Ask a Westminster Mutt Show Champion: Andy Cairo
Andy with his human and co-winner, Dan Cairo, interim assistant dean of students and director of the Student Diversity and Inclusion Center
by Ashley Atwood (’07)
The Westminster Mutt Show became an instant tradition when it debuted at the 2017 Westminster Weekend. Held during the family lunch, this fun competition showcases the talents (and cuteness!) of the campus community’s canine pals. We asked Andy, two-time winner in the “Best Dog/Owner Look-alike” category, to share his thoughts on the event.
How does it feel to be a two-time champion? Do you have a plan for defending your title in 2019?
“Oh, it feels great! Almost as good as getting my belly rubbed. Almost. It is good to know the world adores me—humans can’t resist my charms. I must compete again, as I can’t deprive the Westminster humans of my presence. They want someone to love, and I will gladly answer the call.”
You impressed the judges with your keen eye for sharp outfits. How do you convince Dan to dress like you?
“With everything that I do for Dan, he can’t refuse my requests. I am his gym coach, study buddy, therapist, protector-from-squirrels, sidewalk guardian—I even let him sleep on my bed. I practically have Dan wrapped around my paw. Even though I know Dan will never look as good as me in my fabulous outfits, I still let him play. Bless his heart.”
Do you have any event-day superstitions or traditions?
“Being a competitor requires delicacy and attentiveness. I must say ‘hi’ to every human and smell every flower and dog in sight. A true competitor must walk the perimeter and sniff out the competition; when you find their scent, you mark it and make it your own. You must own everything. That is how winners stay ahead: by letting humans love you and defending your territory no matter what. Unless it’s against a chicken. I don’t like chickens.”
What tips do you have for young pups who are just starting out at the Westminster Mutt Show?
“Compete in a category you can win. Not mine. I don’t share my food or my humans—well, I don’t like sharing my Dan; my other human, Derrick, is up for grabs. Squirrel! What was the question? Oh yes, you’d like to pet me? Sure, go for it.”
The third annual Westminster Mutt Show will be held on Saturday, September 21, at 1:30 p.m., on Richer Commons. Take on Andy and Dan in “Best Dog/Owner Look-alike,” or enter to win “Best Trick,” “Best School Spirit,” or “Best Wag.” Register your crowd-friendly, well-behaved dog for any (or all) show categories here.
Andy’s Instagram: @muggle_born_cairo
About the Westminster Review
The Westminster Review is Westminster College’s bi-annual alumni magazine that is distributed to alumni and community members. Each issue aims to keep alumni updated on campus current events and highlights the accomplishments of current students, professors, and Westminster alum.