The city of Detroit is struggling to stay afloat these days, but when the Detroit Kennel Club held its 110th and 111th benched all-breed shows this past weekend, it did its part to help bring visitors to the metropolis. Detroit is not only one of the few benched shows left in the sport, it is also run by some of our most dedicated fanciers, including Erik Bergishagen and his wife Jane, Peggy Beisel-McIlwaine and her husband Sandy, and Kellie FitzGerald and Chris Berg.

This year’s entry reflects an on-going level of support for all of the work the above-mentioned members, and many others as well, put into their shows. In fact, at a time when we so often find entry numbers dropping year after year, Detroit’s numbers were up in 2013 compared to recent years, with 1,431 entered on Saturday and 1,408 on Sunday, compared with 1,361 and 1,264 in 2011 and 1,402 and 1,331 in 2010. (Official entry figures for 2012 were unavailable.)

On Saturday the Best in Show judge was Espen Engh of Norway, well known and respected by many in the U.S., as he judges here fairly often. Espen is known around the world for not only his judging prowess but also for his Jet’s Greyhounds, which since the 1970s has produced more than 160 champions in at least 57 countries. In an occurrence we see so rarely today, Espen found for his winner a dog that came from the Open class, handled by Ernesto Lara and sent to him from the Group by Jerry Klein. Wire Fox Terrier Crispy Legacy is not unknown here in the U.S., as he was in Orlando last December at AKC/Eukanuba. The Swedish dog was handled there by his breeder/owner, Agneta Astrom, to Best of Winners and Best Bred-by-Exhibitor under Wire Fox Terrier authority Harry O’Donoghue, and then second in the BBE Terrier Group under Roz Kraus Kramer. An interesting “connection,” if you will, between Roz and this dog is that his pedigree goes back to Geir Flyckt-Pedersen’s Louline, where Agneta Astrom got her start, and Roz, with George Ward, specialed several of the Louline imports to the U.S. back in the day when she and George were such a successful handling team.

Now the Crispy Legacy dog has come to America for a campaign, owned by John and Daphne Eggert, who also owned the last Terrier Ernesto showed so successfully, Scottie GCh. Lomondview Clementina. ‘Phoebe’ was the Number 1 Scottie and Number 2 Terrier last year, and Number 1 Scottie and Number 6 Terrier in 2011. This was the Wire Fox Terrier’s first weekend back in the U.S., and what a way to begin his career with Ernesto, with a big win from one Scandinavian to another.

Reserve BIS went to the Westminster Group winner, Portuguese Water Dog GCh. Claircreek Impression De Matisse, who won the Group under Michele Billings. ‘Matisse,’ who was also featured in last week’s “Fancy That” and who I suspect we’ll hear a lot from this year, is handled by Michael Scott for owners Milan Lint, Peggy Helming and breeder Donna Gottdenker.

Another of last week’s winners in Chicago was Chesapeake Bay Retriever GCh. Chesastar Hudson Bay, who won the Group day one in Detroit under Anne Katona, handled by Michelle Scott for owners Karen and Jan Sosik. Having already won at least a half-dozen Groups this year, it looks like this Chessie is going to have a fine 2013.

In the Hound Group Nick Frost’s first place winner was a dog I haven’t heard of before, although his breeder/owner and handler are of course known to me. Whippet Ch. Cottonwood Vuitton is handled by Lesley Potts for breeder/owner Harriet Vincent. Lesley has been a successful breeder and owner of Whippets, and a professional handler, for decades. As for Harriet, Mike Stone showed a Whippet bitch for her back in the mid-1990s, Ch. Watch Me Ruby Red Slippers. ‘Ruby’ became the Number 1 Whippet and Number 8 Hound in both 1996 and 1997. Indeed, Ruby is the great-great-grandmother of this Group winner.

Sari Brewster Tietjen, who judged the Toy Group, has been a respected breeder of Japanese Chins for more than 40 years, so it must have been quite an honor for Nancy Martin to handle ‘Mimi,’ GCh. Pem We-Syng Lucky Mi, to Group First under her. Owned by James Dalton, John Turjoman and Marsha Ballard, she was bred by Patricia Mushrush, was the Westminster BOB winner and is already a BIS winner this year.

Another new face, for me, was Frank Sabella’s Non-Sporting Group winner, Keeshond Ch. KJ’s Dream Date. ‘Daisy Mae’ is bred and owned by Kristen Dowd and is a daughter of the multiple Best in Show winner and 2008 and 2009 Number 1 Keeshond, Ch. Daimler’s Caviar Dreams. ‘Parker’ was bred and owned by Terry and Diane Benz, co-owned by Cathy Cinnamon and handled by Terry.

Jimmy Moses judged his first AKC Herding Group on Saturday. What a great show for judging his first Group. His winner was Bouvier des Flandres Ch. Stonepillar’s Steel Blu, yet another dog that is brand new on the scene. He was bred in Canada by Bruce and Diane Ham and M.J. Sears and is owned by Julianna and Daniel Garrison and Elaine Paquette, who handles him. His dam, Ch. Stonepillar’s Special Jewel, was a multiple Group winner and the top Bouvier bitch in Canada in 2005. His sire, Am. Can. Ch. Quiche’s Eye of the Storm, of course from the Paquette’s world famous Quiche kennel, was a Group winner in both the U.S. and Canada, but more importantly was among the American Bouvier des Flandres Club’s top sires in 2011.

If Mimi’s breeders, owners and handler were proud on Saturday to win the Group under Sari Tietjen, they had to be over the moon on Sunday, when Sari chose her for Best in Show. I’m guessing this will elevate Mimi from her position as Number 6 Toy at the end of January.

Reserve Best in Show went to Anne Katona’s Non-Sporting Group winner, Dalmatian GCh. Bret D N Engine Co To The Rescue. Bred by Joanne Shupp and Michelle Jarus and owned by John and Elaine Bachey, Marie Zink and Joanne Shupp, ‘Tilley’ is handled by Phil Booth. Her grandsire, Ch. Bret D’s Sergeant Major, was a multiple Best in Show winner in 2008 and 2009, also handled by Phil for the Bacheys and Marie Zink.

In the Sporting Group judge Dyane Baldwin found GCh. Summits Emery Its In The Bag for her winner. Breeder/owner handled by Beth Johnson, ‘Chloe’ is owned by Jeff and Kathy Sedivec and was co-bred by David Harper, and she was also a Group winner last weekend in Chicago. Beth has, of course, bred numerous Group and BIS winners, and for the past two years three different Goldens of her breeding have been among the breed’s Top 10.

The Hound Group winner under Espen Engh was Saluki GCh. Sandstorm Blue Nile Bubbles of Jatara. ‘Bubbles,’ last year’s Number 5 Hound, is handled by Erin Roberts for owners Sandra Middlebrooks, Jackie Harrington and Sara Winsted and breeder Kathleen Morton. Bubbles great-granddam on her mother’s side was the lovely bitch that Allison Alexander (now Foley) showed in the late 1990s for Randy and Starr White, Am. Can. Ch. Windstorm Luck Be A Lady. ‘Lucky’ was Canada’s Top Hound one year, and Number 7 among all breeds, and the Number 1 Saluki in Canada for four years in a row.

‘Matisse’ repeated his Working Group win, this time under judge Bob Shreve. In the Terrier Group Saturday’s Best in Show winner was third, while Pam and John Beale’s Norfolk, GCh. Yarrow Venerie Ticket to Ride, was the Group winner, handled by Roxanne Sutton. ‘Rider’ was bred by Pam and Beth Sweigart, and is a grandson of the famous Am. Eng. Ch. Cracknor Cause Celebre, the Norfolk America will long remember not just for her career – she was Number 1 of all breeds in the U.S. in 2003, is the top-winning Norfolk of all time in the U.S. and was Best in Show at Crufts in 2005 – but for her charm and personality in the ring and her devotion to Beth Sweigart and Peter Green, and theirs to her. The four champion offspring ‘Coco’ left the breed continue to produce winners and producers of their own.

In the Herding Group, also judged by Espen, Bouvier ‘Blu’ was once again the winner.

I feel certain that someday the city of Detroit will rise again from the ashes, and the Detroit Kennel Club will still be standing, strong and sure, to continue to give to the city, the dog sport and to dog lovers and fanciers in Michigan. Congratulations to the club for another successful show weekend and to this year’s winners.