Chris Beauregard said he and his wife, Jennifer, have taken Ponce to Piedmont Park nearly every day since she was a puppy.
The couple, who lives just outside the park’s gates, was taken aback by Ponce’s victory over “lots of incredible dogs,” Beauregard said. But he thinks judges saw her as a kind dog who “portrays the ambassador of Piedmont Park.”
Judges observed the canines sit, walk, engage in free-style and play among other dogs. For the free-style portion, Ponce spun around and jumped up to get a Frisbee at Beauregard’s direction.
They’ve had a lot of time to practice. Beauregard got Ponce from a breeder in Dublin, Georgia, when she was about 10 weeks old. The Virginia native’s sister raised Dobermans and he fell in love with the breed, despite the bad rap they sometimes get, he said.
Ponce will retain the Dog of the Year title for one year, starting Aug. 1. She will also become the park's "spokes-dog," serving as the mascot at events at its dog park.