The Nose of Tralee is organised by Pet Sitters Ireland and 32 animals are selected to compete in the final, one from each county. It’s not just open to dogs, there are a number of cats in the running this year as well as a chicken to represent Fermanagh. According to her entry, the chicken, who is named Minnie, will petition to change the name to ‘Beaks of Tralee’ if she wins.
Conan’s owner, Emma Curran, entered the competition on a whim but now that he’s in the final, she hopes that Conan has what it takes to be crowned the Nose of Tralee.
Emma said: I saw ad on Facebook for the competition and had a bit of time on my hand so I decided to enter Conan. I have another dog, Teddy, but I got Conan first so I decided to go with him and then I could enter Teddy if I decided to later on. I shared it a few times on my Facebook but wasn’t really too invested and then I got an email to say he was in the top three in Derry. It went through to the judges vote then,, which was tallied with the public vote and your written entry. Conan came out as the Derry Nose and I thought ‘Oh God what have I done?’
“I think part of the reason that I entered it was because I always argue with my friend over who has the cutest dog and I wanted to prove a point. I can officially say I’ve the cutest dog in Derry now.”
The humans who enter the Rose of Tralee are judged on their ability to be a good role-model for the festival and ambassador for Ireland. They also must have a talent, which they perform on stage at the official ceremony in Tralee. For the Nose of Tralee, however, the participants don’t need a special talent. Which is probably a good thing in Conan’s case.
“Conan is... unique,” said Emma. “It’s very hard to describe but everyone who knows him will say that he’s not normal. He’s very, very smart but he has a severe attitude problem. He can pick up tricks so quickly but it’s completely up to him if he wants to show off or not. Even my dog walker says she loves him but that he’s just not a normal dog. He’s so clued in to what’s going on around him. He hates the car with a passion so if he thinks he’s going to the car, he just refuses. Sometimes we’ll pretend we’re just going for a normal walk but he always knows we’re getting in the car. One time he was out with the dog walker and he spent ten minutes in the sea so he didn’t have to get into the car. He doesn’t even like the water! He’s so clued in and it’s just a bit weird.”
Conan’s bio on the Nose of Tralee website reads: “You want beauty, he’s got it. You want grace, he’s got it coming out of his ears! We have been taking his training very seriously, we have watched the last 15 years worth of Crufts to ensure he knows exactly how to show off his God given gifts. Conan has also been engaging in community work. He likes to keep a look out on the local area and keep the streets safe for his good neighbours who give him the odd treat for his diligent work.”
If Conan comes out as the top dog, he’ll win a €500 Tesco voucher, a dog photoshoot and a Pet Sitters Ireland voucher.
To vote for Conan, click here or follow him and his brother Teddy on Instagram at @herecomesdoodle. Voting closes on August 22 and the winner will be announced on August 23.