Flynn the bichon frise has won best in show at the Westminster Kennel Club, a choice that seemed to surprise the crowd at Madison Square Garden in NY.
"Every time I looked at him, he went, 'Hey, lady.' A little waggly tail looking up at me, and he sold himself", judge Betty-Anne Stenmark said after announcing the victor.
No matter, the white powder puff, also known as aka GCHP CH Belle Creek's All I Care About Is Love, was picked and walked off as America's top dog.
"It feels a little unreal", Bill McFadden, his handler, said.
McFadden said Flynn might retire from the show dog business as a champion.
More than 200 dog breeds and varieties were represented in the two-day event, joining the contest from all 50 US states and 16 other countries, including Canada, Mexico, Japan, Russia, Australia and China, the Westminster Kennel Club said in a statement. A grand audience at Madison Square Garden watched closely as these attractive dogs made their way around the ring.
Leading contenders from seven categories of dogs, all immaculately groomed and on their best behavior, will go muzzle to muzzle on Tuesday as the Westminster Kennel Club's 142nd annual "Best-in-Show" contest enters its final round.
"These dogs were bred to entertain people".
The other groups consisted of hounds, terriers, toy, herding, working and sporting dogs, each judged by characteristics specific to their breeds. In 2016, C.J., a German Shorthaired Pointer, won the top prize and the year before that, Miss P the Beagle was "Best In Show".
A total of about 3,200 dogs competed during Westminster events this week. The terrier group is consistently ranked the reigning group in the competition and has taken the most "Best in Show" awards.