He took on competition that was much bigger and much faster, but in the end the judges decided Malachy, a Pekingese with a long mop of fur framing his funny little pushed-in face, was the top dog in the land and gave him top honors at the Westminster Kennel Club show in New York.
"While his six competitors sped around the ring at Madison Square Garden, Malachy moved so deliberately that he only had to make a half circuit on the green carpet. It did not matter. Beneath his long coat and lion's mane — and behind that distinctive pushed-in face — was the club's ultimate champion.
"The judge, Cindy Vogels, put Malachy ahead of a German shepherd, a Dalmatian, a Kerry blue terrier, a Doberman pinscher, a wire-haired dachshund and an Irish setter who gave birth to 15 puppies last May (using the frozen semen of a long-dead sire) and had just returned from a year's maternity leave.
"'He's a super dog who had a stupendous night,' Vogels said of Malachy."
Now, don't get Malachy wrong, the 4-year-old, 11-pound marvel is no stranger to victory. The AP reports this is Malachy's 115th "overall best in show title."
The AP also notes that a best in show win at Westminster doesn't earn Malachy a cent. Instead, he gets to first parade through a bunch of interviews over the next few days and then head back home to East Berlin, Pa., where he'll be a hot breeding commodity.
"He'll probably chase squirrels and he'll be pampered," David Fitzpatrick, his handler, told the AP.