Numero Uno takes city by storm

March 5, 2008 4:15:40 PM PST
The most famous dog in America spends the day in Chicago.Lassie, Rin Tin Tin and Old Yeller have nothing on Uno, who became the number one dog in the U.S. after winning best in show at the Westminster Kennel Club Show in February 2008.

The Belleville-bred beagle was honored on March 5 when the day was declared Uno the Beagle Day in Illinois.

"I think it's important that on behalf of the people of Illinois that we honor and declare today "Uno the Beagle Day" in the land of Lincoln, in the state of Illinois," said Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn.

On February 12, Uno became the first beagle to win best in show at Westminster. He beat out 2,500 competitors to become top dog.

"Every dog has his day, Frank, you know that. But this is a special dog. This dog was born in a garage in Belleville, Illinois."

The 28-pound American Beagle is 2 ½ years old. He's won 33 Best of Show awards in one year. But, he wasn't always the leader of the pack.

"Uno was, believe it or not, was like the least outgoing puppy in the litter. He didn't want to walk on the concrete. He didn't want to walk on the grass," said Kathy Weichert, owner of Uno the Beagle.

Uno turned into a natural performer, according to handler Aaron Wilkerson, who said it has been an emotional honor to raise and train him.

"I would just like to first thank Kathy for giving the dog to me. It means so much. Sorry it's an emotional day. He's been a great dog. It's been so much fun," said Wilkerson.

Uno has probably been in his last dog show. But, somewhere down the line there will be some very special puppies- as Uno's tale is far from over.