Walker, Vicki Weis' prize Shetland Sheep Dog, finally walked off with a Best of Show.
Last May, the Gazette did a story about Vicki Weis of Redwood Falls, and about how she attends up to 30 dog shows a year with the Shetland Sheep Dogs (“shelties”) she breeds.
Here is how the Gazette described Weis’s goal last summer:
“...Weis prefers the contests in which the dogs are judged for features such as bone structure, size, movement, and expression.
“I’m trying to get the perfect sheltie,” she said.
Weis may be getting close. Currently she owns a sheltie named Walker who has won ‘Best of Breed’ at 28 different shows, and was ranked the number seven of his breed in all the United States last year.”
Well, on Saturday, Feb. 16, Walker cane close to perfection, walking away with a Best of Show at the Cyclone Country Kennel Club of Ames, Iowa dog show.
To get “Best of Show”, Walker beat out 1,171 other dogs of all other breeds to be judged the best groomed and behaved in the contest.
Weis bought Walker from a breeder in Washington state when he was eight weeks old.
“When I got him, I said I wanted to name him Walker, and the breeder said, ‘He’s going to be a walk in the park,’” Weis said.
“He was born to show. His personality is bubbly; everyone just falls in love with him.”
Being named “Best of Breed” is a big deal in itself, but Walker is used to that. He’s already cleaned up in those competitions many times, and has spent most of his two and a half years being listed as one of the top sheltie show dogs in the United States.
Ironically, Weis almost didn’t get to see her long-time goal of Walker winning a Best of Show because of puppies at home.
Walker has sired puppies all across the world, from Japan to various states in the U.S. But a litter of his puppies was due to be born in Redwood at about the same time as the show in Ames.
Weis couldn’t stand it, and took a chance. She attended the Ames show, saw Walker win, then rushed home just in time to help deliver his five daughters and one son.
Unfortunately, Walker won’t be back home in Redwood Falls to see them until March. Currently he’s out on the road with his full time handler, Karen Munster of Illinois.
It is Munster’s job to show Walker and other dogs at shows while Weis takes care of her other dogs at home.
“When Walker is at home he enjoys just being a dog,” Weis laughed.