AT RANDOM: The top dog

Roger Knox reflects on the latest celebrity to come out of Enderby

Well that didn’t take long.

Sir Anthony Hopkins, Oscar winner for best actor for his incredibly magnificent, scary performance as Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs, was, at one point, Enderby’s most famous celebrity.

Hopkins, of course, graced the North Okanagan with his presence shooting a movie in Enderby, Lumby and Vernon and graciously posed for a myriad of photos with local residents, leaving a lasting impression.

That was so 2014.

Hopkins, now, has been upstaged by a four-year-old with four legs.

The entire North Okanagan, province and country has been talking all week about Miss P, a beagle co-owned by Enderby’s Lori and Kaitlyn Crandlemire, who stunned the dog world on Tuesday by being named Best in Show at the world renowned Westminster Kennel Club dog show – the 139th annual – in front of 18,000 fans at Madison Square Gardens in New York City.

The Westminster Kennel Club show is to dog shows what the Oscars are to movies, or what the Super Bowl is to football.

It’s huge.

There were more than 2,700 entries for this year’s Westminster show and, along with the 18,000 on hand in person, millions watched on television (though I was not one of them because I don’t have Animal Planet in my cable subscription).

And here is this little beagle from Canada, from B.C.’s Southern Interior, winning its hound group Monday to advance to Best in Show, then beating out six other dogs for the grand title including a shih tszu owned by legendary kidnap victim Patty Hearst, and a Skye terrier.

Terriers, according to good investigative journalism, have won Best in Show at Westminster 46 times. Beagles, once. That was in 2008 (and a relative of Miss P’s to boot).

Since winning the title, Miss P (and the Crandlemires, Miss P’s handler, Will Alexander from Ontario, and American co-owner Eddie Dziuk), has been making the rounds in the Big Apple.

They appeared on talk shows Today and The View, where co-host Whoopi Goldberg apparently fell in love with the cute canine.

They were heading to a photo op at the top of the Empire State Building. Miss P was slated to have steak served on a silver platter at legendary Sardi’s restaurant. A visit with Donald Trump was rumoured.

The City of Enderby may change its name to Enderbeagle.

Joking aside, the city is planning some kind of reception for Miss P and the Crandlemires. And Miss P certainly has earned that.

I have written at least 30 stories over my career involving dogs. My former editor in Salmon Arm, dear friend and spaniel lover/owner, Tracy Hughes, pointed out gleefully that she saw a statistic showing readership will grow in newspapers if you have a dog story on the front page.

Seriously.

Miss P’s story ranks as one of my favourite.

She won the most prestigious dog show on the planet. She beat out dogs with ties to famous people (a Portuguese water dog in the final ring is a cousin of U.S. President Barack Obama’s dog, Sunny, and there’s that Hearst dog).

She was, ahem, the underdog Tuesday.

Miss P is a champion, famous in her own right.

And, like every dog, Miss P deserves her day.