Rumor has it: Dog lovers react to local dog winning Westminster Best in Show

Rumor has won 100+ ‘best in show' awards

Dog lovers around Rock County celebrated Wednesday after a hometown hound brought home the big prize from the 141st annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

Rumor, a 5-year-old German shepherd, lives in Edgerton with her handler, Kent Boyles. She has a long list of accomplishments, including more than 100 best in show awards.

Her victory Tuesday was extra sweet, after coming in second at last year’s Westminster dog show.

“I really think the dog who won it last year deserved it, but I really think Rumor deserved it even more. So this year is just extra special,” Steve Servantez, Rumor’s vet and Boyles’ longtime friend, said.

Rumor, who’s named after Adele’s hit song, almost didn’t make it to this year’s competition. Her handler had retired her after her second-place finish last year, but the AP reports she jumped back into the show ring in January.

“I thought, ‘This is the year,'” Servantez said.

And it was! Rumor beat out nearly 2,800 other dogs to take the top prize, but her vet said she wasn’t really competing against those dogs.

“[The judges] are trying to find the dog that best represents the breed,” Servantez said. “And that’s what makes her special, is if you actually look up the AKC parameters on what makes a perfect German shepherd, she’s as close to that breed’s standard as you could imagine. So that’s exactly, exactly what we want in the breed.”

Dog owner Mona Hareid lives in Edgerton and was at the dog park Wednesday morning. She said she has three pugs at home and is an avid dog lover but wasn’t able to watch Rumor compete.

“One of my dogs, he freaks out when he sees a dog on TV,” she said. “So it’s like, ‘Oh no, we can’t watch that right now.’ So we weren’t able to watch it.”

But she said she was excited to hear Rumor won.

“It’s just cool that Edgerton can come to the spotlight, because Edgerton is such a cute community,” Hareid said. “It has that small town flavor, and I just think this is awesome.”

Servantez called Rumor a “once-in-a-lifetime dog” and said she doesn’t let the fame go to her head.

“When she comes into the clinic, she’s like any other dog,” he said. “She’s just very, very friendly. She’s easy to get along with. Everybody loves her. When she’s home and not working, she is a family pet.”

Boyles said this would be Rumor’s last major show, and her next big accomplishment will be having puppies. Boyles owns Kenlyn Kennels and has been working with dogs for 40 years.

Servantez said Badger Veterinary Clinic in Janesville would be throwing Boyles and Rumor a welcome-home celebration when they make it back into town. He said there wasn’t a date set yet, but the event would be open to the public.