Sunday, December 21, 2014

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Finger Lakes

Local Beagle Wins at Westminster

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Rochester: Local Beagle Wins at Westminster
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This purebred Beagle is now recognized across the country.

Judges at the 137th Westminster Dog Show felt that 27-month-old Mason exhibited the best characteristics of his breed.

"Beagles for instance when you look at their face it's supposed to be a soft, pleading expression, he's got that so," said Gretchen Milke, Mason's owner.

It's the canine equivalent of a body building contest. It takes months of preparation and more than five hours just to trim his hair before the show.

"The experience of going into a ring with an animal where you not sure exactly what they're going to do and walk out and know you had a good performance and the dog had fun, it's a good feeling," said Milke.

And once Mason enters the ring, his demeanor quickly changes.

"I think he knows exactly what he's doing because when he walks into the ring, his nose goes up, his tail goes straight and he turns into this show dog," said Milke.

And after a long day of stiff competition, Mason and his owner went home champions.

"He got a steak and he usually gets a new toy," said Milke.

Good enough for Mason, but the real prize is the notoriety.

"Demand has gone up quite a bit. I've got emails on a regular basis," said Milke.

This hound's life isn't all work. His high status win has the ladies lining up.

"Right now he has a girlfriend at home, she was just shipped in from Indianapolis to breed and hopefully they'll have some puppies," said Milke.

And breeders worldwide will pay top dollar for a winning pup like Mason.

"He just had a litter Sunday in Australia, he has a puppy in Russia," said Milke.

But, don't let all the ribbons and medals fool you. There's some things his owner keeps under wraps.

"He steals the toilet paper. He has a huge toilet paper addiction, so we call him TP," said Milke.

And with the big win behind him, Mason can now spend some time relaxing and chasing those pesky squirrels in the backyard.

"He will always be just a dog," said Milke. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP