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Wasabi the Pekingese Won Best in Show and Westminster Fans are Mad

On Sunday, Wasabi, a Pekingese with the flowing locks of Beyoncé and the face of Eric Cartman, won Best in Show at the Westminster Dog Show. To casual observers, that decision made perfect sense. Look at that form! Look at that bounce! Look at that hair flip!

For pedigree dog aficionados, however, Wasabi’s victory was a bonafide upset. To start, the three-year-old floof-mobile was only the fifth Pekingese to win the competition in 145 years. As such, these snub-legged hair farms aren’t held in particularly high regard by dog snobs.

Dog Twitter also piled onto this Very Good Boy almost immediately, in an attempt to diminish his shine, his style and his stature.

The main upset though, was the fact that Striker the Samoyed had been the favorite to win. (Maybe because, unlike Wasabi, he has ears and facial features..?)

Nobody should be all that worried about Striker though. In addition to the 40 Best in Show wins he’s garnered in other competitions since January 2020, Striker did just fine, winning the Working Group category. Which means he got to stand on a podium, pull a delightfully derpy face, and take home a big shiny cup. (A cup that probably means absolutely nothing to him on account of the fact that it doesn’t have a squeaker in it.)

Despite all the online noise, Wasabi’s win wasn’t totally out of left field. In fact, his great-grandad Malachy—who, like Wasabi, was handled by David Fitzpatrick—won Best in Show in 2012. Here he is being kind of smug about it:

Wasabi’s great-grandaddy Malachy, wishing champagne for his real friends and real pain for his sham friends at the 2012 Westminster Dog Show. (Michael Nagle/Getty Images)

Spare a thought for all the Pekingese in-between, who just didn’t measure up. Like Pequest Primrose from 2019:

Pequest Primrose. What a loser. (Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

And Cooper, this nose-licking plebian from 2014:

Cooper, waiting to compete in the 138th annual Westminster Dog Show in 2014. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Don’t even get me started on this egomaniac…

A nameless Pekingese in the benching area at the 2017 Westminster competition. (TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)

For those wishing to keep track, the very first Pekingese winner was Chik T’Sun of Caversham in 1960. Then came St. Aubrey Dragonora of Elsdon in 1982. And Wendessa Crown Prince waddled off with the crown in 1990. Then of course, 22 long years later, there was Malachy. So yes, Wasabi has the best name of all of the Pekingese winners, by quite a long way.

Enjoy that win, you spicy little fluff-monkey.

Copyright 2021 KQED