Two Cities Argue Top Dog Bragging Rights

Austin and Belleville, Ill., say Uno, the Westminster-winning Beagle, is their hometown dog.

Austin, Texas and Belleville, Ill. are locked in what could be called a dog-eat-dog battle.

At issue? Which city can claim Uno, the Beagle who won this year’s Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, as its own.

Caroline Dowell, one of Uno’s co-owners, hails from Austin. “We claim Uno … even though he is seldom in town, apparently as he’s entered in shows all over the country,” wrote an editor at the Austin American-Statesman.

“Wrong. Wrong. Wrong,” writes Belleville News-Democrat columnist Wally Spiers. “Obviously, Uno is ours. Belleville also has a co-owner – Kathy Weichert – who was the breeder, as well.”

Spiers says Uno even visited the News-Democrat offices. “We fawned over him, took pictures with him, petted him, and even got him to yowl while standing on the publisher’s chair and desk,” he says.

Spiers contacted Weichert for comment. “He always will have been born in Belleville,” says Weichert, who explained that Uno’s dog show contract called for him to retire to Dowell’s home in Austin in 2009, even though Uno retired soon after his February win.

Now, “we really don’t know what will happen,” Weichert says. “He really is America’s dog.”

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