At the 2019 Westminster Dog Show, one Australian Shepherd named Trump won best of his breed, leaving some fans of the Westminster Kennel Club’s program to interpret the name as a political message of some kind. But Trump’s co-owner and co-breeder, Pat Zapf, tells TIME that the show dog’s name has absolutely nothing to do with the President of the United States. Actually, it has everything to do with a card game.
When the dog was born in 2012, naming him after the ‘trump card’ in bridge — a wild card which changes from hand to hand — seemed innocuous to Zapf, whose grandparents always played the game throughout her childhood. “But at the time, I obviously didn’t know where our political standings would go,” she says.
Upon learning his name, when people react both positively and negatively, Zapf isn’t bothered. “The dog doesn’t know that his name is a controversial topic,” she says over the phone, driving home through the snow to Pennsylvania after Trump’s successes in New York. “He doesn’t care at all. He wants his pets and cookies.” But sometimes, he’ll even have his absolute favorite treat, marshmallows—Trump “has a sweet tooth,” she explains.

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