NEW YORK, N.Y. – Chic and strong-headed, Siba the black standard poodle will only eat chicken — no meat, no veggies, not even turkey. That became a problem when handler Crystal Murray-Clas couldn't find any at the Westminster Kennel Club show Monday.
So this prim and proper poodle chowed down on the closest thing her humans could find — a fast-food treat that proved to be the perfect fuel for her final show.
“It's usually all about the chicken,” Murray-Clas said.
After lunching on grilled chicken sandwiches from a nearby McDonald's, Siba won the nonsporting group at Madison Square Garden on Monday night, one of four dogs to qualify for the best in show final ring. Bono the Havanese took the toy group, Bourbon the whippet was named top hound, and Conrad the Shetland sheepdog won herding.
Winners for the other three groups — and best in show — will be crowned at the Garden on Tuesday night.
A finalist at the dog show out of 2,630 entries, Siba earned her way with a most dignified showing. The 3 1/2 year old struck a pose waiting for the judge to start, planting her feet firm and pointing her perfectly cut head high. She strutted confidently across the green carpet, not a hair out of place on her carefully clipped coat.
“She knows she’s special," Murray-Clas said. "I think everything she does shows that.”
A princess at times, Siba isn't always so elegant. She lives with Murray-Clas and adores her rambunctious 2-year-old son. When she's off show duty, Siba is happiest running around the fields near Murray-Clas' home in Hanover, Pennsylvania — and tracking mud into her house.