Let’s hear it for Winky, the Bichon Frise who knows what’s important!

Winky won rave reviews at the Westminster Dog Show for deciding that she was going to do it her way, and not be controlled by the show’s demands for speed and accuracy and ignored the time to beat of 40 seconds.

R. Eric Thomas says that Winky’a performance showed us that trying to conform to other people’s criteria is not the most important thing in life. We also need to be true to ourselves and savor the moment.

Winky, an adorable and resolutely laconic bichon frise, gave one of the most memorable performances at this year’s Westminster Dog Show. Like my career, it will be remembered not for its competence or brilliance, but for how proud Winky was of doing the worst possible job.

The agility course, a series of ramps, hurdles, and tunnels, is meant to be taken at top speed and with a gymnast’s precision. Winky looked at the course and was like, “Okay, see what I’m not going to do is break a sweat, though,” and set off on a leisurely trot through some but not all of the obstacles, pausing frequently for applause breaks and to just soak it in. Winky is out here manifesting that Lauryn Hill concert energy and it’s magnificent.

While the course is very impressive when done by a dog who seems to actually care, I actually found Winky’s “window-shopping at the mall” pace to be the most inspiring. Winky’s time to beat: 40 seconds. Winky’s actual time: 100 seconds with 92 errors. We stan an imperfect legend!

Perhaps most breathtaking are the frequent applause breaks Winky takes while atop an A-frame. Truly a “knowing one’s own worth” icon. If you can’t pause at exactly the wrong moment to pause, let people know they can clap for you, and then soak that applause in, then are you really living? Winky’s like, “There could be 100 people in the room, and 99 of them want you to finish the course but all it takes is one to start clapping to keep me locked in place, feeling my oats.”

At another point in the course, Winky has to shimmy in and out of a line of poles in an S-shape. Winky’s S is more figurative than literal, as our queen and ruler opts to skip poles willy-nilly—I presume because the poles didn’t spark joy. I want to be in the backseat of Winky’s driving test. “I know you said to parallel park but I’m just going to set the car here in the street and let you envision that it’s in the space. Thank you; treat please!”

I think Baxter the Wonder Dog and Winky would get along wonderfully. They both share the same priorities, that it is more important to stop and smell the roses than to get to the destination quickly.


  1. brucegee1962 says

    Our dog definitely sees herself as Best Dog. When the contractors came, we shut her in the guest room. But Best Dog cannot allow herself to be separated from Mistress! Mistress might be in Danger! So Best Dog began digging her way through the wallboard to get to Mistress. If we hadn’t come and rescued her after ripping off half a sheet of wallboard, we would have eventually found her in the hallway, wagging her tail and covered with dust and wallpaper.

  2. says

    When she stopped on top of the A-frame I laughed myself silly.
    Now I am crying, because I soo mis my doggie who passed away two years ago.

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