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Throwback Thursday: Uno wows Westminster, takes victory lap in Belleville

This Throwback Thursday goes to the dogs, or more specifically THE dog. Uno the beagle won Best in Show in February 2008 at the Westminster Kennel Club.

This is a good time to retrieve this one out of the archive, because Uno’s grandniece, Miss P, on Tuesday boosted the family honor by also claiming Best in Show at Westminster. Uno was the first beagle to ever win the show.

Back in 2008, Uno’s victory laps included having that March declared Uno Month by the Illinois state legislature.

He retrieved the first pitch at a Cardinals game. Fredbird tossed it for him. Uno follow that with a nap in a luxury box.

He was the first Westminster winner invited to the White House, where he met President George Bush and First Lady Laura Bush. They welcomed him in the Rose Garden, apparently unaware that a champion would never soil the oriental rugs. Laura Bush gave him a red, white and blue collar.

They had plenty to talk about because while Uno was born in Belleville, he lives in Texas. Fortunately, that president wasn’t the one known for lifting dogs by their ears.

And on Aug. 22, 2008, he did what all good sons do after they make it big; He went home to see his mom in the Fairlawn Terrace neighborhood, just off Illinois 158 south of Belleville.

Uno’s mother, Secret, paced and then welcomed her famous son excitedly. Secret was pregnant with another litter at the time.

The visit was cause for celebration, with next-door neighbors Lyle and Jo Rowden hosting a party to welcome Uno and breeder and former co-owner Kathy Weichert.

Many of the neighbors, especially the children, played with the newborn puppies and remembered playing with Uno when he was small.

“I have a good story,” Lyle Rowden said. “When Uno’s litter was born, Kathy told me beagles usually go for $600. If I wanted, I could have one.”

It seemed like a huge investment at the time.

Want to see more Uno photos or past episodes of Throwback Thursday? Visit us at bnd.com/tbt.

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