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G.K. Stewart: My Memories from Westminster

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One of the big surprises at this year’s Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show was Martha Stewart, who momentarily stole the spotlight from the prize-winning pooches when she sat ringside at N.Y.C.’s Madison Square Garden to watch her champion chow chow, Ghenghis Khan, or G.K., make his lap around the floor. G.K., who won Best of Breed this year, did not advance as a group winner, but he nevertheless had a fantastic debut on the international stage as a real contender. After settling back into his regular life, G.K. sat down to tell us what it was like competing at Westminster for the first time.

I’ve been at plenty of dog shows, but Westminster was different. There were so many people with cameras, lights and microphones around me – there were a lot more dogs at this show, too.

My favorite part of the experience has to be when I saw Martha’s face light up after I won Best of Breed. Once the judge handed my ribbon to Jan Kolnik, my handler, I immediately looked to Martha. I saw how happy and proud she was, and I knew that I had done a good thing.

I wasn’t at all nervous. Uncle Carlos, one of my caretakers, was there to support me, as were my pooch pals Francesca and Sharkey. Jan said the key was to stay focused, and if I did that, I would have a good shot at winning the breed. Well, I did! I got a ribbon, a nice big towel and a very special medallion.

People say that I was the most famous dog at the Garden. I can’t confirm that, but I knew something special was happening when we arrived at the Plaza Hotel on the Sunday before the show. I got to sit with Martha in the hotel’s famous Palm Court tea room, where I enjoyed my biscuits at the table. They even let me stay with Martha in a magnificent room.

Then, on Monday, when we arrived at Madison Square Garden, people were all over me – taking my picture, petting me, kissing me.

I didn’t win a Group placement, but I wasn’t disappointed. After all, I’ve just started my show career! What I really didn’t want was for Martha to be disappointed in me. I know she wasn’t, because no matter what, she loves me. If she thinks I’m the best, then I am. In all seriousness, though, I know I need to fine-tune my actions in the ring. But once I do, look out!