Patty Hearst rockets to top at Westminster Dog Show

Rocket a shih tzu co-owned by famed and infamous heiress Patty Hearst is inspected by the judge in the ring during the toy group competition during the Westminster Kennel Club dog show, Monday, Feb. 16, 2015, at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Mary Altaffer | AP

Heiress Patty Hearst has gone from doghouse to top dog. Her Shih Tzu, Rocket, has won the toy dog category at the Westminster Kennel Club Show.

Hearst co-owns Rocket with Luke and Diane Ehricht, who have a kennel in Ohio and breed and show Shih Tzus.

The granddaughter of William Randolph Hearst was pardoned by President Bill Clinton in 2001 for crimes she committed after being kiidnapped in 1974 by a radical group called the Symbionese Liberation Army.

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"People move on," she said in an interview with The Associated Press. "I guess people somehow imagine you don't evolve in your life. I have grown daughters and granddaughters and other things that normal people have."

For more than 10 years, Hearst has been involved with the dog show world. Her French bulldog, Diva, won a red ribbon in 2008 at Westminster, the New York competition that's the biggest U.S. event in the dog realm.

Rocket will be one of seven dogs in the championship ring on Tuesday. While there is no prize money for winning Best in Show, the champion receives a ribbon, a silver-plated trophy and a commemorative silver bowl. Owners often make money from breeding their prize-winning pooch.

The Shih Tzu breed has not won the top prize in the history of the competition, which dates to 1877.