On Thanksgiving Day, Whitney Aronson and her dog OnY will make themselves comfortable on the sofa in front of the television at their Briarcliff Manor home to watch the national dog show.
This is the show’s 20th year, which airs on NBC-TV right after the conclusion of Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. Aronson and his Biewer Terrier OnY, (pronounced AH nee), have more than a passing interest: They’re appearing on the show this year, a first for both.
The Biewer (pronounced beaver) Terrier is a new breed sanctioned by the American Kennel Club that is participating in the National Dog Show for the first time in 20 years of history.
Aronson and OnY traveled to Philadelphia the week before Thanksgiving to participate in the various series of events on the pre-recorded show. Was OnY “Best in Show”? We cannot say how they did it; you will have to watch the competition.
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“I think it’s going to be exciting and educational,” said Aronson, the week before packing for Philly. “It’s new to both of us.”
OnY, who is just two years old, is a quick study, already slipping a few local titles under his collar, including, Aronson said, “a few fake dog titles, canine citizens and a few agility medals.”
These various competitions were a great way to socialize a dog who often had “the ugly puppies,” as Aronson calls them, even though many of these early competitions were virtual, due to the pandemic.
You can’t underestimate the charm of this pint-sized tricolor puppy, who sports a tiny bow that prevents a down of fur from falling in his eyes.
From the description of the breed provided by the American Kennel Club: “Despite its small size, the Biewer is a very hearty, athletic dog and an excellent hunter. They are light, have a childish demeanor and love to carry toys in their mouths. “
Aronson adds that her dog “is really brilliant. He’s a person; and she’s obsessed with me,” she laughed, as OnY ran around her. “For me, competition and shows are a way to bond with my dog. It’s an activity and dogs need a job, something to focus on and something to do.”
Raising and training a competitive dog has provided a much needed outlet for Aronson, especially during the pandemic. For the past 10 years, she has suffered from a debilitating lung disease, which sometimes requires her to use supplemental oxygen and often leaves her uninspired for physical activity.
OnY changed that.
“Working with her and going to these places gives me exercise and things to do and that’s important,” Aronson said. “And since it’s so small, I can lift and move it very easily. I do as much as I can.”
Aronson grew up with dogs, competitive Bearded Collies that were shown by the owners, not the family. As an adult she had other small dogs, including Coutons and a 17-year-old Havanese, “but I kinda wanted a dog with a bit more focus,” she said.
“OnY is my first show dog which is all mine. We are learning together.”
Her advice to anyone looking to add a puppy or dog to their home is to do your research. With his brother being highly allergic, Aronson spent a lot of time learning about suitable breeds. However, she stumbled upon the Biewers out of the blue: she saw a woman walking down the street of Manhattan.
“I just fell in love and asked what kind of dog it was,” she said.
Prospective dog parents can join Facebook groups, check out breeder sites, or check out the American Kennel Club for more information. Those interested in a rescue puppy should also do their homework to ensure they are adopting a reliable and responsible source.
Once you have your puppy home, Aronson said education is key, even for uncompetitive dogs. “It is obvious to start training; it is good for any dog to learn to walk nicely on a leash, to behave in puppy kindergarten or to learn a few tricks, ”she said.
OnY, says its owner, is a good dog. “She has great focus and is a rules follower,” Aronson said. “She actually puts her toys away when she’s done playing with them. She’ll bring them all to her dog bed and arrange them neatly.”
She hopes the national dog show will be the first of many competitions for OnY, and although they are both newbies, it has had its benefits.
“It’s a good thing to be in the new breed category, even though I’m also very new (in competition), I got to know a lot of breeders and handlers who send their dogs to shows. ‘was going there poodles, I don’t think I would have those connections. “
Karen Croke is the features editor for lohud.com and poughkeepsiejournal.com. Find my stories here. Contact me at [email protected]