About Me....

CH K-Run's Park Me in First - Uno 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. 

 Uno's 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 days old.

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 months)

  • #1 Beagle

  • #6 All Breeds

  • 28 All Breed Best in Shows

  • 1 Specialty Best in Show

  • 91 Group 1’s

  • Top Winning 15” Beagle in Breed history

  • First ever Beagle to win the 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 2008 Westminster 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 Shows

  • #1 Hound for January through May

  • #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)


Uno’s 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 Baseball games.

"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 just amazing."

"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 injuries.

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 afternoon. 

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 Uno.

 

     
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