Elderly Lab Mix Wins Top Award at First American Rescue Dog Show

Animals - Deborah Hastings

A year ago, Jackie was on her last leg and scheduled to be put down after her owners dropped her at a rescue shelter.

Now, she's an award-winning canine.

The 11-year-old black Lab mix recently won the first American Rescue Dog Show, a Westminster-style competition for shelter dogs.

Jackie, with a sweet face liberally spotted with gray, wowed the judges with her spirited gait and youthful exuberance, despite being elderly. 

She first took the ribbon for Best in Senior, then went on to win the contest's top honor.

Owner Debbie Bloom looked thunderstruck when Jackie's name was called not once, but twice, at the contest televised by the Hallmark Channel.

"Oh my God," she said as she walked Jackie over to the judges. Bloom collected a very big winner's cup and Jackie gave a vigorous tongue bath to the face of a judge who bent down to pet her.

Bloom adopted Jackie from A Purposeful Rescue shelter in Los Angeles. 

She fit right in with Bloom's children and three other rescue dogs. She is a snuggler and an avid swimmer and "has never met a person or dog that she didn't like," Bloom said.

"Since she has arrived, she has rarely left my side," she added. "It sounds cheesy, but her favorite thing to do is to sit and stare into your eyes. It's like she just wants to connect."

Jackie is in love with a stuffed flamingo she takes everywhere. When it's not in her mouth, she uses it as a pillow.

Her favorite treat is broccoli, said Bloom. Yes, broccoli — but only cooked broccoli. In anticipation of the green vegetable, she says Jackie "runs and spins in circles."