Neighborhood: Longbeach Village
Neighbor since: 2009
His formal name is Champion Arden Blue Lightning.
But you can call him Jasper.
The English setter, who will turn 4 next month, has entered more shows than his owner, Verna Ritter, can count, even earning the title of “champion.”
His biggest victory came earlier this year, in the Clearwater Kennel Club’s show in Ocala. That’s where his cousin won Best in Breed, and Jasper won Best of Opposite Sex. He beat several well-known dogs to win the title.
Jasper was a natural the first time he entered a show ring when he was 6 months old. He learned how to walk around the ring quickly and looked the part of a show-quality English setter.
“Show-wise, he’s got a gorgeous coat,” Ritter said. “He’s got a great neck and head and shoulders. Everything about him is standard.”
Jasper enjoys everything about entering shows — from the attention he gets in the ring, to walking around show grounds.
“I guess it’s kind of like a special celebration for him,” Ritter said.
When he isn’t at shows, Jasper pursues typical dog interests. He enjoys going for walks and car rides and hanging out with other dogs in the Longbeach Village.
Outside of the show ring, he pulls off an incredible feat when Ritter hosts Longbeach Village Association meetings at her home: Jasper watches the meetings from the backyard and barely barks, even as dozens of people gather in the garage.
IN HIS OWNER’S WORDS:
“His tail wags the whole time. If you have a dog that doesn’t like it, he’ll never win anything.”
— Verna Ritter, on Jasper’s attitude toward dog shows