2010-04-10 / Top News

Mussers’ Sadie Is Top Dog

Win Takes Scottie on Celebrity Tour
By Karen Gould

Sadie strikes a pose near her trainer, Gabriel Rangel, as show Judge Elliott Weiss (right) takes one last look before naming the Scottish terrier Best in Show at the 134th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show February 16. Television commentators watch from their box as photographers, aiming their cameras, anticipate his decision. (Photograph by Nancy Spelke, Custom Dog Designs of Pasadena, California) Sadie strikes a pose near her trainer, Gabriel Rangel, as show Judge Elliott Weiss (right) takes one last look before naming the Scottish terrier Best in Show at the 134th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show February 16. Television commentators watch from their box as photographers, aiming their cameras, anticipate his decision. (Photograph by Nancy Spelke, Custom Dog Designs of Pasadena, California) With her shiny coat skirting the ground, Sadie, the prize-winning Scottish terrier, took a victory swing around New York City the morning after Judge Elliott Weiss declared her Best in Show at the 134th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Tuesday, February 16.

The black terrier is owned by Grand Hotel owners Dan and Amelia Musser, who were ringside when the announcement was made.

Accompanied by her trainer, Gabriel Rangel, early Wednesday morning, Sadie made her way around Manhattan, appearing on the CBS Early Show, ABC Good Morning America, NBC Today Show, The View, and News. She met Donald Trump and enjoyed a panoramic glimpse of the city from atop the Empire State Building. Being a dog, she even chased a few pigeons along the way.

Just named Best of Breed at Westminster, Sadie enjoys a moment with owner Amelia Musser and trainer Gabriel Rangel before heading back to the judging ring to be considered for Best of Show, which she won the same evening. (Photograph by Nancy Spelke, Custom Dog Designs of Pasadena, California) Just named Best of Breed at Westminster, Sadie enjoys a moment with owner Amelia Musser and trainer Gabriel Rangel before heading back to the judging ring to be considered for Best of Show, which she won the same evening. (Photograph by Nancy Spelke, Custom Dog Designs of Pasadena, California) The next day, Sadie rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange, and, perhaps coincidentally, the market rose 83 points that day.

She already has had a whirlwind year and it is not over yet, Mr. told the Town Crier Sunday, February 28. the year ends, Sadie may become a mother, as plans are in the works to breed the champion dog in the next few months.

Sadie is the perfect dog, says her trainer, Gabriel Rangel. The length of her body and legs, and from her head to her back, is perfectly proportioned. When posing, she arches her neck and keeps her ears and tail in position, he said. (Photograph by Nancy Spelke, Custom Dog Designs of Pasadena, California) Sadie is the perfect dog, says her trainer, Gabriel Rangel. The length of her body and legs, and from her head to her back, is perfectly proportioned. When posing, she arches her neck and keeps her ears and tail in position, he said. (Photograph by Nancy Spelke, Custom Dog Designs of Pasadena, California) A rumor that she is retiring is a matter of semantics, Mr. Rangel added.

“I don't like to use retiring because she still is capable,” he said, “but she really has won everything there is to win.”

Maybe not quite. She likely will be entered in the Eukanuba World Challenge at Long Beach, California, in December to compete against top dogs from around the world. And now that she has become a celebrity, he said, she may make other appearances around the country.

Favored to win the coveted Westminster title even before competing at the show this year, Sadie was considered the number one dog in the country with 112 Best in Show wins. At Westminster, she beat 2,500 other dogs representing 173 breeds during a two-day competition at Madison Square Garden.

Westminster judges display Sadie's winning trophies, cups, and ribbons following her win at the 134th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show February 16. (Photograph by John Ashbey of Ashbey Photography) Westminster judges display Sadie's winning trophies, cups, and ribbons following her win at the 134th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show February 16. (Photograph by John Ashbey of Ashbey Photography) There was a moment during the final judging at Westminster when Mr. Rangel said he had a feeling that Sadie might win the title. Before that happened, he had to find a way to control her excitement.

“She was a little hyper, a little excited,” he recalled. “I stopped her to look at the judge because the judge was coming down the line, but she was really up, pushing me and pushing me. I had to turn it [her excitement] around. I had her circle around me to relax her. It is like a heart attack situation because you don't want anything to go wrong, but I know she wanted to be free a little bit. She came around again and stopped perfectly. Then, I just gave her a little sign that she knows to arch her neck and she stood there like, beautiful. After she did that, I thought we had a really good chance to win it. That's really when I felt we did it.”

Sadie's combination of qualities makes her the perfect dog, said Mr. Rangel. She has the disposition required of a show dog and the textbook build of a Scotty. She has an easy, smooth walk, a look-at-me attitude, and seemingly endless energy. She likes to be with people, readily poses for photographers, and loves to eat her favorite treat, chicken.

“Sadie is the perfect example of breed type,” he said. “She is exactly what you want her to look like, the proportions from the head to the back, the length of leg, the length of body, ears, expression, everything. And she has great temperament. She has great disposition. She loves to be out there. She loves people.”

During judging, Sadie never requires help showing her features, said Mr. Rangel. As dogs are kept on short show leads, most trainers are moving legs and nudging their dogs into position. Sadie needs no help.

“I never go down and touch her,” he said. “She shows off herself. If I touched her, then it's not her. Everything she does herself. She's a natural show dog.”

Photographer Nancy Spelke of Pasadena, California, thinks so, too. She used to show dogs, herself, has photographed Sadie over the last few years, and followed the pair around Westminster, creating a photographic record of the day.

“Gabriel has her trained so impeccably that if he points to a spot on the floor, or however he does it, she arches her neck and just poses in this incredible, unbelievable pose that presents the most gorgeous Scottish terrier outline that you can imagine in the world. And it's just breathtaking,” said Ms. Spelke. “For the average person that just sees it, it may not mean a whole lot, but for a judge and for people who are really dog people, it's unbelievable.”

This is the third time the fouryear old has competed at Westminster. Last year, she was named top dog in the terrier group, an improvement from her first showing at Madison Square Garden, when in 2008, she placed second in her group. The show floor, which is the ice hockey rink, is covered with wooden boards for the dog show. The boards move and make noise, and that spooked the little dog during her first competition there, said Mr. Rangel, who has been her trainer since 2008.

So he did his homework.

Since then, he transports her in a rolling cart at the show hall to get her used to the movement of the boards and sounds they make.

Prior to Westminster, Sadie was named “Dog of the Year” by the American Kennel Club at its annual awards dinner in New York Saturday, February 13. With the Westminster win, Sadie became the first Triple Crown winner in the world of dog shows. In November, she won the National Dog Show in Philadelphia, Pensylvania. In December, she took the top spot at the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship in Long Beach, California, and, last month, at Westminster in New York.

Sadie, whose full name is Ch Roundtown Mercedes of Maryscot, is a descendant of Bardene Bingo, a famous Scotty who was imported from England and won Best in Show at Westminster in 1967. Sadie was bred by Mrs. Musser's kennel manager, Mary O'Neal, and Miriam "Buffy" Stamm and Cindy Cooke of Anstamm Kennels in Kalamazoo.

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