Now appointed America's top dog: CJ, the German shorthaired pointer. CJ won best in show at the 140th Westminster Kennel Club show on Tuesday night, beating a couple of top favorites at a nearly packed Madison Square Garden. The 3-year-old CJ bested 2,751 other entries in 199 breeds and varieties to win the nation's most prestigious dog competition. A borzoi named Lucy finished second. CJ certainly came from championship stock: His grandmother, Carlee, was one of two previous German shorthaired pointers to win Westminster, taking the title in 2005.
CJ also topped a Skye terrier, German shepherd, bulldog, Shih Tzu, and Samoyed to win the prized silver bowl. There's no prize money for the win, but there are valuable breeding rights in the near future and a legacy in dogdom forever. Dog fanciers cheered judge Richard Meen's choice, though the fan favorite earlier in the night was a large Leonberger, who wanted a treat and kept gnawing at his handler's suit pocket all the way around the ring. Earlier in the day, handler Valerie Nunes-Atkinson explained what made CJ so special. "He has that extra sparkle," she said. "He's an old soul." (Last year's surprise winner was a beagle, while Patty Hearst's dog won its group.)