For the second year in a row, Lynn Vogel walked away with a Best of Breed title at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, held at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Well, technically, her four-legged babies were the prize winners, but nonetheless, Vogel took home the ribbon.V ogel, owner of South Paws Dog Resort on U.S. Highway 80 East, recently showed Grand Champion Aegys Set Fire to the Rain RN, a Hungarian Kuvasz, at the prestigious and televised dog show. Her shortened name, or “call name,” is Adele, and she’s not even 3 years old yet.
“Adele finished her championship in relatively short time,” Vogel said. “She finished in July 2013 when she was just over a year old. The average time to show a dog to get a championship is three years.”
Vogel explained that, to earn “champion” and “grand champion” titles, a dog competes throughout the year and earns points with each win.
To be considered for Westminster, dogs have to be American Kennel Club champions.
“They only take 2,500 dogs,” Vogel said. “And the show will fill the day the registration opens.”
Coveted dogs receive invitations to Westminster, and Adele was one of those invited to participate.
Vogel said she knew Adele was special by the time she was eight weeks old.
“She had a beautiful, wavy white coat, a really pretty head and her legs were on right,” Vogel said with a smile. That’s technical speak for having the perfect, overall body structure for a show dog.
Last year, Vogel showed another Kuvasz at Westminster, “Cole,” whose official name is Champion Aegys Unforgettable. Cole brought home the Best of Breed title in 2014.
Cole participated in this year’s Westminster, too. Elise Wolpert, co-owner of Cole and good friend of Vogel’s, showed him in the owner/handler competition, where Cole received the Best of Opposite Sex title.
Vogel shows dogs about one or two weekends a month, mostly in the Southeast, but said she will leave soon for a show in St. Louis. Vogel and her husband, Bruce, have a number of personal dogs at their home and sometimes show them, but she shows professionally for others, as well.
In addition to showing in confirmation — she explained that as “the beauty pageant of dog shows” — she shows other people’s dogs in agility and obedience.
“I like the competition,” Vogel said of her passion. “I like to win, and I like to win with the dog that I’ve bred, that was born at my house, and I trained it. And when the judge says that my dog is best, it’s a great feeling.”
Vogel, originally from Atlanta, said she grew up loving dogs, riding horses and playing sports competitively, including golf and tennis. She played tennis for Georgia Southern University but dropped competitive sports as she got older.
“Showing dogs is something you can do forever; you can show dogs at any age,” she said.
Vogel already has Westminster 2016 as a goal and said, “I’ve kind of picked the dog I want to take next year.”
And if the trend continues, that dog is sure to be a winner, too.