Fargo Woman Reflects on Experience Competing at Westminster Dog Show
Elizabeth Nelson took part in the competition back in February in New York City
FARGO, N.D. — When Elizabeth Nelson was a five–year–old growing up in Sabin, Minnesota her life changed when she first saw the Westminster Dog Show on TV.
“I’d go outside with my farm dog and I would play dog show. I mean that’s really where I first saw that you could do something like that,” Nelson said.
Her mom realized that Elizabeth’s passion for dog shows was evident at a young age.
“Once she got involved in 4H and wanted to be in the dog project. We made sure she had a dog to use for that, and it just kind of took off from there,” said Barb Nelson, Elizabeth’s mother.
Over the years, Nelson worked with several dogs in various competitions.
At first, the road to her childhood dream was a little bumpy.
“I was terrible at it. I continually lost a lot, and finally, I decided that I needed to make a study of how this all works, and what are the handlers doing, what are the dogs. Honestly, I put a ton of effort becoming a lot better with my next dog,” said Nelson.
When she first got her Doberman Pinscher, Krieger, five years ago, Elizabeth started entering him in various competitions, and the chemistry was instant.
After beating a handful of professionals, the duo ending up punching their tickets to the Big Apple.
Being in the bright lights in front of thousands did not phase Elizabeth.
“I really wanted the dog to have fun. It is a completely different atmosphere than I’ve ever been in. The rings don’t have barriers; it’s a rope, and there are tens of thousands of people surrounding the ring. He handled it perfectly. He had fun. I enjoyed it that much more,” said Nelson.
By achieving her lifetime goal, Elizabeth says her enthusiasm for dog shows won’t slow down.
“This is a passion for me. It’s not the most popular passion. I’m a total dog nerd, I mean it’s not even the competition, it really is the journey that’s the most enjoyable,” Nelson said.
Elizabeth and Krieger were the lone owner–dog combo from North Dakota that took part in this year’s Westminster competition.