South Mississippi has a new famous face to add to the list of stars. Rion is a Bedlington Terrier and was just awarded best of breed at the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
The pup, who turns three in less than a week, speaks on command, tans to get the perfect color and even gives his owner, Sandra Bethea, hugs. Between his good looks, soft coat, good personality and array of tricks it's easy to see why the judges were so impressed.
"We kind of just went up there to have fun," Bethea said, "but we got lucky and got pointed to, so we got the best in breed spot the first time.
"That was pretty unique, pretty fun and I think he was happy, too. He jumped in my arms."
Bethea has been bringing the pooch to shows since she got him at just seven months old.
"Every day I do something with him," Bethea said. "I tell him to sit, or stay, or do his hair. Or I tell him I'm going out to hunt him some food, but really I go to the grocery store and buy him meat."
Whether it is the rewards or the company, Bethea said Rion enjoys the dog shows. But she admits his masculine side is not always too thrilled with all the primping.
"I think he could probably do without the baths, combing, scissors and the little bit of cosmetics we use, maybe a little hair spray and a little baby powder we use sometimes," Bethea said. "I think if he could just go how he is, all curly and dirty, he would have more fun."
Prior to being named best of breed, Rion was awarded America's number one Bedlington Terrier in 15 American Kennel Club Competitions in a row, scoring enough for the title. Rion's grandparents and great grandparents were also awarded Best of Breed at Westminster.
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