Local Newfoundland dog The Amazing Miss Andie was true to her nickname in capturing the Best of Opposite Sex honours at the Westminster Dog Show last week.
Hailing from Ladysmith, it’s been a quick rise top for the two and a half year old Miss Andie - ranked number two overall in her breed in the United States and Canada and number one female.
Owners Doug and Cindy Savory, who are members at the Nanaimo Kennel Club, hoped their dog would get noticed and are ecstatic with the result.
“The cheering that Andie had at ring side was amazing,” Cindy said. “People were there specifically to see her because they had known she had done so well.”
The Savorys have owned Newfoundlands since the late 1980s, but Miss Andie is their first female.
An invitation to be part of the Westminster Dog Show requires a top five ranking in the U.S., or securing a spot through a lottery.
The Savorys travelled extensively throughout the U.S. last year with number four ranked Andie before a breakthrough in Dixon, Calif., won her Best in Show against 1,400 other canines of all breeds. It also leapfrogged her into the number two rank.
In New York City, the judge selected the 125-lbs Andie and six other dogs to move around the ring a second time before awarding the ribbons.
“For her to get chosen as Best of Opposite was wonderful because all the people supporting us were there as well,” Cindy said.
Miss Andie was bred, and still co-owned by Joan Casler of Cobble Hill.
Doug had originally gone over to Casler’s only to evaluate the litter.
However, he was immediately struck by how the eight week old puppy moved across the grass.
“The way the dog carries itself in movement and the structure of the dog,” said Doug describing things he looks for when comparing a canine to the breed standard.
At six months Miss Andie showed promise, taking Best Puppy in Show in her first competition.
Miss Andie’s father Heartsease King of the Jungle also competed at Westminster in 2015.
“It’s like going to the Olympics,” Casler said. “It makes all those expenses and all that worry just worth it.”
Cindy said Miss Andie is an ‘“all around dog” and not only does shows, but also obedience, carting and even a dance routine as part of the Island Canine Entertainers.
“They don’t come like this very often so we feel very fortunate,” she said as dog the slept at her feet after the six hour flight back home.
A far cry from her walks in rural Ladysmith, Miss Andie held up well against the bright lights of Time Square and stressors of the Big Apple.
“She is one very solid girl. She’s definitely an attention draw as well,” Cindy said. “Our biggest challenge in New York was finding places for her to go potty because there’s no green space other than Central Park.”
On the last day in the city they took Andie for a long walk to see the sites on Fifth Avenue and were even invited into a jewelry store.
The Savorys credit handler Guillermo Fano for his work with Andie.
“They’re just magic the two of them,” she said. “He brings out the best in her that’s for sure.”
The Savorys and Casler are now on a worldwide search for a mate to breed with Miss Andie but are also steadfast that she’ll return to competition after nursing puppies.
Next up is the U.S. nationals in Oregon in April.
“As they get older they get better and better,” Cindy said.
“Two years from now the Amazing Andie may be even more amazing.”