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When the terrier group was judged, a big upset occurred. Ch. Sunnybrook Spot On, a wire fox terrier, did not win but placed third under Judge Peter Thomson. Thomson selected as the winner an English import, a West Highland white, Ch. Ardenrun Andsome of Purston, and a Lakeland, Ch. Jo-Ni's Red Baron of Crofton, as second. Haggerty thought that was fine. "The Lakeland was shown with absolute artistry," the captain said. "His feet were too big, but then he was so well groomed a judge might have missed that. A Lakeland's feet should be well-knuckled so his legs look like they grow right out of the ground."
In the nonsporting group, the captain favored an English bulldog bitch, Ch. Westfield Conomorus Stone, owned by Haggerty's old friend Charlie Westfield Jr. However, a chow chow, Ch. Mi Tu's Han Su Shang, placed first, while the bulldog finished second. In Haggerty's opinion English bulldogs are a disaster. "The bitch had a great head," he said, "but the breed is so different from the original bulldog of 100 years ago that the pups usually have to be delivered by Caesarean section because the head has grown so much in relation to the pelvis."
Three toy breeds, Haggerty said, were also in deplorable shape: Yorkshire terriers, Chihuahuas and Brussels griffons. The trouble with the first two is that the bones in the skull often do not close. "Want to kill a Yorkie?" the captain asked. "Tap it on the head with a pencil." All three breeds suffer from "fading puppy syndrome. The dogs just die, just die." To save the breeds, he suggested they each be locked in a room for three generations and use the stock that survives.
On the last day of Westminster, Haggerty was at the sporting dog rings. Viewing the Vizslas, he said, "If you're going to get a European combination of hunting dog and house pet, this is the one. The Weimaraner is not nearly so good as a pet, although in the field it is better." (Sour looks from those around the ring.) "The Vizsla needs to put its head in someone's lap."
The captain examined the Labs and was not impressed. As other retriever breeds were shown, the captain felt the temptation to fire a gun in the Garden. "Gundogs should be excused from the ring if they're gun-shy," he said.
Moving over to the hounds, Captain Haggerty looked warily at the basenjis. "A nice dog if you don't want a dog for a pet. They are catlike in their behavior patterns: independent, aloof. Training them is difficult. They are farther away from domestication than any AKC breed. For better results in training, food rewards should be used. A food reward is not going to work with a terrier—you have to 'machine gun' a terrier on a leash to get results. A terrier requires a firm hand. Neither is affection going to work with a terrier or a basenji. The saluki—now there is a breed that will go for dates and oranges."
One dog the captain liked was a bloodhound, Ch. The Rectory's Limbo, an eager 16-month-old that took best-of-breed. (Haggerty is an admirer of good noses. In the Army he discovered that a scout dog could pick up the scent of a human from 150 yards to half a mile away, depending on wind and weather.)
As the sporting group was judged, Haggerty commented. The Lab: "No pizazz." English setter: "Not enough reach in the shoulder." Gordon setter: "Beautiful dog, but he has too much coat for the field. A beautiful coat, but like a cocker spaniel." Irish setter: "Too narrow behind." Brittany: "Nice dog, nothing great." Black cocker: "Look at the thick coat. Wouldn't be too bad if you hunted him in the desert or on an airport runway." English cocker: "Good dog, not a great dog. A little peaked, too." Sussex spaniel: "A poor mover." Welsh springer: "Not showing worth a damn." Vizsla: "A little loose in the front." Weimaraner: "He's out of it. "The judge, Joe Tacker, put up the Gordon, Ch. Afternod Yank of Rockaplenty.
The hounds were next. The basenji: "A little out at the elbows." Beagle, not exceeding 13 inches: "I like a little more length and neck." Ch. The Rectory's Limbo, the bloodhound, passed by: "Showing very well." American foxhound: "A very good dog. Probably the best one in there but it won't win. Why? American foxhounds never win. There are probably no more than six in the whole show." Harrier: "I know a gal who had her finger taken off by a harrier. Howling problem." Norwegian elkhound: "Nice-moving dog but maybe weak in the pasterns." Rhodesian ridge-back: "Fifteen to 20 years ago there was no uniformity of type, and they've carried that through. Good watchdog, fighting problem, hard to handle. Sound dog, this one." Irish wolfhound: "Looks better standing still than moving." Judge Tom Stevenson picked the Irish wolfhound, Ch. Breac O'Shawn McDown of Eagle. Haggerty shrugged. Then the toys. The Yorkshire, Ch. Carnaby Rock 'n' Roll: "An outstanding dog." Toy poodle: "Very nice." In fact, the captain liked a lot of the toys, but if he had to pick from his ringside seat he would go with the miniature pinscher or the toy poodle. Judge Edd Embry Bivin put up the pinscher, Ch. Jay Mac's Impossible Dream. The captain beamed.
Finally it was time for best-in-show. Enter the Old English sheepdog, the Irish wolfhound, the Gordon, chow chow, Westie and miniature pinscher. As Judge Harry T. Peters sent the dogs around the ring, Haggerty came to a tentative decision. The two best dogs in there were the Westie and the miniature pinscher. As the Old English sheepdog moved past the miniature pinscher, the little bitch reared up and barked as if ready to attack. The captain liked that. As the chow chow paraded by, the crowd applauded. "One of the marked characteristics of the breed is a stilted gait," said Haggerty. "This dog has too free-flowing a gait. These people don't know what they're clapping about." Judge Peters continued to look over the finalists. "Old line conservative," the captain said. "He won't do anything for a while because the show always ends between 11:20 and 11:25." The Old English sheepdog went by. "The guy's moving him too fast," said the captain. By now Haggerty had decided the miniature pinscher should win. At 11:22, the judge went over to mark his book. The winner was the Old English sheepdog. Haggerty was thunderstruck. As Joe Waterman, the handler of the miniature pinscher, brought the bitch upstairs to be photographed with Haggerty, several people remarked, "You got robbed." The miniature pinscher posed with Haggerty, then Lancelot came up to be photographed. After the dogs had gone, Haggerty exclaimed, "That Old English sheepdog had a dirty muzzle! A dog like that should not win Westminster! He was also poorly put down. The judge had the chance to go over these dogs in the ring. I didn't, but I'll stick with my opinion—the miniature pinscher is the better dog."