September 23 2014 Latest news:
Sunday, March 16, 2014
As they waited to be inspected by the judges, owner Diana Curtis was nervous - but she need not have worried as three-year-old Peanut lapped up the attention to take best girl in the open class of her category at Crufts.
The Portuguese Podengo has qualified every year for the famous dog show since she was born and showed herself to be an “absolute professional” when assessed by judges at the NEC in Birmingham.
“She thrives on the attention,” said Mrs Curtis, who looks after Peanut and her brother Stanley at her home in Church Lane, Denham, near Eye.
“She is absolutely fine being handled and is no problem. She loves to show off and is a great ambassador for the breed. I do all the thinking and stressing and she’s there all calm and collected, as if she’s saying: ‘What’s the problem?’”
“I can’t believe how lucky I am to have her and I hope I’m going to be able to enjoy her for a long and happy life.”
Mrs Curtis, 52, said Peanut has taken to being a show dog naturally since birth and has required very little training.
She described Peanut as “totally, totally loyal - almost like velcrow because she will stick to me,” as well as a “very happy little girl”.
Mrs Curtis added: “She is a big character in a little frame. She is just lovely.”
As a reward for her victory, Peanut finished off some chicken and had some fish nibbles. She was treated to some biscuits when she got home and then enjoyed a long sleep after an exhausting day,
Her brother Stanley also entered the male open class in the Portuguese Podengo category.
Sadly it was not a double victory for Mrs Curtis’ pets, although Stanley still managed to come second.
However, Mrs Curtis said the slightly more reflective Stanley perhaps had other things on his mind.
“I think there might’ve been a little girl he liked,” she revealed.
The Portuguese Podengo is the National Breed of Portugal
Podengos come in three sizes: small, medium and large
Each dog or bitch can either have a wirehaired and smooth haired type of coat
At the moment, only the small Podengo is recognised by the Kennel Club in the UK, but the other sizes are gaining some popularity
It is thought that the breed is a descendant of the Pharoah Hound, dispersed from Egypt and Asia to North Africa