A nationally ranked English bulldog from the Twin Cities is being
chauffeured to New York City for next week's famed Westminster Dog Show.
Huey, who was bred and is shown by Stan and Jane Flowers of Buffalo,
Minn., landed the invitation because he has scored among the top five in
his breed nationally, based on earlier show successes.
Jane Flowers said she believes that Huey "has a good
chance" to defeat the rivals within his breed and make it to
"Best in Show," Westminster's equivalent of the Super Bowl.
"Huey is a great show dog, a very worthy specimen of the
breed," she said. "Bulldogs are very intelligent but a little
bit stubborn. They are more agile than people think they are."
Above all, Jane Flowers said, she appreciates not having to doll up
Huey too much before entering the show ring. "English Bulldogs are
definitely not foo-foo dogs," she said.
While the competitors might not understand what's at stake,
"They love the show life, they love showing off," she said.
"They love all the attention they get from us and from the
spectators. And when they go home, they are kind of bored."
Huey's owner is Charlotte Roberts. She welcomed him into her
Lakeville home when he was about six months old.
Roberts, who is taking the train to New York with three other women
who are active in showing dogs, is proud to say that Huey is known
nationally "as the bulldog that rolls over." He gained that
acclaim for his penchant to leave his all-fours and point his belly
skyward whenever there's an opportunity for a belly scratch. That
includes when he's competing, which has Roberts a bit worried about how
things will go at Westminster.
Roberts said Westminster is Huey's final show. In retirement, she
said. he'll be trained as a "therapy dog" and visit nursing
homes and hospices to cheer up people. "He's very good at
that," she said. "When you show him, you can see that he likes
people so much, particularly children."
The registered name for Huey, a 58-pound three-year-old, is Champion
Evergreen's Hustle Muscle. Huey is considered his call name (his sole
litter mate was named Louie). His great-grandfather, Ronald, also
competed at Westminster in 1988.
The Flowerses, who are veterans of Westminster, are taking Huey and
two other entrants that it handles to the show in a minivan. Another dog
they handle will be in the show as well and will meet them in Manhattan
for the show, which is staged at Madison Square Garden on Monday and
Tuesday. The USA Network will telecast the competition nationally.
Stan and Jane Flowers have been handling dogs professionally together
since 1982. They run their operation from their home and private kennel
named Evergreen, on 18 acres in Buffalo. Each year they attend about 130
shows with various breeds.
Their best result at Westminster came in the early to mid-1990s when
a female French bulldog they showed for a Minneapolis family won best
breed three times.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482