Westminster’s Abby: Dean’s collie laps up honors

show dog picture

Cynthia Childrey is the proud parent of one of the top dogs at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show.

Chidrey, dean of Cline Library, is co-owner of Abby, a 4-year-old smooth collie, who won the 2008 Best of Breed competition Monday at Madison Square Garden in New York. On Monday night, Abby competed against 20 other entries in the Herding Group competition, won by an Australian shepherd.

Childrey said that winning Best of Breed at Westminster was an “incredible” honor.

“Your dog is competing against beautiful champions that exemplify the best qualities of the breed,” she said. “It is such an honor just to be there, and then to have the judge point at your dog. That is something you never forget.”

Childrey traveled to New York with Abby’s co-owner, Jane Cooley; friend Joan Armitage, who helped Childrey get started showing collies; and Abby’s handler, Laurie Jeff Greer. “It’s amazing to be there at ringside,” she said.

Abby—whose show name is Ch. Kingsmark First Impression—was born in Flagstaff at Kingsmark Kennels and was adopted by Childrey as a puppy.

“Laurie Jeff and Abby make such a great team,” Childrey said. “They had a highly successful year out on the road. Abby is the No. 1 smooth collie in the country. She shows her excellent conformation, beautiful movement, as well as a lot of spirit in the ring, and she always has fun at whatever she does. ”

Abby also is a Delta Society certified therapy dog who enjoys visiting Flagstaff Medical Center patients with Cooley.

Visit www.westminsterkennelclub.org for all the winners and video from the dog show.