Affenpinscher GCh. Banana Joe V Tani Kazari and his handler Ernesto Lara set off on the “Westminster World Media Tour” early on Wednesday morning just hours his big win at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show on Tuesday night. Besting more than 2,500 other dogs, ‘Banana Joe’ quickly made a name for himself and for his rare breed that many Americans had never heard of before Wednesday morning.
Banana Joe’s media tour began at “The Today Show” early Wednesday morning and ended on Thursday morning when he helped ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange.
- Appear on morning shows, including “The Today Show,” “Fox and Friends,” WLNY’s “The Couch,” “Anderson Cooper” and “The View.”
- Eat a steak lunch at Sardi’s on a silver platter.
- Visit the Empire State Building, where he wore the shirt of a stuffed gorilla sold in the gift shop.
- Make a cameo appearance on Broadway in a musical called “The Mystery of Edwin Drood.”
- Ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange.
Affectionately called Banana Joe, this champion Affenpinscher now has 86 Best in Show ribbons and will retire at 5 years old. The 137th Westminster Kennel Club dog show was his last show before returning to his owners, Zoila Truesdale and Mieke Cooymans, in the Netherlands. He was the No. 1 Toy dog of 2012 and also No. 5 all breeds. He is the first Affenpinscher to ever win Best in Show at Westminster. Handler Ernesto Lara said of Banana Joe, “This isn’t a breed you train. He is like a human. You befriend him.”
On Tuesday night in the Best in Show ring, Banana Joe bested six other other dogs who took Group 1 in their groups: American Foxhound Ch. Kiarry’s Pandora’s Box in the Hound group; Bichon Frise GCh. Vogelflight’s Honor To Pillowtalk in the Non-Sporting group; Old English Sheepdog Bugaboo’s Picture Perfect in the Herding group; German Wirehaired Pointer GCh. Mt View’s Ripsnortersilvercharm in the Sporting group (the No. 1 dog of all breeds in 2012); Portuguese Water Dog GCh. Claircreek Impression De Matisse in the Working group; and Smooth Fox Terrier GCh. Slyfox Sneak’s A Peek in the Terrier group. The Old English Sheepdog, a class dog, was a crowd favorite and an underdog — he made it all the way to Reserve Best in Show after being shown only four times and not even earning his Championship yet.