Beaglemania has hit Enderby.
Miss P (P for Peyton), a four-year-old beagle co-owned by the Enderby mother-daughter duo of Lori and Kaitlyn Crandlemire and American breeder Eddie Dziuk, was named Best in Show Tuesday at the 139th annual Westminster Kennel Club dog show – the Super Bowl of dog shows – in front of 18,000 fans at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
“I’ve fielded more phone calls about the beagle than in all the time Sir Anthony Hopkins was here,” said Enderby Mayor Greg McCune Wednesday morning (Hopkins, a best actor Oscar winner, was in the city in late 2014 shooting a movie, making friends with a lot of local residents as he happily posed for pictures).
“Let’s see, there’s been calls from Boston, London, England, Toronto, Vancouver, all over the place.”
Miss P – which is her call name, her actual registered name is CH Tashtins Lookin For Trouble – won the hound group on Monday to advance to the final group.
She then beat out six other dogs for the Best in Show title, including a black standard poodle, old English sheepdog, English springer spaniel, Portuguese water dog, shih tzu and Skye terrier.
The shih tzu is owned by famous kidnap victim Patty Hearst, while the Portuguese water dog in the final group is a relation to U.S. President Barack Obama’s dog, Sunny.
Terriers have won Best in Show at Westminster 46 times.
According to The Washington Post, the first and only other time a beagle was named Best in Show was in 2008, and it was Miss P’s great uncle, Uno, who won the competition.
Lori and Kaitlyn Crandlemire were in New York to watch the big moment. Miss P was handled by Ontario’s Will Alexander.
“I’m speechless,” said Lori to reporters immediately after the victory.
Back home in Enderby, and around the North Okanagan, excitement over the beagle’s victory was building.
“My husband and I watched it on TV and when it was announced that Miss P had won, it was pretty incredible,” said Tasha Baumle, Kaitlyn’s sister.
Many notes of congratulation had been posted to the Vernon and District Kennel Club’s Facebook page, where Miss P and the Crandlemires are members.
A number of club members gathered at president Jayne Lapointe’s home for its annual Westminster Kennel Club party, which included having a lit candle and stuffed beagle as table centrepieces to send positive energy to Miss P.
“We were all hoping for her and, of course, the judge had to draw things out,” said Lapointe. “When he said ‘beagle,’ we were all up, stomping our feet, yelling and cheering.
“It was so exciting to see a dog that we’ve known since it was a puppy and go through training classes with win Westminster. That’s the pinnacle.”
As of Thursday morning, there had been 280,000 tweets on Twitter in regards to Miss P’s victory at Westminster.
Baumle said Kaitlyn, Lori and Miss P were going to be busy in New York for the next few days.
Miss P appeared on the Today and The View talk shows Wednesday morning, and also appeared on Entertainment Tonight.
The dog had a photo op at the top of the Empire State Building, was being treated to steak dinner on a silver platter at legendary Sardi’s Restaurant in Manhattan and was also rumoured to be meeting with Donald Trump.
It is believed that Miss P will now be retired from competition.
The City of Enderby is planning a celebration for its newest champion.
“My first thought was a parade,” said McCune. “We have the Canada Day parade so we could offer up the first spot to Miss P and the Crandlemires.
“We’ll definitely do something. This is an amazing accomplishment.”
More than 2,700 dogs were entered in the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club show.
An encore presentation of the Westminster Kennel Club annual dog show can be seen on Discovery Saturday at 7 a.m. and Sunday at 10 a.m.