NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Wednesday was a whirlwind day for America’s newest top dog, Banana Joe.
The little affenpinscher with the shiny black coat and a bouncy step took top prize Tuesday night, winning Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden.
A day after his big victory, the 5-year-old pooch began his media tour, strutting his stuff Wednesday on several morning talk shows, including WLNY’s “The Couch.”
Then it was off to Sardi’s, where he was treated to a steak lunch served on a silver platter – a post-Westminster tradition for all Best in Show winners.
PHOTOS: Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show
“He’s just being wonderful,” said handler Ernesto Lara. “I think it’s just a great thing for this breed to be showcased this way. It’s a wonderful breed.”
Later Wednesday, Banana Joe was to head to the theater — not to see a show, but to star in one.
Banana Joe will appear for one night only in “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” on Broadway, the Roundabout Theatre Company said.
The role requires very little: He’ll be carried by an actress as she appears to bolt from the theater.
Banana Joe’s victory celebration won’t end Wednesday. He’ll help ring the opening bell Thursday at the New York Stock Exchange.
After that, Lara said Banana Joe will embark on a ”quiet retirement.”
Affenpinscher owner Helen Nicoll said it’s unlikely the toy breed will become the next “it” dog in the city.
“Probably not, because they’re hard to breed,” she told CBS 2′s Vanessa Murdock. ”They don’t come from a large litter. Maybe you get two or three.”
But Nicoll said she hopes Banana Joe’s win will get the rare breed some positive attention.
“People come up to me and say ‘what is that?’” she told Murdock.
One dog owner said Banana Joe’s win put the rare breed on his radar.
“They seem to be such amazingly bright dogs,” West Village resident Beau Dannenberg told Murdock.
The affenpinscher is known as “Monkey Terrier” in Germany, and their nickname in France is “little devil with a mustache.” They are one of the most ancient of the toy breeds, and originated in central Europe.
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