Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Elmo heads home early

By TOMIE LUNSFORD
Telegram Staff Writer

Elmo, the Temple dog competing in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, didn't win.
'He showed very well, but he evidently wasn't the judges' cup of tea,' said Elmo's owner, Chris Chirdo of Temple.
Best of Breed honors went to Chinese crested No. 11, Champion Risin' Star's China Doll. That's the Chinese crested that was featured in Tuesday's televised broadcast of the competition in New York.
'I had a good look at China Doll, and he definitely was the best example of what a Chinese crested could be,' Chirdo said. 'He was beautiful.'
So there's no hard feelings. Chirdo's just grateful he and Elmo had the opportunity to compete.
Elmo competed against 25 other Chinese cresteds and stuck around so fans and future Chinese crested owners could get a look at him.
'All the dogs who make it here are the best of the best. They're champions,' Chirdo said. 'So even if they don't win, people are still going to want to come up and look at the dog.'
Of the overall experience, Chirdo said it was awesome.
'While he was showing, I was so nervous I could hardly stand it,' Chirdo said. 'But once it was over, I was just glad to be there.'
Chirdo sat in the front row while Elmo walked before the judges. His handler was co-owner Victor Helu of New York. Chirdo didn't want to handle Elmo because of stage fright and because of his relationship with Elmo.
'I'm Elmo's roommate,' Chirdo said. 'If I handled him, he'd just want to play with me. He wouldn't be paying attention to the contest and to the judges.'

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