Best in Show

With apologies to the Westminster Kennel Club, our very own version of the best in show.

We weren’t looking for a dog when he and 6 sibling pups were displayed in a box at the entrance to our small, rural South Carolina church.Snickers 199520160217_08493989

The pastor had been given a mixed breed female, who was “with pup” at the time, much to his surprise.

For my kids, it was love at first sight.

They were drawn to a furry little bear of mixed colors…white, tan, brown, and caramel.

They called him Snickers and lobbied to bring him home.

It was not the best time to take on a new life form of any sort. We were about to be transferred to parts unknown.  Jim was scheduled to move ahead of us, leaving the puppy training to myself and the kids, just as the house was to go on the market.

After a very logical argument that lasted a few hours, we were broken down. We called the Church to see if the pup was still available. He was one of 2 left.

My kids were elated. He was meant for us.

He gave us 14 years of unconditional love and protection.

He was my walking buddy, until he became too ill to make it past the end of the driveway.

I miss him all the time.

Note: The actual Westminster Best in Show was awarded last night to a beautiful German Shorthaired Pointer named C.J.




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73 Responses to Best in Show

  1. Sweet story and definitely a prize worthy pet.

  2. I would say that the best in show is definitely the dog who makes the best pet (Choppy definitely wins that award in our house!).

  3. themomfred says:

    A true love story is often written when the thing you don’t want, becomes the very thing that you need ❤️

  4. Our collie/labrador cross was also rescued from the chop. Some years later she won ‘Best other breed of small dog. She was the only entrant 🙂

  5. joey says:

    That dog does not look much unlike my dog. My dog has made anxiety easier to live with, so you know, rescued me when I rescued her. I hope I get 14 spectacular years (or more.) What a great tribute 🙂 Thanks for sharing that.

  6. JunkChuck says:

    My girl is 15, gone deaf, has cataracts, tires quickly. She no longer leaps to the door when we return–can’t hear that we’re there–but my heart pauses until I see her chest rise and fall, knowing full well that one of these mornings, she’ll remain still. There’s nothing like a mutt.

  7. Thank you for sharing some of your memories of Snickers with us. Our pets quickly become members of our family.

  8. I get it. I had a shepherd/wolf cross that I still miss after 30 years! ❤
    Diana xo

  9. The V-Pub says:

    The short haired pointer was beautiful. I was watching the news this morning and they showed the winner. Stunning. Your dog is beautiful! To me, so much of the breed is in the personality.

  10. C.E.Robinson says:

    Van, I watched part of the Westminster show. The long-haired Llasa Apso was beautiful. But my black & white shorter- haired (Llasa) Sammy is the Best in Show at my house. Aren’t our dogs wonderful! Even the ones not with us anymore! 🐶 Elizabeth

    • I only saw the finalists, but they’re all so special, not sure how they decide. Llasa’s are really sweet. Snicks was supposed to be the kids’ dog…but you know how that goes. ☺

  11. What a sweet tribute to Snickers… He was obviously meant for you! My brother had to put down his very sweet Golden who was his constant companion last year and he also still misses him everyday. Hugs to you!!

  12. Erika Kind says:

    I understand the grief of losing such a buddy! They are loyal, don’t ask for much, but give their all for us. They don’t lie, don’t cheat. I am glad you had them for 14 years. What a beautiful gift!

  13. Given a choice between a Westminster Dog Show winner and a long-time family pet, I would take the pet every single time, whether that pet was purebred or mixed breed. My dogs have all looked more beautiful to me than any of the dog show winners.

    PS: I love that name, Snickers!

    • He was all the colors of the candy bar, at least as a pup. Then he became a golden boy, but we kept the name. We’ve never had a purebred, CM, and they were all beautiful. Thanks. ❤️

  14. Nurse Kelly says:

    He’s adorable, Van! And 14 years is a long life for a dog – you were lucky to have him that long! We adopted our dog from a shelter – can’t imagine getting a dog any other way, with so many needing homes. She is my running buddy and like a daughter to me. They are absolutely family members. Perhaps another dog is in your future? 🙂

  15. Aww, he’s beautiful. I have two dogs who will both be 13 this year. Hoping we have them awhile longer…

  16. such a sweet and endearing story Van! Snickers? love it

  17. What a cute little pup, Van. Dogs are all little “best in shows,” aren’t they? Best friends without a doubt.

  18. Amy says:

    He is so adorable. I would love to get a dog but I am not home enough right now. I do get a chance to watch my daughter’s dog from time to time, so that helps.

  19. Val Boyko says:

    Snickers sounds like a very special dog Van. They open our hearts and give us so much love… and when they go they remain in our hearts forever.
    My guy Harry still seems to sits next to me on the car sometimes. It was his special place to be with me. He was a dog who was best in life 💛

  20. LaVagabonde says:

    Such a beautiful boy. It’s so tough when our animals friends move on, but at least they were in our lives. After our bunny girl goes, that will probably be it for us.

  21. Animals have a sense about people we don’t understand. I remember every dog and cat. I loved them, they were an extension of my family, best friend or keep me warm watching TV.

  22. TanGental says:

    Dogs, huh? Love em to bits and they never get tired of it. I should tell the story of how we got our first.

  23. Just Plain Ol' Vic says:

    I think my dog would win “Best in WTF is Wrong with that Dog” 😉

  24. Sadie's Nest says:

    Sorry for your loss. What a beautiful dog. “Snickers” I love it!

  25. Losing a pet, I know the pain… 😦 I miss the pug I had even now …

  26. It’s so sad when our pets die.

  27. They do make very good and loyal friends. When my dog Sheila died eight years ago, I just haven’t been able to bring myself to get another one, coupled with moving here and there. My children are hankering for one right now. Snickers sounds like he was one lovely family member.

  28. Gorgeous dog. My son and I brought our two dogs over to visit my parents today. Since my mom can’t talk since her stroke, having my mom pet dogs who understand body language and unspoken love was great.

  29. Elyse says:

    RIP Snickers. You look like a wonderful friend.

    There’s nobody who ever understands you or loves you as much as your dog does. My family and I are just exiting the puppy phase with our most recent best buddy, Duncan who will be 2 next month (thank god). We hope he lives as long as Snickers did, or as long as our previous dog, Cooper who lived to 15-1/2.

    When I was a kid still devastated by the loss of one dog, we got a puppy. I can remember standing in front of Kling saying “I’m not gonna love you like I did Okie.” And while it didn’t happen the way I expected, well, I DIDN’T love him the same way. He was different and I loved him differently. It was a valuable lesson. We never love two dogs or people or other pets the same way. It’s all individual.

    I strongly recommend filling that hole. It took me nearly a year of whining to convince my husband that we had to get a dog. I am simply not prepared to live without that unconditional love!

    • We are looking into it now, Elyse. We had 2 other dogs, maltese mix, who were like our first babies, each lived into their teens. We’ve been very fortunate. Thanks for sharing your story. 💕

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