Flynn the bichon frise won best in show at the Westminster Kennel Club on Tuesday night, a choice that seemed to surprise almost everyone in the crowd at Madison Square Garden. Fans who had been loudly shouting for their favorites fell into stunned silence when judge Betty-Anne Stenmark announced her decision. No matter, the white powder puff was picked and walked off as America's top dog. Guided by expert handler Bill McFadden, Flynn beat out Ty the giant schnauzer, Biggie the pug, Bean the Sussex spaniel, Lucy the borzoi, Slick the border collie, and Winston the Norfolk terrier, the AP reports.
Almost 6, Flynn posted his 42nd career best in show victory in what is almost certainly his last show before retiring. The famed JR was the only other bichon to win Westminster, in 2001. McFadden has enjoyed success at the Garden, having guided Mick the Kerry blue terrier to the title in 2003. Flynn won't get much rest before beginning his victory lap. Wednesday's schedule includes visits to the morning TV news shows, a steak lunch at Sardi's, a trip to the top of the Empire State Building, and he's been invited for a walk-on part at Broadway hit "Kinky Boots." (Last year, a German shepherd was top dog, and a distracted beagle charmed the crowd.)