pippa the Papillon likes nothing better than rolling about in the mud.
But she was shiny clean and looking her best when she picked up a coveted Best of Breed award at the Crufts dog show at the weekend.
And her owner Jennifer Smith (35), from Kirkcaldy says she is still in “a bit of daze” at her success.
Pippa, or Papplewick Pretty in Pink at Adinaken, to give her her full title, has won many trophies since she first became a show dog at just six months old. But, still aged just 20 months and taking part in her first Crufts, this is Pippa’s biggest honour, and one her devoted owner is surprised to have won.
She was among 21,500 healthy, happy dogs at Crufts, presented by the Kennel Club, in the show at Birmingham’s NEC.
“I know she is a lovely dog and I hoped she would do well, but I didn’t think she would do that well,” explained Jennifer, a waitress at the Pancake Place in Kirkcaldy.
She also runs her own dog grooming service to finance her hobby which she has been taking part in since she was five-years-old.
Jennifer is following in the family paw-prints as her mum Kathy showed Papillons (named after the French for “butterfly” because of the shape of their ears) before her, and they have been taking part in Crufts since 1985.
Pippa saw off over 300 other Papillons from as far away as Moscow and Japan to win the best of breed category, after scooping the best Papillon bitch award.
“The judges commented on the lovely shape of her ears and her movement which is very good, and I was surprised that she behaved so well as it was very noisy,” added Jennifer.
“Papillons are not hard to show and all I do is wash the dogs the day before then spend about an hour grooming them on the day.”
Jennifer travelled down by coach from Edinburgh on Saturday with her mum and Pippa as well as her other show dog Lucy who won a third and fifth place prize in her category.
She said she was delighted that so many prizes had gone to Scottish competitors, with the overall Crufts winner from South Queensferry.
“When the judges announced Pippa had won I was totally shocked – it was all very surreal.
“She is just a normal dog who loves playing and rolling in the mud, and I am very lucky that she has done so well.”
Jennifer said she wanted to thank her employers and her boyfriend Steven Llewellyn for their support.