NEW YORK – From wire to wire, Sky was America’s top dog.
The 5-year-old wire fox terrier won best in show at the Westminster Kennel Club on Tuesday night, finishing off a year in which she was ranked the nation’s No. 1 dog.
Handler Gabriel Rangel scooped up Sky in one arm and kissed judge Betty Regina Leininger’s hand after the title was awarded inside a nearly full Madison Square Garden.
Rangel may have learned that from his dog.
“Her personality is she loves to kiss people and she connects with everybody,” Rangel said.
This was Sky’s 129th best in show ribbon overall – she became a Triple Crown winner in dogdom, too, having previously taken the National Dog Show and the top AKC event.
A wire fox terrier has won 14 times at the nation’s top dog show. No other breed has won more than eight times.
The winner with the ginger-and-white coat and little terrier goatee beat out an impressive lineup for the final ring. Also competing were a standard poodle, a Portuguese water dog, a bloodhound, an Irish water spaniel, a Cardigan Welsh corgi and a miniature pinscher.
“She has the ‘it’ factor. She owned this night,” Leininger said.
The standard poodle named Ally was chosen as the runner-up.
Rangel, who lives with Sky in Rialto, Calif., has plenty of experience in winning. He guided Sadie the Scottish terrier to victory at Westminster four years ago.