Meet Sriracha: Local pup from Snohomish competing in Westminster dog show

SNOHOMISH, Wash. — A pup from Snohomish County is heading to New York to compete in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

Two-year-old Sriracha is a 12-pound Italian greyhound that will be competing in the toy category.

“She’s definitely got the ‘it’ factor,” said Sarah Evans, Sriracha’s owner, who lives in Snohomish. KIRO 7 caught up with them both in Kent on Saturday at a family member’s home before their big trip to New York.

Sriracha might just be leaving the puppy phase, but she is a little dog with a lot of accolades.

“She’s actually a grand champion and a dual champion,” Evans said. In fact, Evans says Sriracha is ranked the No. 2 Italian Greyhound in the country.

“I was training her at the airport right when I got her,” Evans said. And all their work is paying off. The duo is leaving for Westminster on Monday to compete in the conformation category.

“It takes a lot of their personality,” Evans said. “She looks at judges and says, ‘Pick me!’”

Evans’ whole family is headed to New York, including her parents, aunts and uncles.

“I was so excited because it’s like the Olympics, you know? Being in the Olympics for a dog breeder and handler,” said Margret Keckler, Evans’s mom.

In their category, judges will be looking at Sriracha’s walk, stand and overall appearance.

Evans has been showing dogs since she was 8 years old. Now, she owns a total of 10 — yes, 10 — Italian greyhounds at her home.

“They’re all spoiled. They’re all spoiled rotten,” Evans said. “It is challenging. It’s a labor of love. I do it all day long entertaining these little dogs,” she said.

Evans says some misconceptions people have about show dogs are the dogs aren’t normal or don’t like doing the shows, but she says that is definitely not the case.

“Oh, she loves it,” Evans said. “She’s really my pet first and foremost. She’s a beloved family member. She’s with us for life. This is something we do that’s really fun for everyone,” she said.

Sriracha’s competition happens on Tuesday. Other categories are already under way right now, in Tarrytown, New York — instead of its usual home at Madison Square Garden because of COVID-19 concerns.

There are no cash prizes at Westminster. But Sarah says if Siracha wins best in breed, she’s definitely getting a steak dinner.

Sriracha won Best of Breed at Westminster of 29 entered in Italian Greyhounds.