“People are always making fun of Pekingese — ‘Why is your dog so slow?’ or, ‘Your dog looks like a mop,’” Fitzpatrick said. “People will say things right to my face. I say, ‘You wouldn’t appreciate a Pekingese. They’ve appealed to people of good taste for hundreds of years.’ It goes right over their heads.”
Other contestants jogged enthusiastically into the ring last year; Wasabi was carried in Fitzpatrick’s arms, entitled as an emperor. But the best in show judge, Patricia Craige Trotter, saw the dog’s star quality immediately.
“On this evening he could not be denied,” Trotter said by phone. According to the rules of the show — that the winner is the dog that best embodies the perfect version of its breed — Wasabi was the runaway champion.
Part of it was how closely he adhered to the Pekingese standards, approaching peak Peke with his pear-shaped body, splendid coiffure, high-set tail, cunning leonine face, rolling gait and his front half than his back half. He did truly resemble a “little lion,” as the breed is meant to, Trotter said.