- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 12, 2014

ST. JOSEPH, Ill. (AP) - One of the top dogs at this year’s Westminster Kennel Club dog show in New York City got his start in the small-town flatlands of eastern Illinois.

Nathan the bloodhound won the hound group Monday night, and back in St. Joseph the breeder who cared for Nathan as a pup couldn’t have been more proud.

Chris Flessner told The News-Gazette in Champaign (https://bit.ly/1iP9HKk ) that she couldn’t help but yell as she watched from her couch. St. Joseph is about 15 miles east of Champaign.

The 18 dogs who watched with her didn’t know what to think.

“I’m screaming and yelling and freaking out so loud, some of my dogs don’t know what’s going on,” she said.

Nathan is the first bloodhound to claim one of the top honors at the Westminster show, but he didn’t win it all. The winner was Sky, a wire fox terrier.

“Some judges don’t give preference to the big, sloppy hounds who don’t stop on a dime,” Flessner said.

Flessner and her husband, Bryan, have bred about 100 bloodhounds in the past 25 years. But they don’t send them to live with just anybody.

Nathan, all 135 pounds of him, now belongs to friends who live in North Carolina. They promise, Flessner said, to bring him for a visit this summer.

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Information from: The News-Gazette, https://www.news-gazette.com


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