STOP THE PRESSES!!! One of the top competitors in the world has announced they will not be taking part in their “sport’s” biggest event. That’s right folks, top rated German Shepard, and favorite to win, Fanucci, will not be competing at Westminster.

As reported by ESPN, Fanucci, a five year old German Shepard, has a hematoma on his left ear. The condition apparently caused his ear to “flop”, which would likely hurt his chances with the judges. His ownership team made the call that he wouldn’t be shown in this condition, as it wouldn’t be fair to the dog.

Look, I get it. Sometimes these elite athletes need to be protected from themselves. We’re still talking about McHale playing on the bad foot in ’87, and how it really derailed the last years of his career. I, for one, don’t want to be watching the 2023 Westminster show and see a hobbled Fanucci limping around the sidelines, having moved onto coaching other dogs.


This a real blow to the world of Dog Shows, as Fanucci is one of their biggest draws. He’s coming off an incredible 2017- during which he won FOUR Best In Shows- a Fanucci Slam. He has definitively taken the torch as top in the breed from Rumor, who retired last year.

It’s been a real fight to the top for the champ. As I’m sure you all remember, in 2014, the up and coming Fanucci fell out of a van traveling at over 60mph, and broke his right rear leg. The injury required rods, pins and screws, and his recovery aided by acupuncture and massages. But he made it back to competition in just under a year.

Sidebar here- is anyone investigating this “ownership team”? How does a dog fall out of a van traveling 60mph on a highway? Like, really…how the hell does that happen? And they seem very quick to point how much they did to help his recovery…surgeries, hardware, acupuncture. Does that scream guilt to anyone else?

And now he has a hematoma on his ear. What’s the story here? They haven’t given any details, just that they don’t want anyone seeing the dog in this condition. So it’s bad enough that it would effect his chances and that they don’t want him to be seen. What was this dog up to? There is a lot to this story we don’t know. We, the dog show fans, demand, ne we DESERVE, answers.

Sidebar to the Sidebar- Are there really professionals who specialize in pet acupuncture and massages, or do you go to a regular acupuncturist or masseuse? I have to imagine it’s its own thing, because if I’m going to my  appointment, and a dog walks out of the room and then they call my name…I’m probably not going to be in the right mindset for the treatment. But, what a weird thing to specialize in. You must really run into some interesting people in that line of work.

How would you even know if dog acupuncture is working? Did the dog get better? I assume so, but that probably would’ve happened anyway.


Basically, I want to, on behalf of HTTA, wish the best of luck to Fanucci, and hope to see him return to action very soon. Also, bro….GET OUT!!!

red cross


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