Thursday, October 21, 2021
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TARRYTOWN, N.Y. — In the well-heeled, purebred world of the Westminster Dog Show Friday night, the best story under the big white tent was Plop, a $rescue dog from New York City.

He took a richly deserved star turn amid the exclusive company of various Papillons, Terriers and Shetland Sheepdogs, in all his pointy-eared glory.

Plop will wow you, charm you and probably kiss you, then go back to living his little, fast-twitch life, with the speed and skill that made him, undeniably, The Comeback Dog of the Year at the 145th edition of Westminster, but the first to be held outside of Madison Square Garden, home to the event since 1877.

A historic estate named Lyndhurst, twenty-five miles up the Hudson River, is home to the 2021 Westminster, a move necessitated by COVID-19 precautions. Plop probably wouldn’t have cared if it were contested in a junkyard. He is a taut 17-pounder with a grayish coat and a wide mouth that seems to be in a perpetual smile, 41% Australian Cattle Dog, 30% Rat Terrier, 12% Australian Shepherd, with a little American Bulldog, Collie and other breeds mixed in.


He and his far-flung gene pool seemed thrilled to be back out there – leaping, turning, careening – through a timed obstacle course, capturing his second top prize in the All-American (a euphemism for mixed breed) agility competition at Westminster, but his first since he had major surgery 13 months ago.

Plop had tears in his shoulder and both biceps, and his owner, Lisa Topol, chief creative officer at an advertising agency in her other life, was terribly worried.

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