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River Falls pooch does his showtime best

Jaqueline (Steinmetz) Johnson holds Australian Terrier Dunham Lake Scout Master or Scout, after he won an award for Best of Breed at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Scout belongs to Johnson’s father and stepmother, Tim and Jane Steinmetz of River Falls.

They say every dog has its day, and 4-year-old River Falls dog Dunham Lake Scout Master, or Scout, certainly had his day at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City on Tuesday, Feb 11.

Scout, an Australian Terrier, won Best in Breed at the prestigious competition, which owner Jane Steinmetz described as “the Olympics of dogs.”

“It was a thrill,” said Jane. “He’s kind of a once-in-a-lifetime dog.”

Jane’s stepdaughter, Jaqueline (Steinmetz) Johnson, is a professional dog handler.

When Jane and her husband, Dr. Tim Steinmetz (Jaqueline’s father) were looking for a new dog, Jaqueline told them that if they bought a show dog, she would love to show it.

So, Jane and Tim bought Scout as a puppy from breeder Theresa Goiffon of Dunham Lake Australian Terriers. Jaqueline has been showing Scout for about two years.

Jaqueline’s dog showing career began as a lifelong hobby passed down by her mother, high school chemistry teacher Terri Steinmetz, who trained her in dog handling. Terri and Jaqueline said this shared interest has given them a special bond.

“Not every mom and daughter get to have this kind of relationship where they actually look forward to seeing each other all the time,” Terri said. “Not everybody gets that opportunity to have the same love.”

Jaqueline, a River Falls High School 2008 graduate, earned a degree in biology from UW-LaCrosse but decided not to use it. She said many people liked having her show their dogs for them, so she decided to make dog showing her career.

Jaqueline has been to the Westminster Dog Show before, but did not win an award before this year.

“Obviously, going into it we were hoping for a win,” she said. “You never know if your dog’s going to show great. The good news about Scout is that he loves showing and he’s natural at it.”

For the complete story, please see the print edition of the Feb. 20 River Falls Journal.

Gretta Stark

Gretta Stark has been a reporter for the River Falls Journal since July of 2013. She previously worked as a reporter for the New Richmond News from June 2012 to July 2013. She holds a BA in Print and Electronic Media from Wartburg College.

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