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Whippet good: Kingston, Ont. dog and owner compete in Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

Only the best can walk the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show stage, and one Kingston dog and owner have done just that.

Elisa Holland says the moment was surreal.

‘Honestly, the moment I walked into the ring, it was a lifetime dream come true and I was all smiles,” says Holland.

Holland and her dog Daisy, an 18-month-old whippet, travelled to New York on Monday to show off her skills by competing in the Westminster Dog Show.

“I just kept looking at her and saying, ‘We’re a team no matter where we place. If we don’t get any ribbons, we’re a team’, which is the teamwork you need in a dog,” says Holland.

It’s one of the most prestigious dog shows in the world. Dogs of all breeds compete, and only the top 3,000 dogs in the world are invited each year.

To qualify, Holland says Daisy won competitions in the United States over the last year, and then won a place in a lottery pick.

On Monday, Daisy walked in the ‘Best of Breed’ in the whippet category against 27 other dogs. Holland says judges look for things like size, features, and personality.

That is something Daisy showed up with.

‘She tried to give the judge a kiss, which I said was fine,” she laughs.

It’s been an 11-year journey to get here for Holland, who learned how to train dogs in her own time in between a career in the military and schooling, originally starting with Daisy's mom.

She says it’s important to follow a dream

“You don’t have to be from elite or have to be in the dog show world, you can just take your pet, train hard,” she says. “You can always achieve it.”

And while Daisy did not take home ‘Best in Show’ this year, her road to Westminster is not done yet.

“We’re only just starting, and she’s only going to get better with age. And I’m hoping I’m only going to get better with age,” Holland laughs. “But she definitely will.” Top Stories

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