“I’d love to tell you who this dog is, but I haven’t got a clue,” said one perplexed Channel 4 announcer while watching an unusual performance this year at Crufts, the annual dog show held by the Kennel Club in Birmingham, England. But we can tell you exactly who it is: It’s Kratu, the Romanian dog who steals the show at the agility course every year. He’s a Carpathian-Mioritic mix who was rescued as a puppy by his handler, Tessa Eagle Swan.
This is Kratu’s last year at Crufts before retirement, and he made it count, getting up to his old tricks of sniffing and hiding in tunnels and general waywardness before pulling off a spectacular heist right before our eyes. “That’s definitely against the rules,” says one announcer, after Kratu grabs the pole from one of the hurdles in his mouth instead of jumping over it. “That has to be a few faults, that,” says the other as Kratu barrels off with his prize.
You fools! Kratu knows nothing of your “rules.” Kratu cares not for your “faults.” Kratu is a free spirit, feeling only the wind in his fur, thinking only of playing fetch with his very big stick, hearing only the cheers of the crowd who have come all this way specifically to see Kratu. Kratu is a star.
We at Slate wish Kratu a very happy Kratirement.