One Salinas dog earned herself a quite a treat at the 2020 Westminster Dog Show this week.
And no, it’s not because the judges threw her a bone.
Josie Ornum’s one-and-a-half year old smooth-coat Chihuahua, who answers to “Blondie” outside the ring and “GCH Joelles’ Blondie One Way or Another of Dei” inside the ring, took home a prize of merit for being a good example of her breed.
The “GCH” at the start of her registered American Kennel Club name signifies Blondie’s standing as a Grand Champion, a title that involves beating a certain number of dogs and winning a certain number of points at other shows.
Only dogs that are classified as champions or above can compete at Westminster.
Blondie earned her championship at just 8 months old, quickly setting herself apart from the others as top dog.
Ornum first dipped her “paw” in breeding in 2005, starting with Chihuahuas, and has continued to breed and show intermittently ever since.
I just love them, They have a very interesting personality, they’re very loving, they’re very loyal and they’re fearless. They will protect you. And you can carry them in your purse.Ornum
Going to the Westminster Dog Show, an item on her bucket list, was a whim, she said. Ornum waited until just three days before the show’s registration period closed in November. Mind made up, she doggedly signed Blondie up.
It’s our Superbowl, It’s where the best of the best show. It’s what we prepare for all the year, trying to get a spot or be in the top 10, 20 or 30 among the other Chihuahuas or breeds in the nation.”Ornum said of the Westminster Dog Show.
Once they arrived at Westminster, Blondie was off to the races.
She won one of only two awards that are given out for merit in each category, meaning the dog is of good quality and is within the standard of the breed.
It’s not just puppy love; Blondie was one of the youngest in her category, if not the youngest, said Ornum.
It’s important for people to know how hard it is to breed, cautioning owners against backyard breeding. It takes careful studying of the breed and of the pedigree to produce a dog within the standards of the breed.Ornum
Ornum hopes to bring Blondie back next year.
She loves to show, This is her thing. When she’s in the ring, she knows what to do and she loves it.Ornum
By the time Ornum returns next year, Blondie may be a Bronze Grand Champion. The award-winning showdog is only five points away from achieving the next level of championship.
I’m in Cloud 9, I’m telling you, It was such a fulfilling experience. It was beyond my imagination. It’s not just because she won, it’s the whole experience; it’s just amazing. The camaraderie with the other Chihuahua breeders and handlers, the whole experience was just unbelievable.”Ornum