On a week when I had hoped to report mostly on the Iditarod, I have to bring you the sad news that Jagger, a prizewinning Irish Setter, was killed by poisoning while being benched during the 2015 Crufts Dog Show in London.
Crufts, at which nearly 10 times as many dogs are shown as are at Westminster, is the largest dog show in the world, often bringing in 25,000 or more contestants. As at Westminster the dogs are benched backstage when not being shown, so that the general public can visit with the dogs, get to know their personalities, and ask questions of breeders and exhibitors.
Apparently, Jagger was slipped some poisoned beef cubes at some point while he was on his bench. The dog died after taking 2nd place in his breed and returning home to Belgium. A necropsy has revealed beef cubes in his stomach, laced with as many as three different poisons. Two other Crufts dogs have become slightly ill – one having diarrhea in the ring and the other passing some blood after returning home from the show.
Jagger’s family is said to be devastated, but certain that the attack was not targeted to their dog. Jagger was a family pet and therapy dog, as well as a valuable show dog.
I hope this doesn’t spell the end of benched shows. They are a great resource for people who are doing their research before buying into a specific breed. It would be a shame if one person’s maliciousness ruined the tradition.
I’ll bring you more information on the investigation into Jagger’s death as it is made available.
Jagger: Rest in peace, good boy.
To Jagger’s family: Our deepest condolences on the loss of your dear friend.
Until next time,
Good day, and good dog!