Ch. Rocky Top's Sundance Kid, Rufus to his friends, last night became the first colored bull terrier to win best in show at Westminster. My neighbor e-mailed me to ask what I thought about the winning dog, ending her message with a pictograph of an unhappy face. Her feelings probably mirrored those of a lot of people, but although I'm not a fan of terriers in general--too rowdy for my tastes--I've always liked bull terriers, with their sculptural heads and big smiles.
The bull terrier is an extrovert, a happy, outgoing dog. The first bull terriers, created sometime around 1835 by crossing bulldogs with the now-extinct white English terriers, were all white, but of course the genetic lottery ensured that some would have colored coats. By 1936, these colored bull terriers--which must be any color other than white or any color with white as long as white doesn't predominate--were recognized as a separate variety. Later, the miniature bull terrier was developed. Whatever its variety, the bull terrier likes to have fun in the ring, and Rufus did that all the way to a win.