Amelia Musser has had big success at dog shows in years past, but nothing like the Triple Crown that her Sadie, a Scottish terrier (below, right), scored last night by winning best of show at the 134th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden.
Mrs. Musser is co-owner of Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, which you’ll recognize if you’ve ever watched the movies “Somewhere in Time” or “This Time for Keeps.” It’s a small island in Lake Huron where cars are not allowed – only bikes and cars – so it’s become a sort of time machine, an oasis of calm.
Here’s my husband Julian Bermudez with the hotel in 2005:
What were we doing there? Back in the late 1960s, my dad started a long friendship with Amelia and her husband Dan Musser when he agreed to do PR for the hotel and Mackinac Island. They “got” that my dad did a different kind of publicity, and so they welcomed World Sauntering Day, the Stone Skipping Contest, and other offbeat events that brought attention to the Island and Grand Hotel without being “in your face” about it. Here’s me talking with Bob Edwards about World Sauntering Day on NPR’s Morning Edition. (Kids, Bob Edwards used to host Morning Edition, with Graham McNamee and Hughes Rudd.)
My dad always brought his kids to work, and in this case, it was pretty great duty, especially since he took part of his pay in meals at the hotel. This means I spent much of my childhood summers on Mackinac, and got to know the Mussers. When I took Julian to Mackinac in 2005, we stopped by the Mussers’ place, and Mrs. Musser proudly showed us some of the trophies her dogs had won over the years.
So we were especially excited when we saw the Scottie that won best of breed, then best of group, this year was from Roundtown, the Mussers' kennels, and was considered a favorite to take it all. As Mrs. Musser told the island newspaper The Town Crier last year, Sadie stood out from the start:
"It's the look," said Mrs. Musser, who has shown Wire Fox terriers and Parson Russell terriers for about 30 years and also bred West Highland White terriers at Roundtown. "It's the way she carries herself, and it's the way she uses her body," she said of Sadie, "and it's the way she holds her tail. She also has to have the attitude: 'Look at me, I'm wonderful.'"
(Amelia and Dan Musser with Sadie at Westminster this year.)
Now, Julian and I were a little disappointed that Sadie didn’t get more competition from the Irish terrier. (Watch the breed judging video.) All the audience saw from the best in breed Irish was a dog that looked like this:
When, in our opinion, the handler should have worked harder to bring out this:
THAT’S something a New York audience could appreciate.
Congratulations, Mrs. Musser!
And Connor and Eoghan, take your victory lap at home; we still love you.
(Photos: Sadie alone Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images. Sadie with the Mussers AP Photo/Mary Altaffer. All others John Rabe.)
(Check out John's weekly show Off-Ramp.)