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For a dog to be shown at Westminster, just being a purebred isn’t enough. The dogs come from a long line of champions, are pampered and primed from birth, their parents chosen specifically to create the perfect breed standard, and are trained specifically for their chance to win the big show. They are fed only the finest foods, given 5-star treatment, brushed, fluffed, massaged, and coddled.
Unless we’re talking about Maverick, a purebred Weimaraner that entered the Westminster Kennel Club’s annual dog show last week. Maverick was found on Craigslist by his owner, Dan Stallings. Dan told ABCNews, “[He] was a rescue that was abused and neglected and in terrible shape.”
According to reports, the dog had been kept in a crate for years, in terrible physical shape, so thin his ribs were showing. The dog had chewed his own tail raw and was suffering from a nose infection when Stallings rescued him, probably saving his life – definitely improving it.
But this beautiful tale of rescue doesn’t end there! Stallings spent 5 months rehabilitating Maverick with proper healthcare, love, and socialization, before entering him in shows where he earned his Grand Champion title, and eventually taking the dog from Craigslist to Westminster.
In the end, another dog was chosen as the big winner, but Stallings is still beaming. “I am so proud of him for all he has done, and what he has become right before my eyes,” Stallings wrote in a story Life With Dogs. “I just love this dog to pieces.”
Our big congratulations go out to Maverick for his amazing journey from Craigslist to Westminster. And a big thanks go out to Dan Stallings for his part in saving the life of the beautiful dog.
Have you ever found a champion on Craigslist? Tell us your stories below!