Best in show

What’s happened to a Grand Haven couple’s dog is a little bit of a Cinderella story, according to the dog’s owner.
Becky Vargo
Dec 21, 2013

In just a matter of weeks, Bob and Sandy Tanis' dog, Casey Tanis, is well on his way to becoming a champion show dog.

“He’s undergoing some pretty serious retraining to graduate from the sofa to the show ring,” said breeder Janet Aslett, who helped get the dog off the couch.

Casey, a 3-year-old silky terrier, recently blew through a week of dog shows. He took first-place ribbons in four out of five shows in the Orlando, Fla., area, Aslett said.

He won in the open class and graduated to the winner’s class, where he beat all the males. He then bested all the females.

At the Eukanuba National Dog Show on Dec. 14, Casey was beat in the Toy group by a dog owned by Barbara Beissel of Fanning Springs, Fla.

Video of preliminary judging is viewable at:   http://www.akc.org/nationalchampionship/2013/video.cfm?selected_video=video-breed-silky-terrier#breedvideo. (Casey Tanis is the second dog in the video, being handled by Mark Benson, 19.)

Aslett said Casey is a smart dog.

“Within a couple of days, he figured out what he needed to do,” she said.

He got a little better at each show, she said, and earned three points by the end of the week.

“That’s really good,” Aslett said. “We’re hoping by February to have all (15) of his championship points in place.”

And that, of course, makes him more valuable when it comes time to use him as a stud.

It’s kind of a Cinderella story on how all of this came about, Bob Tanis said.

“We never had any intentions of doing anything like this,” he said. “Our dog, to us, he’s just family.”

Tanis said he and his wife had Casey in obedience school, and the dog does have a repertoire of tricks he’s put through every day.

“Maybe it’s the training that we did earlier that helped,” he said.

To read more of this story, see Saturday’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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