English Springer Spaniel Becomes America’s Top Dog

English Springer SpanielCh Felicity’s Diamond Jim, also known as James, the 6-year-old certified therapy dog won best in show at the 131st Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York. Diamond Jim was chosen out of the overall 2,628 entries in 165 breeds and varieties.

At the arena where the New York Knicks play, James celebrated with a few loose rebounds. Handler Kellie Fitzgerald said he did not eat before the show; once it was over, he snacked on goodies that fell on the floor.

English Springer Spaniel
AP Photo/Seth Wenig Diamond Jim, also known as James, poses for pictures with his handler Kelly Fitzgerald after winning best in show.

Dressed in a glittering copper top that perfectly matched her brown-and-white pet, Fitzgerald cuddled her champion. She said it was a coincidence that her outfit coordinated with her dog’s coat.

James beat out a pair of white poodles and a petit basset griffon vendeen, plus an Akita and a Bouviers des Flandres that pitted a husband and wife against each other. Larry Fenner handled the Bouviers and Laurie Jordan-Fenner guided the Akita.

This was his 51st best in show victory, and his last. He’s retiring from the show world to live the life of a therapy and obedience dog.