Flynn, a 5-year-old bichon frise, won Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, held February 12 and 13, in New York City. Flynn was guided by expert dog handler Bill McFadden. “It feels a little unreal,” McFadden told the Associated Press. “I came in expecting nothing except hoping for a good performance, and I think I got it.”
This was the 142nd year for the dog show. But Flynn is only the second bichon frise to win the top prize. He beat six other finalists, including a cute terrier named Winston, a spirited pug called Biggie, and Ty, a giant schnauzer. Overall, 2,882 dogs competed at Westminster, representing 202 breeds.
With his powder-puff hairdo and cheerful personality, Flynn charmed spectators at New York’s Madison Square Garden. “He kept wagging his tail, and that sold him to me,” said judge Betty-Anne Stenmark. She inspected the finalists and chose the winner.
After the win, Flynn did a victory lap of NYC. On his schedule were television appearances, a trip to the top of the Empire State Building, and a steak lunch at Sardi’s, a famous Times Square restaurant.