You already knew your sweet, charming shelter mutt has star potential, but now the Westminster Dog Show agrees. The AP reports that, for the first time in more than a century, the event will welcome mutts—for some competitions, anyway.
Best in Show is still limited to specific breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club, including three new additions: the rat terrier, the Chinook, and the Portuguese podengo pequeno. But the event is also adding an agility trial, which is all about performance rather than pedigree.
Of course, there's already an underdog (sorry) story, ready to tug at your heartstrings. Meet Alfie, the "apparently-part-poodle, part-terrier" contender:
Alfie's background isn't rarefied. Owner Irene Palmerini spotted him in a mall pet store, marked down to $99. She wasn't planning to get a dog, but she felt for the curly-haired, black-and-white puppy and took him home to Toms River, N.J.
He proved to have more energy than even 4-mile daily walks could absorb, and agility training provided an outlet.
Look at that face! Give this guy a tote bag full of trophies.
Photo via AP Images