Text Copyright the American Kennel Club, Inc., 2008. No portion of this article may be reproduced without permission of the copyright holder. Reprinted with permission from AKC Family Dog, January/February, 2008.
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Yeah, yeah, yeah, we know: It's a stretch to compare a show dog to the Beatles. But the story's outline was so similar, the press couldn't resist.
Kerry Blue Terrier Ch. Torums Scarf Michael, known as Mick, was born in Liverpool, became famous in England, and then crossed the Atlantic to conquer America.
It was soon after Mick's Best in Show victory at the 2003 Westminster show that the Beatles buzz began in the mainstream media, including USA Today ("the biggest British import since the Beatles") and CBS ("a rock star in the canine world").
With BIS awards at England's gigantic Crufts show in 2000 and the elite, invitation-only AKC/Eukanuba National Championship in 2002, Mick's win at Madison Square Garden was the last jewel in the unofficial triple crown of dog shows. Mick, now retired, is the only dog to have gone BIS at all three venues.
"He's such an incredible animal," says California-based professional handler Bill McFadden, who gaited Mick in show rings coast to coast during the Kerry Blue's one-dog British invasion. "He's nearly perfect. People who really know dogs immediately recognize it. People who don't, feel his magnetism."
A born entertainer with Beatle-like charisma, "Mick has always thought he was a superstar," McFadden told USA Today in 2003, after Mick's historic hat trick. "When he's backstage and hears tulle audience clapping, he thinks they're clapping for him."
And, like his four fellow Liverpudlians who put me phrase "I want to hold your hand" into Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, Mick has never lacked female companionship. "He has a girlfriend, a Giant Schnauzer," McFadden said, "and me two of them run in the paddock together from 8 A.M. until 8 P.M." ....