When Valentine’s Day rolls around, I think of puppies. Maybe the folks at Westminster Kennel Club do too, because every year around this time they sponsor their big dog show. It’s held in Madison Square Garden, just a couple of blocks away from our office.
This year Best in Show went to Stump, a Sussex Spaniel. He is the oldest dog to win, at age 10. Not only did he come out of retirement for one last “walk around the green,” as his trainer put it, but he bounced back from a mysterious medical condition five years ago that nearly did him in. (It was 19 days before Texas A&M vets were able to diagnose him.) His trainer and owners weren’t even sure they would show him until a couple of days before the event. What a pooch!
The judge, Sari Brewster Tietjen, said she made her decision at the last minute. “I didn’t know who he was or how old he was…I couldn’t say no to him.” (See what she means here.) I like to think that Stump’s win will inspire anyone who thinks age or illness is a reason to throw in the towel—or in Stump’s case, the bone!
This Valentine’s day I’ll pass on the puppies and admire an old dog, Stump, who shows us all that your never too old to learn some new tricks.
Celeste McCauley is a senior editor at GUIDEPOSTS.