They’re all winners, if only because of their tenacity and willingness to enter the ring. The one with the air of heavy martyrdom from all the disappointment she’s endured. The big shambling one who seems to think he’s in a different arena. Even the ones who try to change their appearance for each voter. They’ve all been groomed and trained to a fare-thee-well, and they’re all fine representatives.
But one with superlative breeding, rigorous schooling, natural grace and strong character has captured everyone’s heart. He refuses to be silenced, or to pretend to be something other than what he is. When he’s in front of a crowd, he lets his confident voice ring out without fear of being ridiculed or denigrated. He has the audacity to believe his time has come, and when the world hears his seamless integration of mind and heart, they know it’s true.
He’s not a rare breed. In fact, his kind are more numerous than any of the ones who have long been groomed for the race. And that may be his greatest asset, because when he raises his voice and unabashedly connects to his audiences, he embodies the audacity of hope that lies deep in every person’s heart.
Congratulations to Uno, the first beagle to win Best in Show in all the Westminster Kennel Club’s 100 year history, the first “everyday dog,” and perhaps the noisiest and most unifying entrant they’ve ever had. After a hundred years, Uno’s time has come.