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Ferndale teen’s dog wins best of breed at Westminster show

Amy Judge, 18, of Custer and her dog Wesley won best in breed at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, held Feb. 16-17 in New York City.
Amy Judge, 18, of Custer and her dog Wesley won best in breed at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, held Feb. 16-17 in New York City. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

When she was little, Amy Judge went to a dog show in Monroe and fell in love with a rare breed called a Dandie Dinmont Terrier. Now she’s the owner of a Westminster Kennel Club champion.

Judge, a senior at Ferndale High School, returned from New York City last week where her dog, Wesley, won best in breed at the prestigious dog show.

“Since it’s in New York, it’s hard to get your dog around, it’s really crowded everywhere you go and there’s a ton of people,” Judge said. “But it’s the most prestigious show in the country and you always want your dog looking good.”

Judge, who is 18, competed as a junior and is the first person in her age group to win best of breed for the Dandie Dinmont, she said.

I like seeing my dog do what he likes to do, and it makes him very happy to go out and do his thing.

Amy Judge about her dog, Wesley

Wesley — his registered name is Clossongrey As You Wish — is the second Dandie Dinmont she’s owned. She got her first one several years ago after that first trip to the dog show, but he died of lymphoma at age 5. The breeders, Miriam and David Couto, gave her Wesley, who already was a champion show dog.

Judge is a dog-show veteran, winning Junior Handler of the Year from the Dandie Dinmont Terrier Club of America in 2010, when she was 12.

Judge said she competed at 51 dog shows last year, including Westminster, but will cut back after high school. She’s planning to study pre-med but hasn’t decided on a college yet.

“No one else in my school does this,” she said of showing Wesley. “I like seeing my dog do what he likes to do, and it makes him very happy to go out and do his thing.”

Jim Donaldson: 360-715-2288

What is a Dandie Dinmont?

The Dandie Dinmont terrier is the only breed of dog named for a fictional character. In 1814, Sir Walter Scott published a wildly successful novel, “Guy Mannering or The Astrologer,” about murder, kidnapping and Scottish lords. In the book, a local farmer named Dandie Dinmont owns six terriers (all named Mustard or Pepper) of a type long associated with the border region where England and Scotland meet. The breed has since become known as Dandie Dinmont.

According to Westminster Kennel Club, “The Dandie is a true terrier made up of all curves instead of the straight lines of most other terriers. He combines an affectionate and dignified nature with tenacity and boldness.”

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