I understand that not everyone can be a winner at the Westminster Dog Show. Competition is fierce, and the judges have the impossible task of choosing among so many flawless dogs, all of whom are, in my eyes, perfect. I have no idea how they do it.
What I do know, however, is that Fanucci, the 5-year-old German shepherd who nearly died in a car accident, should not have been scratched from the show because of a hematoma that he couldn’t even help that had formed on his left ear.
“It was a freak thing,” his owner, Stephanie Schrock, told USA Today. “You work hard all week and boom, this happens. The timing couldn’t have been any worse.”
For some background, Fanucci’s end almost came in 2014, when his right leg was shattered after he jumped out of a van that was being towed. So grave were his injuries that his owners thought about euthanizing him; instead, he’s made a comeback so complete that he was favored to win this year’s Best in Show.
Schrock decided to pull Fanucci in the interest of “wanting to show him at his best,” which hardly seems fair. That little imperfection is a testament to everything that Fanucci has endured, which is certainly more than his over-pampered competition. This is probably not the point of Westminster, but isn’t there also room for a show that judges dogs not only on their external beauty, but their character? Who wouldn’t watch that dog show?!