Effingham teen and her dog heading to Westminster

One of 18 in her breed.

Effingham teen and her dog heading to Westminster

EFFINGHAM, Ga. (WTOC) - In the quiet back yard at an Effingham County home, 15 year old Juliana Palmer is training for the bright lights and big city. Juliana and Mystique, a Kerry Blue Terrier, will be competing in the Westminster Dog Show in New York, Feb. 11 and 12.

“I’m a little nervous about it, but it’s definitely exciting.” said Juliana.

It’s something her mother, who is also the president of the Savannah Kennel Club admits hasn’t come easy.

Kathryn Palmer explains, “It’s been very difficult. It’s been a lot of work; a lot of hard work that Juliana has done, has put into her junior showmanship and really just perfecting her techniques in presenting her dog.”

Mystique is one of 18 Kerry Blues competing and she’s on a winning streak in previous competitions. When asked if she was hoping for the same kind of magic in New York, Juliana responded, “That would be incredible if I could because I got two best of breeds in owner handler one and owner handler group four.”

Mystique is not the only one being judged in the ring; Junior Handlers are under a microscope as well.

“They’re being evaluated on how well they present the breed that they have on the end of their lead. It has very unique expression and attitude and alertness that the judges are looking for so it’s really up to Juliana to bring that out in her dog.” said Kathryn.

Juliana says she trains for all that but doesn’t think too much about it at show time, “So when I’m in the ring, it’s like nothing else really matters, because when I’m in there I’m only focused on her and it’s like nothing else exists.”

The Savannah Kennel Club is holding a “Westminster Watch Party” at family is having a watch party Tuesday, Feb. 11 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. at The Five Spot on Broughton Street. All are welcome.

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