Marisa Schmidt of Hazlet is proud of her Japanese Chin—“Jr. Mint” to his friends.
The result of almost 13 years of breeding, Schmidt says Jr. Mint has a terrific personality and just loves to “show,” which will come in handy when he competes in the 138th Annual Westminster Kennel Club All Breed Dog Show in February.
“I’m so super proud of him, and he has the personality to match, so that makes it much more fun.”
The dog, officially known as Grand Champion Dizzy & Hapichin So Minty Fresh, will be among the nearly 3,000 dogs competing in 187 breeds and varieties in the show. Schmidt knows that to even make it this far is an accomplishment. But that doesn’t stop her from hoping that Jr. Mint does well in his category.
“Just to make the cut is a huge deal. His grandfather did and I was thrilled. I would love to come home with a breed with Jr. Mint,” she said.
Schmidt is no stranger to the
big stage. She competed in Westminster 10 years ago with Jr. Mint’s
Grandfather, Ch. Odessa’s Bandura CD RN OA NAJ, “Tony-O” to his friends. In addition, her German Shepherd, Draven, is the top
male of all time in agility, won the German Shepherd Nationals twice and is a
two time finalist in the American Kennel Club Agility International
“Some people don’t really understand dog shows,” said Schmidt. “In the public’s world, Westminster is the best of the best, and it really is because it’s so prestigious. But getting to Westminster is the culmination of all your showing.”
Jr. Mint’s Aunt, Kazi, is the only Master Agility Champion in breed history and both his sister Treasure and Aunt Chrissy were the dogs featured in the Louis Vuitton Fall 2012 campaign and are the dogs featured in Animal Planet’s Dogs 101 on Japanese Chin.
Schmidt is also a Certified Canine
Massage Therapist, Licensed Veterinary Technician, and teaches agility and
conformation show handling in her spare time.
She also massages dogs out of her home and is a full time Licensing
Brand Manager for Ethical Pet Products in Bloomfield.
While she loves breeding and showing dogs, Schmidt understands that it isn’t for everyone, and says the most important thing about having a pet is that you love it.
“I have dogs that I don’t show . As long as you cherish your dog, that’s the most important thing.”
The Westminster competition is in three parts, starting at the breed level. There are a number of awards made at the breed level, with the winner of the ultimate award of Best of Breed advancing into Group competition in one of seven Groups (Sporting, Hound, Working, Terrier, Toy, Non-Sporting, Herding). The competition runs Monday, Feb. 10, and Tuesday, Feb. 11. The Groups are televised live from Madison Square Garden each evening. The finals of the All Breed Show will be televised live both nights from 8-11 p.m. on CNBC (Monday) and USA Network (Tuesday). The winner of each of the groups advances into Tuesday night’s final event, Best In Show, where one dog is selected as Best In Show.