Screen Shot 2014-02-28 at 2.43.20 PMNathan the Bloodhound from Mint Hill won the hearts of all the spectators at Madison Square Garden in New York City earlier this month making every- one smile at his antics in and out of the ring. Three year old Grand Champion CH Flessner’s Internation- al S’Cess, better known at home as “Baby Nathan,” won the breed and went on to be the first Bloodhound to win the Hound Group at the 138th Westminster Kennel Club show and ad- vance to Best in Show.

Nathan was clearly the fans’ favorite and they let it be known as soon as the 135 pound gentle gi- ant put his big paw on the green carpet at the Garden. Their screaming and clap- ping every time Nathan’s droopy face appeared on the jumbo screen just made him that much more animated.

“Doing one of his signa- ture moves of a big down- ward dog yoga stretch as the judge approached even made the judge smile,” said Mint Hill owner Shirley

VanCamp. “Nathan also loves the girls and will sneak kisses before they know what is happening. The cheerleaders at the New York Knicks game where Nathan made an appearance found that out quickly.”

The kiss move was what originally brought “Baby Nathan” to the Mint Hill area and the VanCamp household. When trying to decide which puppy out of a litter of 16 she was going to choose, Nathan trotted over, looked up at Shirley and kissed the air. That signature move captured Shirley’s heart and he hasn’t stopped giving those big sloppy kisses since.

Bloodhounds are the old- est of the scent hounds and the one having the keenest sense of smell of any dog. Bloodhounds work in tracking police suspects (their testimony can be upheld in a court of law) and in search and rescue efforts. “Nathan is not just a show dog. We also allow him to do what he was bred to do which is tracking in

the field,” said Professional Handler, Co-Owner and Breeder Heather Helmer. “Nathan is currently the only Bloodhound with a Best in Show and a Man- trailing title (MT).”

All in all, this Blood- hound had a great West- minster and will continue his show career and man- trailing up and down the East Coast for 2014.