Local 10-year-old and his dog compete at Westminster
PORTLAND, Ore. - Anyone who's ever tried to train a dog knows it takes time and patience; yet a 10-year-old Molalla boy was able to get his best friend ready for one of the world's biggest dog shows in just 11 months.
Andrew Mueller does have something of a legacy in the dog show world. His mother showed dogs when she was younger, and his 12-year-old brother has been doing it for the last couple of years. This year, it was Andrew's turn at the Westminster Dog Show.
He was smiling from ear to ear as he and Stella, his 4-year-old Cavalier King Charles spaniel, arrived at Portland International Airport Wednesday.
"It was very hard, because there were a lot of other kids there," he said.
Andrew said Stella was a little fussy in New York City.
"She wasn't very happy. She was OK with being in the ring and being over there," he said. "She had to know how to walk on a dog leash so that she can be shown. And she has to like food so that she'll listen or motivate her."
For seven months Andrew and Stella spent as many as four hours a day to earn their spot on dogs' biggest stage.
"It's fun to go over there. It's something you can only do once or twice, because it's hard to qualify for," Andrew said.
And while he didn't bring home the $6,000 college scholarship this time, he's already planning a return trip to New York City and the Green Carpet with Stella.
He and Stella received 10 wins competing in what's called Junior showings, qualifying them for the Green Carpet.
Andrew, who has only been showing his dog for about a year, was competing with kids who were nearly twice his age and had years of experience.
Already Andrew says he knows what he wants to be when he grows up: a professional dog handler.