On Valentine’s Day 45 years ago, Carma Ewer’s husband brought home a miniature schnauzer, a present that sent the Sandy resident on the course to Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
This Tuesday Ewer and her 2-year-old miniature schnauzer Twink won the Best in Breed ribbon at the 143rd annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York, but Ewer said that’s not so surprising since Twink is a fourth-generation Westminster winner.
Ewer currently competes in various shows from coast to coast with Twink who now has more than 20 awards under her belt — or rather, her collar.
“A really good one like this doesn’t come very often,” Ewer said of Twink. “She’s probably a once-in-a-lifetime dog for us. She’s the best thing we’ve ever had.”
Ewer said it all started when they were encouraged to enter the dog into a show during an obedience class, and Ewer has been hooked ever since.
“After the kids moved out and my husband and I retired, it kind of became a full-blown hobby,” Ewer said.
But competing in shows isn’t always glamorous. Ewer compared dog shows to NASCAR or beauty pageants because things can get intense just like any other competitive sport.
“There’s some backbiting, some gossip,” Ewer said. “It’s so easy to talk bad about your competitors, but instead of doing that, you want to rise above all that and just be a good sportsman and a good competitor.”
Ewer said she also devotes hours to making sure Twink is always in tip-top shape. Twink is groomed at least twice a week and Ewer makes sure she doesn’t step into any puddles during rainy weather.
But when Twink is not in the spotlight, Ewer said you can find her cuddling with her family and snoozing under the blankets like any other family dog.
“She’s just sweet, loving, full of energy, always having fun,” Ewer said. “Her tail wags all the time and she’s just anxious to please. She’s just a great dog”
So what’s next for Twink?
Ewer said they will enter another big dog show in April to defend Twink’s title as one of the top schnauzers in the country, and maybe take on Westminster again next year.
On average, most dogs compete until they are 4 years old and Ewer said she plans to keep showing Twink for as long as they can.
“Depending on how she looks and if she still loves it, and she still wants to do it then we’ll go through the year and then come back [to Westminster],” Ewer said.