Afghan Hound’s Miraculous Recovery Earns Spotlight at Westminster Dog Show


Less than three years ago, Mary Ann and David Giordano were caught in an emotional struggle, nursing their beloved Afghan hound Frankie back to health in the quiet comfort of their living room. Withstanding the bleak prognosis of severe kidney problems triggered by an unfortunate bout of Lyme disease, they devoted themselves to the care of their ailing companion, laying on the floor beside her, coaxing the subdued canine to eat.

Despite the tick-replenishing medication, Frankie’s health had taken a downward spiral, and the stoic veterinarians, accustomed to the most challenging scenarios, were doubtful about her survival.

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However, Monday saw an extraordinary, near-miraculous turnaround in Frankie’s tale. The spirited hound, straight from a struggle between life and death, stepped into the spotlight of the Westminster Kennel Club dog show, her comeback complete and now primed for competition. It promised to be a formidable challenge, facing off with over a dozen Afghan peers, including the widely acclaimed Zaida, the reigning champion from the recent World Dog Show in Croatia. The stakes? A coveted spot in the next round of the prized, celebrated canine event in the United States.

The Westminster Kennel Club dog show, with its radiant display of canine elegance, stands as a testament to the profound, unbreakable bond between man and dog. An inseparable connection, wherein each entity dedicates itself entirely to the well-being of the other. This Monday, the celebrated show formed an exuberant backdrop as the meticulous grooming and judgement of canine prowess marked the onset of a journey that would culminate in the prized ‘best in show’ award.

Among the diverse finalists was Louis, the regal Afghan hound whose triumph over his peers, including Zaida, Frankie, and her littermate Belle, earned him the coveted breed title. With a handful of contenders selected, the remaining finalists would be chosen on Tuesday night.

Other notable competitors include the confident showman Comet, a Shih Tzu, touted by his handler, Luke Ehricht, as the quintessential embodiment of his breed, and the dedicated Sage, a miniature poodle, who according to his handler Kaz Hosaka, performed a full “100%” in the ring.

Adding vibrancy to the entrants were Yorkshire terriers no bigger than your hand, towering Irish wolfhounds, and an array of breeds including bushy old English sheepdogs, majestic mastiffs, and the unique, hairless Xoloitzcuintlis, among others.

And yet, amidst all the fervor and anticipation of the fierce competition, one spirited attendee, a Lancashire heeler named Mando, radiated a rockstar charisma that was appreciated by spectators and handlers alike. Making history as the sole representative of his breed, he basked in the applause of his solo appearance in the first-round ring.

The Westminster showcase wasn’t just about polished appearances and unerring poise. It was the backdrop to heartwarming stories of devotion and commitment like that of Alfredo Delgado and Maria Davila, who had journeyed with their French bulldog, Duncan, all the way from Juncos, Puerto Rico, and Valarie Cheimis’s dedication to her puli, Csoki, and its intensive grooming regime just to be part of the prestigious event.

In the end, the Westminster Kennel Club dog show became a triumph of dogged perseverance, none more exemplary than Frankie’s journey from being gravely ill on her living room floor to the limelight of the esteemed canine event. A story of devotion, love, and a never-say-die spirit that is the true essence of humanity’s millennia-old bond with their best friends.