‘I’m already a winner’ – Cedric the English Toy Spaniel and his owner head to the Westminster Dog Show

Cedric, the English Toy Spaniel, is having the biggest week of his young life.

Cédric and his owner Meghann Belser go to the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York, which is akin to the Super Bowl of dog shows.

He will compete to be the best of his breed. If he wins, he will then compete to be the best of the toy dog ​​group. If he overcomes this hurdle, he will compete for the prestigious best of the show.

Belser would like Cedric to win it all, but she doesn’t expect it.

“If I go home with nothing, I’ve already come home with the best thing I could, which is the dog,” Belser said. “I am already a winner. I can go home with him. I can make memory with him.

At the Westminster Dog Show, animals are judged on breed traits and do not compete with each other.

The English Toy Spaniel “is a square, snub-nosed toy weighing no more than 14 pounds. The large, domed head with its long, lush ears, dark, melting eyes, and chubby cheeks is a famous breed trait,” according to the American Kennel Club.

Cédric, who will be 4 years old in July, is already a champion of his breed. Belser took him to several dog shows and he continued to win and win.

Last year, Cédric finished as the top English Toy Spaniel in the United States. He was ranked third in the nation for his breed. The top five champions of each race receive an automatic invite to the Westminster show.

Cedric’s breed is sometimes confused with the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, a new breed derived from the English Toy Spaniel, Belser explained. The English toy, especially with the black and tan markings of Cedric, was the hallmark of English nobility in the 1600s, especially the “Merry Monarchs” King Charles I and Charles II, according to the American Kennel Club.

The breed is described as “bright, loving and ready to please”.

Cedric is all of that, said Belser, who works as a patient care coordinator for Northside Animal Hospital in Hooksett.

“He is extremely loyal, devoted to me and extremely intuitive. He knows me better than I know myself, sometimes,” she said. “He is the best brought up, gentle and truly an ‘old soul’. He came into my life when I didn’t realize how much I needed him and I can’t imagine my daily life without him.

Jessica Freni, Belser’s close friend and English Toy Spaniel breeder, gave her Cédric. The two women are the co-owners of Cédric.

It takes its name from Cedric Diggory, a character from the Harry Potter films. Belser is a huge Harry Potter fan. Its official series name is more elaborate, “Why Not Take A Chance”.

The name of Belser’s kennel is Accio Show Dogs, which is based on the “accio” summoning spell in Harry Potter lore. Belser chose this name because she said she was trying to invoke “health, happiness and success”.

Typically, the Westminster Dog Show is held in New York, but this year it will be held 30 miles north at Lyndhurst Mansion from June 18-22.

Once his career as a show dog is over, Cédric will devote more time to his secondary work as a therapy dog. Belser said Cedric is particularly sensitive, friendly and warm with others.

Belser and his partner Kathleen Morrison met at Westminster Kennel Club in 2016. Together they have four other dogs, including a 13-year-old Schnauzer and an 8-year-old French Bulldog. Cedric’s younger brother and nephew are both English Spaniels and are enjoying their own success as show dogs. Every dog ​​in the house has been shown at one time or another.

“At the end of the day, they are our lives and we would do anything for them,” Belser said. “All sleep in our bed every night. Every night.”

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