02/13/08 — Top dog: Nation’s every-dog should prompt thoughts of others

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Top dog: Nation’s every-dog should prompt thoughts of others

For the first time in the more than 100-year-old show’s history, the Westminster Kennel Club crowned a champion who looked more like your neighbor’s pooch than a spiffed up show dog.

Uno is still a purebred champion who got his purple and gold ribbon honestly, but as he barked through his awards and his morning television debuts, it was obvious that this wasn’t your ordinary champ.

But as the nation smiles at his crowning, and laughs at his antics, Uno’s victory is a chance to remind everyone out there that there are thousands of dogs just like him every year who wait for homes and love in the nation’s animal shelters.

Taking a dog into your home is an awesome responsibility and should not be taken lightly. Caring for another living thing is a commitment that cannot be surrendered or abandoned.

There will be people who will take one look at Uno and decide they need a beagle of their own, and off they will trot to the pet store or to a breeder. And when they realize that their new charge is a lot of work, they will abandon him or her in a shelter.

If you are considering a new family pet, head down to the county animal shelter. You would be surprised how often you find dogs with pedigrees as well as love to give. There have even been Westminster contenders who were “saved” from shelters. You just never know.

Do your part to help unwanted and abandoned animals. Uno would be proud.

Published in Editorials on February 13, 2008 10:57 AM