NEW YORK — A snow-white powder puff known as a bichon frise strutted past 2,500 other dogs to win best in show at the 125th Westminster Kennel Club competition Tuesday night.
Special Times Just Right!, called J.R. by handler Scott Sommer, finished a stellar career with his 98th lifetime best-in-show title.
J.R. became the first bichon frise to win at Westminster, America's most prestigious show. The little dog celebrated by beating his paws in the air, as if banging on a piano.
The 3-year-old J.R. from the New York suburb of Scarsdale is now headed to retirement, and he might celebrate his favorite way — by chewing up Sommer's credit cards.
"He's pretty smart. He's loving it," Sommer said. "He knows he did good."
Said judge Dorothy Macdonald:"He's as close to perfection as you can get."
Seven dogs made it to the final judging, although many in the crowd of about 15,000 at Madison Square Garden figured it would be between J.R. and a dominant Kerry Blue Terrier named Torum's Scarf Michael.
Often, the top dog is a Terrier. The group has dominated Westminster, taking 42 of the 92 best-in-show trophies.
J.R. carried himself like a champion throughout the two-day event, breezing in the best-of-breed competition Monday and then taking the best-in-group among non-working dogs.
There is no prize money for the win, and runner-ups are not chosen. The victory ensures big dollars in J.R.'s breeding future and more success for his owners.