A Winning Beagle at Westminster, and Some Loser Humans

February 13, 2008

Uno, the First Beagle to Ever Take Best in Show at the Westminster Dog Show, Struts His Stuff

Uno, a boisterous beagle, was Numero Uno at the Westminster Kennel Club’s penultimate dog show at Madison Square Garden in New York City last night, becoming the first of his breed ever to win best in show. The 15-inch tall beagle, who is almost three, got a standing ovation from the crowd for his win. The night before, Uno became the first beagle since 1939 to win in the hound group, thus ensuring his place in the final seven-dog “best in show” field.


The playful, friendly Uno, who was a crowd favorite, finished 2007 as the sixth-ranked show dog in the United States. He’s also won 32 other “best in show” titles. His handler, Aaron Wilkerson, wasn’t sure why beagles have never historically done well at the granddaddy of all dog shows. Perhaps it’s the down-to-earth, endearing qualities of beagles which have kept them from top dawg status until now. A Westminster spokesman, David Frei, said: “Great show dogs often have an air about them. It’s like this is their world and we’re just living in it…But beagles want to be in our world.” And then there’s the beagle’s unabashedly “what you see is what you get” appearance. Frei added: “To some, a beagle may not look as spectacular as the Afghan hound, flying around the ring with all that hair.”

Another top dog yesterday was Barack Obama (D-Ill.), who won all three Democratic primaries held yesterday in Virginia, the District of Columbia and Maryland. Hillary who? The fur should fly when the two contenders spar on 21 February in Austin, TX at the LBJ Auditorium at the University of Texas. It will be their only debate before the Texas primary. The 90-minute debate, to be televised by CNN, starts at 7 p.m. Billary is already stumping in the Lone Star state, while Obama is running health care commercials on TV there. Basically, Billary needs wins in Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania to become the Democratic Party’s Presidential candidate this fall.

Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office

Loser of the day was Charlette Marshall-Jones, 44, the Hillsborough County (Tampa, Florida) Sheriff’s Office deputy who unceremoniously dumped quadriplegic Brian Sterner, 32, from his wheelchair onto the floor while booking him into the Orient Road jail for a traffic offense. After Marshall-Jones, a 22-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office, finished frisking the more-or-less motionless Sterner, three other deputies assisted her in putting Sterner back in his wheelchair. One of the officers was seen smiling while, for other deputies in the area, it was business as usual. For her efforts, Marshall-Jones was suspended without pay; Decondra Williams, 36, Cpl. Steven Dickey, 45, and Sgt. Gary Hinson, 51, were put on administrative leave with pay. According to the St. Petersburg Times, Marshall-Jones was commended by Sgt. Hinson just nine days before the Sterner booking, for her “excellent searches, handling of inmates and communication skills.”


State Attorney General Bill McCollum found the video disturbing and has asked the state’s Office of Civil Rights to review the incident. John Trevena, Sterner’s attorney, said: “There’s no reason why that deputy should not be charged with battery on a disabled person.” Jose Decobo, Chief Deputy at the Sheriff’s Office, publicly apologized to Sterner, saying: “The fact that none of the supervisors acted upon what they saw or had knowledge of is of grave concern to us. The fact that no reports were written further concerns us. This is not how we do business here at the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office…There is no excuse. This is indefensible. And to the extent that we can make it right for this gentleman, we will do so.”

Quadriplegic Brian Sterner, Dumped Out of His Wheelchair by a Hillsborough County, Florida Sheriff's Deputy

Ka-ching. Looks like Sterner, who was laid off in January from a job selling wheelchair vans, has hit the jackpot. Good for him. He earned it.

Read more about new dog breeds introduced for the first time at this year’s Westminster Dog Show, or enjoy a story about another cretin.

Photo credits: Douglas R. Clifford (St. Petersburg Times) and Seth Wenig / AP

Copyright ©2008 pajamadeen.com

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