With his perpetually wagging tail, funny name, and smiling face (when you can see it amid all that black fur), the affenpinscher named Banana Joe won the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show last night—along with America's heart. The winner of the toy group beat out others like Jewel the American foxhound and Adam the smooth fox terrier to take the Best in Show title. Crowd-favorite and unlikely Best in Show contender Swagger, the Old English Sheepdog, took the runner-up title of Reserve Best in Show, a prize awarded for the first time since 1925.
Banana Joe, who is called "Joey" by his handler, is set to take it easy after his big win, heading back to the Netherlands, from whence he originally hails, Richard Sandomir of the New York Times reports. He'll leave behind his home in Bowmansville, Pennsylvania, where he had shared a bed with handler Ernesto Lara.
Banana Joe remarkably maintained his cool after winning the big prize. Lara said: "I don’t think he has anything to prove."
Of course, this morning he had to do his press tour:
Ernesto Lara, "Banana Joe" and David Frei just outside the Today Show during their media tour. twitter.com/WKCDOGS/status…— WestminsterDogShow (@WKCDOGS) February 13, 2013