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Avoca Pooch Named ‘grand Champion’

December 16, 2018
Avoca Pooch Named ‘grand Champion’

AVOCA — An English bulldog from Avoca is one of the latest dogs to be recognized by the American Kennel Club.

Success at dog shows has put 2-year-old Elsa, owned by Joe and Laura Alexander, on a coveted list: Grand champion dogs recognized by the group.

The “grand champion” designation is a career accomplishment for a dog, said Steve Griffith, National Dog Show spokesman.

Dogs earn points by defeating other dogs of the same sex and breed at shows, according to the website for The National Dog Show.

Over time, they can earn enough points to be named a champion and later, a grand champion. On Nov. 18, at a show in Philadelphia, Elsa broke the threshold when the Bulldog Club of Philadelphia deemed her the best female in her group.

The hunt for that designation has been a long time in the making. Joe and Laura Alexander have puts lots of time and effort into showing Elsa. She’s been to many dog shows, including the famous Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City.

The bond with his dog and people he meets at the events have kept Joe Alexander coming back to shows. Instead of hiring a professional handler to walk and show the dog, Laura is Elsa’s handler, and the couple works together to raise her. That makes success that much more satisfying.

Joe Alexander grew up in a family with dogs and has loved them since he was a child. When he and Laura married, they got a boxer. Now that they’re older, they have downsized to a bulldog.

“It’s the best thing we ever did,” he said. “They have personalities like no other breed I’ve met in my life.”

For example, English bulldogs have a comical air about them, he said.

“The way they are built. They’re built chunky, like that. The way they walk and their expressions. They’re very lovable and great with kids. Maybe that’s another reason why she’s so special. We don’t have any kids,” he said. “She’s like our baby.”

Contact the writer:

bwellock@citizensvoice.com

570-821-2051, @CVBillW

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