Stump: A Comeback Story at Westminster

At our house we have a yearly ritual that occurs some time around Valentine's Day. This year it was yesterday and today. We ate dinner on trays and viewed the final evening of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show and cheered on our favorite dogs. We missed the first round yesterday, but got caught up online. Of course, we are always partial to springer spaniels and Australian cattle dogs. I ooohed and ahhhed over other breeds, discussing the possibility of owning a curly coated retriever or a Brittany as Annie and Shelby reminded me in their own ways that they are the real champions and no, we don't need another dog at this house!
Tonight a Sussex spaniel named Stump proved to everyone in the dog world that even though you are ten years old (seventy in people years) that you can still can walk proudly on the carpet at Westminster and win Best of Show. Of course I love all spaniels, but this guy caught my eye with his beautiful coat and regal manner. I didn't know much about his story until he won. Then, as in any sporting event with a new winner crowned, the stories began to unfold.

I should have remembered Stump from 2004 because he won the sporting group that year. He went into retirement and almost died of a mysterious medical condition. He was wasting away and spent nineteen days in the hospital. Vets at Texas A &M saved him. A week ago his handler Scott Sommers decided to bring him out of retirement and take a trip to Westminster. " I thought it would be fun", Sommers said.The Sussex spaniel breed has never won Best in Show. Stump is also the oldest dog to ever win the prize. He beat out nearly 2500 other dogs to be crowned Best of Show tonight. He even did his only trick, which is to beg, after he won.

I love the expression on any spaniel's face. I love their body language also. Any type of spaniel whether a springer or Sussex always seems to be trying to tell you something. Stump is one happy dog. Also, there is nothing like the devotion of an owner and his dog at a moment like this.

At a time when I dread listening to the news and stars in the sports world have been tarnishing their hero status, it is nice to have a comeback story about a Sussex spaniel named Stump!


  1. wonderful story and there ?I was sitting in my trusty rocker watching this feel good moment!!My dog is 23 and this is a big plus for all older dogs !!sandy

  2. I hope it hits reruns on animal planet.
    I had other things going on and couldn't watch TV the past few nights.

  3. I love the dog show too! I often watch it with my mom...via telephone, as we are never together. These days with free minutes for family calls, we can actually watch in our own homes but talk it over as it's happening. that was an inspiring story!


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