Smithey, 35, breeds, boards and shows dogs all over the world, for himself and for clients, but Whiskey, and his sister Bourbon, have an inside track. They get to stay in the master’s suite, and sleep on his bed.
Bourbon has also triumphed at national competitions, making the brother and sister an unusual pair of littermates. (Whiskey was scheduled to be on Good Morning America this week, but sister Bourbon planned to compete elsewhere and couldn’t make the date.)
Smithey drives to competitions, and put 60,000 miles on his Ford Transit high-roofed cargo van this year. Whiskey travels with him, in a crash-proof crate with an orthopedic mattress.
Whiskey tolerates the driving but enjoys the shows, said Smithey. “His personality -- in addition to his good looks -- have helped him,” said Smithey. “He’s a very relaxed, easy dog, he knows when to rest whenever we’re not showing.”
But when the lights come on, the three-year-old is ready. “I can ask him to look alert and he will snap right back into it.”
It can be expensive to show dogs, but this season Whiskey has earned his keep. The prize for Best in Show at the AKC competition is $50,000; Whiskey won another $16,000 in other categories.
Also known as GCHP CH Pinnacle Tennessee Whiskey, Whiskey is co-owned by Dr. Ken Latimer, professor emeritus of veterinary medicine at the University of Georgia.