That face! Those eyes! We’ve seen them before.
Biggie the pug, who won hearts at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show last year, has set his big o’l puppy dog eyes on being top dog again.
On Monday morning, the 3-year-old from North Carolina won best of breed at the show, advancing to the toy group finals on Monday night, the Associated Press reported.
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Like he did last year, Biggie will have to best all the toys - a Chihuahua, Havanese, Maltese, Pomeranian, Shih Tzu and other toy breeds at Westminster - to compete for Best in Show on Tuesday night.
Fox Sports 1 will carry live coverage of the group competitions beginning at 7 p.m. ET Monday and Tuesday, according to Sporting News.
At last year’s show, cries of “Go Biggie, go Biggie, go Biggie” rang out in Madison Square Garden as the confident, stout little pug competed as the toy group’s representative in Best in Show, the Kansas City Star previously reported.
Fans knew his backstory, how Biggie’s champion cousin, Rumble - who had won best of breed at Westminster the year before - had died unexpectedly just months before he could compete at Westminster again.
Rumble, who was 3, was the country’s top pug and top toy breed, “in the prime of his life and show career” when he died, according to The Canine Chronicle. He was taking his daily walk on June 5, 2017, when he fell over and “died instantly,” the Chronicle reported.
Pugs are always popular at Westminster, the Kansas City Star wrote last year, “but Biggie’s family connection to Rumble quickly endeared him to fans.”
Biggie’s handler, Esteban Farias, said Biggie won the toy group for his cousin. “And I have a little friend who is looking for us up in the sky. And this is for him,” Farias told Fox Sports last year.
Biggie did not win Best in Show, losing out to a fluffy white walking cloud named Flynn, a bichon frise and only the second-ever of his breed to win the coveted prize, Newsweek reported.
Biggie’s fans were heartbroken.
“This week, a thick little boy trotted his way into our hearts, and then was ultimately denied the honor of Westminster Best in Show. That boy was Biggie—a moon-faced chunk of pug,” Joanna Rothkopf, senior editor at Jezebel blog, wrote last year.
But Biggie gets a second chance beginning Monday night.
And he’s ready to rumble.
“He’s got the ‘it’ factor,” Biggie’s owner Carolyn Koch of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, told the Associated Press.