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David Fitzpatrick – A Life Dedicated to the Pekingese

Click here to read the complete article
98 – September, 2016

by Amy Fernandez

Everyone knows the drill. Standing at ringside with high hopes and visions of triumph then…the big name handler shows up and …show’s over folks, this guy never loses.

That was undoubtedly the collective reaction as the world watched David Fitzpatrick win his fifth Westminster group in 2011. After all, the guy has dominated Pekingese since the ‘80s, won the Pekingese Club of America specialty at least 20 times, and handled 19 different dogs to BIS records… so far. Therefore it may be surprising to learn that David had pretty much decided to retire Palacegarden Malachy at that point, because despite out- ward appearances, getting him in that ring was anything but easy.

A week earlier, like most handlers, David was totally preoccu- pied with Westminster. To quote John Lennon, life is what happens when you’re busy making plans. Apparently, Henny Penny was in charge of event planning that day. “My bitch, Henny Penny, had just whelped a litter so first thing that morning I took her out of the box to go outside. Most mothers are right there at the door clamoring to get back to their puppies, not her. She’s sitting out there waiting for me to come get her. I had no idea it was so icy. So there I am barefoot in my underwear and just went head over heels. Immediately I thought OMG I broke my arm!” He sure did. That led to his next horrifying realization. “OMG, I have to go to Westminster and show this great dog for these wonderful people
and I’m looking at my arm just hanging there.” The first hurdle was convincing the ER doctor to customize his cast. “I tried ex- plaining to him why I needed to move my left arm so he could only put the cast from my wrist to my elbow. He thought I was crazy, but he did it. Then I got home and discovered I couldn’t get my arm through the sleeve of my jacket with the cast. Luckily, I had a couple of new suits being altered so I measured my cast and called the store and told them to open up the left sleeve.” Crisis under control, sort of. “Then I decided to start practicing how to manage with the cast so I scooped up Malachy to put him on the table and immediately hit him in the head with my cast.” It took a few days to work out the basics.

Click here to read the complete article
98 – September, 2016

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