This man’s (Mr. Panatera’s) best friend


Tony Panatera

Mr. Panatera’s dog, Caesar, getting in show shape by working out with his toy.

Caesar poses for his fans (Tony Panatera )

He doesn’t do it to win. He does it out of love. 

Many know Mr. Tony Panatera has been a teacher at Mount Carmel for seven years. Few know about his love of dogs. In the past, Mr. Panatera has had two boxers but as of now, he has a male miniature bull terrier that goes by the name Caesar. “This one just turned a year old and is probably one of the smartest, nicest, dogs I have ever had,” says Mr. Panatera.

Mr. Panatera currently has Caesar in both breed shows and dog shows. “He has thirteen of his fifteen points and then two major victories to become a champion so he needs two more points.” Dogs will get points for first place, second place, and third place, but could also earn points for best of show and best of breed. 

In the Kennel Club, the contender can only have fifteen points as well as two major victories to become a champion. “Just recently he started to go to the shows in May,” Mr. Panatera notes. According to the registration certificate, his stage name is Aberdeen SpitFire or Fight For The Brown And White. 

Right now Caesar is in New Jersey with handlers, who wish to remain anonymous, participating in a competition hosted by the Morris and Essex Kennel Club. It happens every five years, and when it does people dress like the 1920s, specifically the jazz era, and host parties while the dogs are in their presence. “The show has been around for one hundred and twenty years,” says Mr. Panatera. 

“Caesar went to his first show with only one day of training and seemed to be a natural, ” Mr. Panatera claims. The training provided by the trainer is crucial to the dog’s understanding of what competition is like before actually participating in a dog show, but the dog needs to be well behaved and disciplined in order to succeed in any competition. 

Caesar goes to training once a week including practices for the actual show. “I don’t care if he loses or gets a point,” says Mr. Panatera, “but it’s just cool to see Caesar being active in things like this.” A show dog must be prepared for anything, but it’s the love and care given that truly motivates them to do their best.

“He loves going,” Mr. Panatera says, “whether I’m taking him over there or I’m picking him up.” Caesar loves the company of people, regardless of if he is moving around from place to place, and he is deeply dedicated to this life of being a show dog. 

When it comes to responsibilities it’s good to take part in caring for a dog especially at a young age. It teaches valuable life lessons, especially when building a bond with a dog. “He’s a good dog to keep me busy,” says Mr. Panatera, “and I think vice versa. He needs to be busy.” 

Only time will tell if he will succeed though it appears Caesar is on his way to becoming a champion supported by his loving owner. Motivated by affection and guidance it seems he will prevail. Regardless of failure or success, he is surrounded by family. All hail Caesar!