||CH K-Run's Park
Me in First - Uno
Uno was bred by
Kathy Weichert and
Leah Bertagnolli. He was born
in Belleville, IL and his birth date is 05/05/05. His parents are
Multi BIS BISS CH Windkist a Walk in the Park
and CH Legacy’s Li’l Secret at K-Run.
sire, Parker, is breeder/owned by Leah and Secret was purchased from
breeder/judge Molly Martin at 16 wks and is co-owned by Leah and
myself. Even though this breeding was a 100% outcross in the first
5 generations, it reads like a who’s who in Beagles including such
all time greats as Parker, Ben, Judy, Chase, Lincoln, Hastings,
Prune and Dickens.
Uno came into this world a natural birth
with a brother and two sisters. He and one sister were kept as show
prospects. As they got to be around 8 wks old, Uno was very balanced
and correct but, was still the least outgoing of the litter (and, we
really didn’t need another male at the time) so, it was decided he
would go live with Lynn Conn, an Aussie breeder/judge friend of mine
in Kentucky. Lynn and another dear friend in Aussies, Jackie Bayes,
actually came up with his registered name taken from a “famous old
Aussie”. We thought if we were ever lucky enough to be “parked in
first”, he could be Number One, hence, Numero Uno and there you have
it. Lynn, Jackie and I kept in close touch and each time I saw him
he got better and better and his personality had blossomed in the
company of Lynn, Jackie and all his Aussie friends. We took Uno and
his sister to the 2005 Beagle National in Tucson at 6 months and 4
He and his sister, Avie (CH K-Run’s Park Me on Fifth
Avenue), were a big hit both in and out of the ring and that is
where the Beagle world first saw and fell in love with our boy.
Leah and I decided (and, Lynn graciously agreed) that we would send
Uno home from Tucson with Aaron Wilkerson and he would grow him up
and finish him. After that, we would determine if he was truly
Specials quality and take it from there. He finished quickly with
three 5 pt majors but, still had the gangliness of a teenager. At 21
months old, Aaron thought he was ready for some spot showing so, he
had me enter him on the 2007 January FL circuit. His third day in
the ring in Florida, he won his first Best in Show under Italian
judge, Ms Marina Guidetti. By the end of the FL circuit, he had
amassed 3 BIS, 9 Group 1’s and various other Group Placements. As
the saying goes, the rest is history and Uno never looked back.
Eddie Dziuk had approached me when Uno was young about owning him
and the decision was made to wait until he actually started his
career to see how he would be received. In February of 2007, Eddie
started building “Team Uno” and by March, it was complete. He
brought on the wonderful and gracious Jon Woodring of Lanbur Beagles.
Caroline Dowell would join the "Team" later. Of course, it
was never questioned who would handle Uno and Aaron remained at the
end of the lead.
In 2007, Uno was able to claim fame to:
#1 Hound (all 12
#6 All Breeds
28 All Breed Best in
1 Specialty Best in
91 Group 1’s
Top Winning 15”
Beagle in Breed history
First ever Beagle to
Pro Plan Top Showdog of the Year
Award for the Hound Group
AKC/Eukanuba Invitational Hound Invitee
and Group 1 Winner
In 2008 Uno Accomplished:
Best in Show at the
Kennel Club Dog Show (another
first ever for a Beagle)
First Beagle since
1939 to win the Hound Group at WKC
4 All Breed Best in
#1 Hound for January
#1 Beagle for January
Top Winning Male
Beagle in Breed History
Since Uno’s retirement in March 2008, he
completed his TDI (which means he is a
certified Delta Society Therapy Dog)
adventures since retirement were chronicled by Dog News magazine
earlier this year and we are happy to share some of them with you.
Retirement- The good life!
In becoming the first Beagle ever
to win Best in Show at the 132nd Annual Westminster Kennel Club All
Breed Dog Show this past February, Ch. K-Run's Park Me in First
("Uno") has launched a continuing worldwide phenomenon that can
only be described as "Beaglemania".
The Westminster winner has always
become America's Dog for the ensuing year, but this year is
something over and above any previous winner, with a visit to the
White House, appearances for charity events all over the country,
even "throwing out the first pitch” at a couple of Major League
"We have never had a response like
this to any winner in the past," said Show Chairman Thomas H.
Bradley, 3d, "The reaction from the sold out Garden was
unprecedented, and the follow-up from media and from the public is
"The general public is smitten,
and rightfully so," said David Fret, Westminster's director of
communications and longtime co-host of the USA Network's live
telecast of the show. "Uno is a dog that they have fallen in
love with, a dog that they can imagine sitting on the couch with
them at home. And their perception is correct: he is a wonderful
little guy, loving everyone and having a great time representing his
breed, his breeders/owners, the sport of dog shows and Westminster."
We should have known it was coming
by the noise level in Madison Square Garden greeting Uno when
he trotted into the Best in Show ring with handler Aaron Wilkerson.
And when Judge J. Donald Jones pointed at Uno, the building
was shaking to the rafters, matching any noise that the Knicks or
the Rangers could generate in any championship effort.
"I thought people were going to
come out of the stands and onto the floor," said Frei. "We've never
heard it like that."
President George Bush said pretty
much the same thing when 3 of Uno's owners and both breeders
and Westminster people visited with him and Mrs. Bush in the White
House in May. "We always watch the dog show on television," he told
the group "and this year we said that we should invite the champion
here, just like we invite the champion of the Super Bowl and the
World Series and all the other great champions of the sports world."
Following a "photo op" in the Rose
Garden with Mr. and Mrs. Bush, it was over to the East Room for a
gathering of 300 guests of Mrs. Bush. Most of the crowd consisted
of school children from the D.C. area, and four of the youngsters
read essays on why their dogs mean so much to them. Frei spoke to
the audience about the dog show, responsible dog ownership and about
Angel on a Leash, Westminster’s therapy dog program. Mrs. Bush then
led a Q&A, and Uno ended the program by circulating through the
crowd for lots of pets and scratches from everyone.
Following that, Team Uno and the
Westminster group traveled up the street to Walter Reed Hospital for
a visit with members of the military going through physical therapy
for injuries suffered in the Iraq war. Uno helped to lift the
spirits of these heroes, who are now facing great personal battles
after losing limbs, suffering devastating burns, and other tragic
Members of Team Uno are
participating in events as their schedules allow –Eddie Dziuk of
Columbia, MO; Kathy Weichert of Belleville, IL; and Jon Woodring of
Advance, NC plus an additional co-breeder (Leah Bertagnolli of
Ogden, ~ co-breeder with Weichert) and Uno's handler (Aaron
Wilkerson from Lugoff, SC), all from different states have been able
to attend many of these exciting appearances. Back in February,
Uno began his reign as America's Dog by appearing on the Today
Show, The Early Show, Fox & Friends, Martha, Fox News with Shepard
Smith, ABC's World News with Charlie Gibson, Charlie Rose, CNN
American Morning, The View, and Fox Business News Happy Hour, with a
15-city satellite television tour as well.
Being a “hometown hero”, Uno
was honored by Lt. Governor Pat Quinn (D-IL) with “Uno Day” at a
Chicago press conference on March 5 and State Representative Thomas
Holbrook (D-IL) proclaimed March, the “Month of Uno” at a dog show
in Belleville, IL. Uno also met with TX Governor, Rick Perry
(R-TX) and a few CA Legislators along the way.
His win was featured in Sports
Illustrated and Time Magazine with full page spreads, as well as
Newsweek, People, and many more. He was the subject of editorial
cartoons and magazine pieces around the world.
Uno and his handler, Aaron
Wilkerson, also rang the bell to open the NASDAQ Market on the
Friday morning following his win at Westminster's 132nd
Annual Show in mid-February and ate steak at Sardi’s that
Uno has visited with the
world's other famous Beagle, Snoopy, at his homes at Camp Snoopy at
Knotts Berry Farm in California, at Planet Snoopy at Cedar Point
Park in Sandusky, Ohio, and in New York City at Universal Media.
Uno opened the annual
Macy's Flower Show in New York in March and appeared at a Chicago
Blackhawks hockey game in April. He was invited to "throw out" the
first pitch at a Milwaukee Brewers game on July 12 and at a St.
Louis Cardinals game for Purina sponsored “Pooches in the Park” on
August 24. He will be the headline attraction at a fundraiser at the
AKC Museum of the Dog in St. Louis, MO in September. He visited with
pediatric cancer patients and their families at the Ronald McDonald
House in New York City and St. Louis, MO, and will be visiting
children at hospitals and other Ronald McDonald Houses in other
parts of the country as he travels. Uno made a guest
appearance with Ann Viklund (Purina Pro Plan Breeder/Enthusiast
Group) on behalf of Purina and Angel on a Leash at the National Dog
Show in Reading, PA in November. He will also be riding the Snoopy
float in the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Uno became a celebrity
"spokes-dog," for Angel on a Leash, along with the English Springer
Spaniel James, Westminster's 2007 Best in Show winner. Uno was a
part of “Angel” fundraisers on the Queen Mary 2 in dock in Brooklyn
in October and another red carpet event later that month at the Del
Mar Country Club in San Diego.
He has helped California dog
fanciers in their battle against the infamous AB1634 Mandatory spay
I neuter bill, making two trips West for appearances at rallies and
meetings, and to deliver financial donations from his owners and
from Westminster. Uno flies around the country on Midwest
Airlines, which has a program that allows him to fly in cabin (with
the purchase of coach tickets for him and his Midwest employee Susie
Kerwin, a longtime English Setter fancier, created the FAA-approved
Celebrity Pet Program, developed to accommodate medium size
celebrity pets in the cabin and is exclusive to dogs traveling for
appearances and competitions on behalf of Purina.
Indeed, it is good to be