Conway teen and her dog, Fonz, competing at 2019 Westminster Dog Show

Local News

CONWAY, Ark.-“I am beyond excited! There are really no word to say how excited I am. I am very thankful that this little pupper came into our lives and brought us a wonder of joy,” Ava Caudell said.

For the first time ever, a Conway teen and her dog, Fonz, are heading to New York City to compete at the nation’s top dog show.

The Westminster Kennel Club showcases hundreds of furry friends in different categories including Best in Show and Masters Obedience.

Ava and her dog, Fonz, have been competing in shows for years, and that’s what helped them land a spot at Westminster.

“He is a Standard Manchester Terrier. His weight must be between 12 and 22 pounds,” Caudell said.

Ava and her dog have been preparing and training for Westminister.

“It hasn’t really hit me yet and the shock but I know as soon as I step into the building I’m going to be like wow,” Caudell said.

Ava has already traveled across the country, showing off Fonz’s skills.

“I’ve been to Louisana, Oklahoma, Texas, Mississippi, Missouri and everywhere in the state,” Caudell said.

Fonz has already made a name for himself. The show dog is ranked 3rd in the nation in his breed against Terriers.

“It means a lot, there is really no word that can explain how thankful I am and I’m sure he is pretty thankful too,” Caudell said.

Ava is one of the youngest handlers at the competition. She’s also balancing training and homework.

“It can be really tough, but it’s still worth it at the end whenever I get to have fun with him,” Caudell said.

Fonz will compete in his breed, and if he wins, he will compete with a  group of Terriers, before Best in Show and The Best Westminster.

“I know he is probably not going to win anything because everywhere there is adults, but just the fact that we get to take him and get that amazing opportunity is just wonderful,” Caudell said.

While Fonz did not win, Ava said they had a great time competing. 

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