There’s more to the Westminster Dog Show than perfectly prim and proper pups. Before the breed competitions, the agility course tests each dog’s agility and speed. The goal for every pooch and their owner attempting the agility course at the Westminster Dog Show is to have the quickest and cleanest run. But that’s only the case if the dog wants to win. Sometimes, the dog may have other aspirations.
Winky the Bichon Frise certainly had other goals in mind for his run at the 2019 show. He took his sweet, sweet time and worked the crowd.
Instead of a lightning fast 30 seconds on the course, Winky milked his time in the spotlight and played around the ring for more than double the winning time.
Take a look at his agility performance below, which the Westminster Dog Show shared in a funny tweet.
— Westminster Dog Show (@WKCDOGS) February 10, 2019
His handler even had to slow down and wait for him throughout the course. Generally, the handler is racing to keep pace with her four-legged companion.
Winky plodded through the course with a free-spirited air about him. He accrued penalties in most of the obstacles. Unfazed, he continued his creative interpretation of the athletic competition. It was a bit like seeing a gymnast perform on a track rather than an actual runner’s race. And, Winky’s run was definitely a performance.
Tara McKendry’s reaction on Twitter was not unusual:
— Westminster Dog Show (@WKCDOGS) February 12, 2019
The highlight might have been a dramatic pause atop an A-frame obstacle. He looked around and only descended from the height after sufficient audience applause encouraged him on. Winky paused again on another elevated obstacle right in front of a group of excited fans. They loved the extra attention, responding with whoops and hollers aimed at the pup.
I think we all could learn a thing or two from Winky’s unorthodox approach. Why not slow down and take in the view from the top? Or, when you have all eyes on you, take the time to soak in the moment. Finally, instead of rushing through life and trying to be the best, enjoy the experience and pay attention to the people supporting you.
The time to beat was 40 seconds at the time of Winky’s run. When this amazing pup crossed the finish line, his clock showed 100 seconds and a whopping 92 errors. Suffice it to say, he didn’t come close to winning, but he did become an overnight sensation!
His performance sparked a big reaction on social media.
Twitter user Meghan Renee called Winky her “spirit animal.”
Winky the Bichon Frise is my spirit animal. https://t.co/U3JZpt84SJ
— Meghan Renee (@meghanvodo21) February 13, 2019
Meanwhile, Elaine Pritchard pointed out that Winky’s approach is definitely worth learning from:
Learn from Winky the Bichon Frise this week: You don't have to be the fastest to win hearts & minds and success is what YOU decide it is. Enjoy every opportunity and don't worry about making mistakes. This could be my favourite video clip ever. https://t.co/LOzw6pavTm
— Elaine Pritchard (@EllaJP) February 13, 2019
If you can’t get enough of Winky, you can now follow him on Twitter, @WBichon. His owners started the account shortly after his attention-grabbing performance at Westminster.
The profile even hilariously addresses the pooch’s reason for his slow-moving run.
“I’ll stick to slowly sauntering to maintain my look,” one tweet read.
— Winky the bichon (@WBichon) February 14, 2019
Another tweet suggests he just couldn’t resist the view from the top of the A-frame. “As a small dog, I like the perspective from up high, but it does make an excellent perch to pose on,” it reads.
— Winky the bichon (@WBichon) February 15, 2019
Winky may not have won a prize at Westminster, but he sure did win all of our hearts like a true champion.