Mr Smokes the daschund eyes glory at Westminster

  • <B>Paul Clinton</B>

    Paul Clinton

  • <B>Handler Angela Lloyd</B>

    Handler Angela Lloyd

One of Bermuda’s own dogs plans to take one of the world’s most prestigious dog shows by storm on Monday afternoon.

Bermudian Paul Clinton’s dachshund, GCh Legibach Light My Fire SS otherwise known as “Mr Smokes” or “Smokey” will be competing in the 135th Westminster Kennel Club dog show that kicks off on Valentine’s Day at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

“This is the first time I have done this,” said Mr Clinton. “I own the dog and it is being shown by handler Angela Lloyd of Virginia. It has been with her since last March.”

Mr Clinton bought the dog after his other dachshund, Wizard of Oz, died tragically last year.

“Wizard of Oz, whom I called Dr Oz, was a Bermudian champion,” he said. “He was savaged by a local dog here. Breeder Patricia Leone suggested I buy Smokey.

“He was a beautiful boy, from the house of Legibach. We sent him to Virginia and we secured his championship. Then he secured a grand championship with absolute ease.

“He has been in a host of other shows. In every show he has dominated. We talked about Westminister and applied in December.”

On Monday, Smokey will be competing against 2,000 other dogs and probably 12 to 15 other dachshunds in the standard smooth coat category.

“He is such a curious young man and he is a happy little dog without any issues which is usually pretty rare,” said Mr Clinton. “Dachshunds are known to be fiercely independent. Smokey believes he is a labrador retriever.

“He is very happy and wants to be with everyone. That is kind of rare because they are snippy animals, normally.

“So the judges on the circuit have fallen in love with the little man. It will be interesting to see how he does at Westminster.”

The show will be televised on USA Network.

“I know other Bermudians have been at Westminster but I am sure none have gone as a grand champions,” he said.

After the show, Smokey will go back to Virginia with his handler, and then will come to live with Mr Clinton for good in March. “I have really missed the little man,” said Mr Clinton. “I haven’t seen him in over a year. He has been a fashionista on the circuit. I would love to have him here in my house in St George.

“I have a very old dachshund named Brutus Echo. He is 14. They live to be about 18 years old.”

Mr Clinton said unfortunately, he will not be able to attend the show at Madison Square Garden in person because of heart problems. Instead, he plans to watch the show on television with Brutus Echo.

“I have been wait-listed for a transplant so I have difficulty getting around,” said Mr Clinton.

He hopes to breed Smokey when he arrives in Bermuda, and he has just purchased a female to be a mate.

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Published Feb 10, 2011 at 8:00 am (Updated Feb 10, 2011 at 8:40 am)

Mr Smokes the daschund eyes glory at Westminster

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