A pooch from small-town British Columbia is getting thrown more than a bone for winning best in show at the most prestigious championships for dogs in the United States.
Miss P, a four-year-old beagle born in the Interior city of Enderby, was named top dog on Tuesday at the Westminster Kennel Club's annual show in New York.
"We're going to immediately change our name to Ender-beagle," joked the Mayor of Enderby, Greg McCune, the next day.
Crowning the canine "Fire Hall Dog of the Day" or "Mayor for a Day" are the honours being considered, as well as a spot on the front float during the community's Canada Day parade.
"It's the talk of the town at the moment, tonnes of interest globally," said McCune, listing off the congratulatory calls. "Everyone's having a pretty good time with it."
Miss P's breeder and part owners, Lori Crandlemire and daughter Kaitlyn, said they're excited but overwhelmed by the attention. But not Miss P.
"I think she knows that it's a very big deal and she's acting very calm and she's just taking it all in stride like she's the star," said Crandlemire during a quick break on their whirlwind media tour.
The dog savoured sirloin at Sardi's restaurant, visited the Empire State Building, flaunted its fur on a few talk shows and pawed into a cameo in the Broadway musical Kinky Boots.
Miss P was even scheduled for a date on Thursday with Donald Trump.
No prize money is awarded.
Miss P was born in Crandlemire's bedroom, but at six months old moved away for training after her discovery by a handler from Milton, Ont.
Will Alexander said he immediately recognized the pup's potential and recalled the duo stepping into the spotlight at Madison Square Garden.
"She barked before I went in the ring. When everyone was chanting 'beagle,' I could feel her growing an inch and her muscles tightening and she was ready to go."
The P in the dog's name stands for Peyton, but Alexander said they've also nicknamed her "Princess."
He said hard work is the secret to her success but admits her diva personality made the difference.
"She performs (well) because she's showing off," he said. "It's all about vanity."
She was selected from among seven finalists, beating out 2,710 dogs.
Miss P has worked the circuit through Canada and the U.S. for the past year, Alexander added. She's become a seasoned vet who trains like a regular athlete, running on her treadmill and eating nutritious food.
Crandlemire said she's looking forward to moving her dog back to Enderby once the fanfare subsides.
"I think she'd like it a lot — there's a lot of freedom here for dogs," said Enderby resident Gregg Marquardt, who's never met Miss P but watched her performance on TV with his mother. "There are beautiful walks along the river. It's a great place for retirement."
— Written by Tamsyn Burgmann in Vancouver
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