Local Heavyweight Seeks Title at Westminster

By Adam Chick

February 6, 2013 Updated Feb 7, 2013 at 6:50 PM EST

Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton) There's less than a week until the biggest dog show in the country. That means there's also 84 scoops of food between Vestal pooch Romy and the most coveted prize at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

The massive 260-pound mastiff, already considered a grand champion, will be vying next week for Best in Show.

Romy's paws are as big as an adult's hand. His food bowl -- which is filled 12 times a day -- can hold a basketball. His collar, which his owner specially made, is the size of a small child.

"His head's, well, this fits around my waist," said his owner Charles Bell, showing off Romy's collar. "You know, it's about 36 inches, 34, 35."

For those who come upon Romy unexpectedly, fear is an often result. But his owners say, he's just a big baby.

"He's a very needy big dog. He'll lay on the floor and put his head on my knee," Charles said.

Gentle giant or not, Romy is a sight to see.

"It varies from oh my God I love him! And they run up and they hug him! And it's like oh my God, thank God he's friendly," said Mindy Bell. "And then you have other people cross the street because they're scared."

But at about 260 pounds, even cuddling can be a chore.

"I was laying on the couch watching TV on a Sunday afternoon, and he literally climbed up on top of me and laid down like he was a blanket. And it's like you can hardly breathe," Charles said. "He just doesn't know. He thinks he's a poodle. But he's a gentle soul."

As a puppy, Romy's owners say the pooch grew nearly 25 pounds a month.

"So when you wake up in the morning and you look at him and say you grew last night, odds are, he did," Mindy said.

Romy is already considered a grand champion, having won enough times at lower competition levels. But Tuesday, Feb. 12 will be the biggest day of his doggy life. He'll be heading off to the red carpet at Westminster in New York City.

"He has as good a chance as anybody," Charles said.

He'll likely be one of the biggest dogs at Westminster. And he's got the name to match. It is officially: Grand Champion Mountainviews Sir Romulus of Coopnut.

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