Move over Sir Anthony Hopkins.
There’s a new celebrity in 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 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, who won the hound group at Westminster on Monday to advance to Best in Show, beat out six other dogs for the 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. A club gathering to watch the Best in Show group on TV included a lit candle and stuffed beagle for luck.
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 show Wednesday morning and was slated to be on a number of other talk shows.
The dog was being treated to steak dinner on a silver platter at legendary Sardi’s Restaurant and was also rumoured to be meeting with Donald Trump.
It is believed that Miss P will now be retired from competition and, to live up to the adage of “every dog having its day,” 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 27,000 dogs were entered in the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club show.