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Monday May 21st, 2018 6:58AM

The Latest: Loosey-goosey Lucy the borzoi loves Westminster

By The Associated Press
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NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the Westminster Kennel Club dog show (all times local):

9:15 p.m.

Lucy was loosey-goosey at Westminster.

Two years after she finished second at America's top dog show, Lucy the borzoi won the hound group. She's sleek and elegant, but this show biz stuff is just "a game to her," handler Valerie Nunes-Atkinson says.

Lucy also is athletic — Nunes-Atkinson says she can easily sprint up to 30 to 40 mph.

A bloodhound made the final cut of hounds and got "a piece of the group," as dog people say. He was flashy, too, wearing a spangled warmup jacket outside the ring. No one was going to tell him he ain't nothin' but a hound dog.

And, yes, there was a dog named Elvis in the ring a few minutes later. He was an Italian greyhound in the toy group.

___

8:35 p.m.

Release the hounds!

Madison Square Garden is mostly full and lively as night-time competition has started in the groups. The hounds are up first, followed by the toys, nonsporting and herding dogs.

Monkey the basset hound was an instant crowd favorite, the way he looked as if he was ready to fall asleep while being checked by the judge. Magnum the 15-inch beagle was a typical beagle, not really wanting to walk in a straight line.

The Ibizan hound seemed more interested in smelling the potted flowers in front of her, rather than surveying her competitors. And the harrier was definitely determined to pick up any treats the greyhound handler next door might accidentally drop.

___

6 p.m.

Looks like you've got to have Heart to win the Westminster Kennel Club dog show obedience championship.

A Labrador retriever named Heart and handler Linda Brennan won the competition Monday for the third year in a row. That's every year the contest has been held.

About two dozen dogs competed. The event includes elaborate, six-minute routines.

Heart's and Brennan's had a "once in a blue moon" theme. The 5 ½-year-old dog fetched a crescent-moon-shaped balloon on a string and picked out crescent pillows from clusters of star-shaped ones. Heart also wove between Brennan's legs as they walked, among other tricks.

Brennan is an obedience trainer from Columbia, New Jersey. She says Heart "really sparkles in this particular setting," in front of crowds at the nation's premier dog show.

___

2:40 p.m.

For some breeders at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show, the sport is a family tradition. For Louise Brooks-Lowe and Stacey Hawkes, it was a bucket-list item.

After being laid off from their information technology jobs in 2007, the Londoners asked themselves what they wanted to do with their lives.

One answer: Bring a dog to the U.K.'s top dog show, Crufts.

One problem: They had never bred or shown dogs.

So they researched. They launched their kennel, Pugalicious, in 2008. Four years later, their pug Mac won his breed at Crufts.

On Monday, they were at Westminster to see of Mac's grandsons, Humphrey, compete. He's owned by Heidi Merkli of Ottawa, the Canadian capital.

As for the bucket list, Brooks-Lowe says "the dogs have pretty much taken that over."

___

11 a.m.

Patricia Hearst-Shaw has picked up another prize at Westminster, an award of merit for a French bulldog she co-owns called Tuggy.

Her Frenchies have done well here in the past and often have been "in the ribbons," as dog fanciers like to say.

Hearst sat ringside for the breed judging, a day after CNN debuted the start of its docuseries on the famed heiress titled "The Radical Story of Patty Hearst."

___

9:30 a.m.

A German shepherd that survived a brutal highway accident a few years is out of Westminster, and his show career might be over.

Fanucci was unable to walk into the ring Monday, the first day of two days of America's most prestigious dog show.

His owners think he might have been nipped by a playful puppy recently, or perhaps he shook his ear too hard and broke a blood vessel.

The 5-year-old was considered by many the nation's top German shepherd. But his left ear, the one closest to the judge, bubbled up and knocked him out of the competition.

Fanucci's right rear leg was shattered in 2014 when he jumped out of a van that was being towed. He was injured so badly his owners considered euthanizing him.

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