “Westminster Wave”, a bit of a head start on the rest of the field.  Here are four dogs out this weekend that have started the year with a bang.

CH Fantastico da Mayo

The Standard Poodle, CH Fantastico da Mayo, was one of two Poodles to go BIS yest4erday.  Fantastico grabbed the big rosette at the Conyers Kennel Club of Georgia in Atlanta, a show which drew better than 2200 dogs.  The Brazilian import was the Number One Dog in Brazil in 2010. He was bred and is owned by Zuleika Torrealba and handled by the master Poodle presenter, Christian Manelopoulos.

CH Smash Jp Sakura

Last year exhibitors in Wildwood NJ braved a blizzard to show at the Atlantic Ocean Classic.  This year they are enjoying unseasonably pleasant weather and the views of the beach from the show hall.  The second Poodle to win a BIS yesterday was the Toy Poodle, CH Smash Jp Sakura, a 23 month old bitch.  Over  the past several seasons we have become accustomed to seeing handler Kaz Hosaka, with a white Toy Poodle with the Smash kennel appellation.  In five weeks she has already gathered seven Toy Groups and two BIS.  Sakura was bred by Yukiko Omura., and owned by Ron Scott & Debbie Burke.

CH Torquay Be Nice To Me

The past couple of seasons we watched breeder/owner handler Marcelo Chagas lead his 15” Beagle, GCH CH Torquay Midnight Confession, to the all time bred record for BIS.  This year Marcelo and “Lola” litter brother, CH CH Torquay Be Nice To Me, have started charming a whole new group of admirers.  “JR” and Marcelo are also in Atlanta and took home the heavy silver from Friday’s Sawnee Mountain Kennel Club of Georgia show.  JR also has four Hound Groups, all in the last two weekends.  Team JR includes Marcelo and breeders/owners Marco & Alessandra Botelho.

CH J'Cobe Broxden Danea

2010’s Number One Dog was the Smooth Fox Terrier, GCH CH J’Cobe Kemosabe Vigilante Justice, handled by owner Amy Booth.  Amy’s newest charge, the Smooth Fox Terrier, GCH CH J’Cobe Broxden Danea, is also in Atlanta.  So far this year 14month-old Nea and Amy have one BIS and three Terrier Groups–including one in Atlanta.  On Nea’s team are breeder/owner/handler Amy Booth, breeders/owners William R Dalling & Phil Booth, co-breeder Stacy Turner, and owner Victor Malzoni Jr.

I don’t think we will see any of these dogs at Westminster, but you can bet we will be seeing more of them as the year progresses.  And that’s today’s Back Story.