Puppy can 'do no wrong' after Crufts win

PROUD owners Isabel and Rodney Eastall are over the moon after their beloved puppy, Michael, was crowned a top dog at this year's Crufts.The 17-month-old black and tan Airedale Terrier impressed the show's judges and won a first in the junior dog category.

John Howard

PROUD owners Isabel and Rodney Eastall are over the moon after their beloved puppy, Michael, was crowned a top dog at this year's Crufts.

The 17-month-old black and tan Airedale Terrier impressed the show's judges and won a first in the junior dog category.

The Eastalls, from Mendlesham near Stowmarket, say the mischievous pup can now do no wrong in their eyes and has been celebrating with a chicken meal and new toys, including a bone filled with treats.

To take the top spot Michael had to complete a walk in front of the judge who checked his posture from every angle, and was also examined to ensure his ears, teeth and physique were first rate.

Mrs Eastall, 48, who runs a dog grooming business with her husband, said: “If you show this is something you dream of.

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“The judge said she liked the fact that he had substance, he is a very solid dog with good muscles. He was born at home and is the first one we have bred ourselves. We are simply over the moon.

“He can do no wrong now and I think he knows it. This means so much to us and we will be celebrating when everything calms down. Our pets are our family.”

Crufts, which finished on Sunday, is officially recognised as the World's largest dog show by the Guinness Book of Records.

Almost 23,000 entrants - including 1,165 from overseas - were expected at the event, which took place over four days at the NEC in Birmingham.

Mr and Mrs Eastall have three Airedales, Whinnie, who is 13-years-old, Martha who is three-years-old and the pup's mother, and young Michael.

Dogs need to qualify at other shows across the country during the year in order to secure a place to compete against the very cream of the canine world.

Michael won best puppy in breed at the Richmond Championship Show during the summer which allowed him to go forward to Crufts and compete against others from England and Ireland in his category to scoop the top rosette.

Mr Eastall, 50, who also works as a part-time bus driver, said: “This means such a lot to us, it means the world.”

The breed originated from Airedale in Yorkshire and is sometimes called the "King of Terriers" because it is the largest of the terrier breeds at 50 to 100 pounds.

It has also been called the Waterside Terrier because it was bred originally to hunt otters in and around the River Aire 's valleys.

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