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  • King, the dog, is enjoying a steak, well-done, at Sardi's, the famous theatre-district restaurant in New York.

  • He deserves it, because he just won Best in Show at the 143rd Westminster Kennel Club dog show, in 2019.

  • Then, he tried to eat a microphone.

  • King is at the end of the long list of terriers to win Best in Show at Westminster.

  • But King, as wonderful as he is, will almost certainly not do what this dog did.

  • This is the only dog to win Best in Show at Westminster 3 times in a row.

  • That's a 3-peat!

  • How did she do it?

  • And was she really the greatest dog of all time?

  • The answer involves a breed, a socialite, and the short life of a legend named Warren Remedy.

  • This is not a steak.

  • This is a rat.

  • Terriers made their reputations as rat catchers.

  • First bred in the British isles, the smooth terrier and wire fox terrier crossed over to America.

  • Warren Remedy was a smooth fox terrier while King is a wire fox terrier.

  • The dogs don't just share a "Best in Show title," but also a common fox terrier heritage.

  • With just a few exceptions, the American smooth fox terrier started off in the 1880s in the oldest of our great kennels, Warren Kennels, the one started by Winthrop Rutherfurd.

  • Rutherfurd was a wealthy Manhattan socialite.

  • He dated a Vanderbilt before marrying a Vice-President's daughter.

  • He was also really into terriers.

  • Rutherfurd was president of the American Fox Terrier club, funding it and working to boost the breed's clout.

  • He also raised them at his estate in Allamuchy, New Jersey.

  • Allamuchy Township Tax and Animal Licensing office.”

  • Hi, uh, what county are you in?

  • Warren County.”

  • That's why his kennels were called Warren Kennels.

  • Oh, what kennels?”

  • So that is where Warren Remedy got her name.

  • All the Warren Kennel dogs were Warren something.

  • And all that stuff sets the stage for the confluence of events that would make her not just a dog, but an icon.

  • Let's go back to King.

  • King didn't win just for being the best dog.

  • He won according to standards used by Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show judges.

  • Standards of what an ideal wire fox terrier is.

  • He has small, v-shaped ears of moderate thickness, a flat top-line of the skull, a coat with dense wiry texture

  • It's not just an awesome dog, but the dog that best exemplifies the breed.

  • Winthrop Rutherfurd helped write the standards for the smooth fox terrier for his club, and Westminster.

  • The Westminster Kennel Club started shows in 1877, just a few years before Rutherfurd's Warren Kennel started.

  • It didn't have Best in Show, a competition between breeds, until 1907.

  • By then, Rutherfurd was a member of the Westminster Bench Show Committee, and guaranteed prize money for the smooth and wire fox terrier categories.

  • He ran one of the two top smooth fox terrier kennels in the country.

  • Other dogs were measured by the type he'd established.

  • His dog, Warren Remedy, won shows around the country.

  • The judges called her thesprightly clean-limbed little miss,” and raved that she was truest to type.

  • But is it any wonder that she won Westminster specifically again, and again, and again?

  • The surprise isn't that she won three times.

  • It's that she lost a fourth time to the other big fox terrier breeder out of Texas, Sabine Kennels.

  • Even though Sabine beat Warren Remedy, it wasn't really a loss for the Rutherfurd type.

  • A dog from the Sabine Kennel sired Warren Remedy: he was her dad.

  • So, what do we do with Warren Remedy?

  • Was she really the greatest dog of all time?

  • After the reign of the smooth fox terrier, wire-fox terriers became cooler, all the way up to King in 2019.

  • A smooth fox terrier never won after 1910.

  • Regulations also got stricter in 1924.

  • There have been a couple of repeat winners since, but no three-timers, and no two-timers since 1972.

  • That's over.

  • Before that, even an elite dog like Warren Remedy had a window.

  • A 20-year smooth fox terrier trend.

  • A short 7-year life.

  • And 3 years as Best in Show.

  • In 1906, she needed a little size yet, but had time.

  • By 1909, even when she was queen of all dogs at Westminster, Sabine Kennel dogs were winning other competitions across the country.

  • But for a couple of years, she had the glory.

  • She endorsed Spratt's Dog Cakes.

  • She earned all those front-page headlines.

  • Maybe those three wins, maybe they were about socialites, and structure, and trends.

  • Maybe she wasn't the greatest dog of all time.

  • But the window's small for every dog.

  • Maybe they're all the greatest, for a moment.

  • Maybe all the dogs deserve one night when they get the steak.

  • So maybe you're curious when the terrier reign over Best in Show finally ended, and it didn't happen until 1913 when a bulldogthis big boy, named Strathtay Prince Albert

  • managed to pull off the victory.

King, the dog, is enjoying a steak, well-done, at Sardi's, the famous theatre-district restaurant in New York.

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Was this the greatest dog of all time?

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/07/31
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