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Each February, thousands of people travel to New York City for either Fashion Week or The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. But for some, these two worlds collide.

Flynn, the 2018 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Best in Show, took to the runway this year. On Feb. 7, he strutted his stuff at the American Heart Association’s® Go Red For Women® Red Dress Collection® 2019 fashion show.

Red lights flashed and music pounded as the Bichon Frise trotted out onto the runway on Thursday night. As the only four-legged model, he was an immediate crowd favorite. Attendees roared with cheers and laughter at the sight of the famous white dog.

Who better to accompany Flynn down the runway than a dog-lover herself? Flynn was paired with actress and model Bo Derek, who says dogs have always played an important role in her life.

“Dogs are part of my earliest memories as my family always had dogs and I can’t imagine my life without them,” says Derek. “When I think of the important moments of happiness and sadness, my dogs were there for me.”

Highlighting the Health Benefits of Dogs

Gail Miller Bisher, director of communications at Westminster, emphasizes Flynn was not part of the show as a fashion accessory. Flynn was chosen to participate in order to represent the ways dogs help reduce stress and improve human health.

“What I’ve always known in my gut has been confirmed by science,” Derek says. “Dog owners live longer, have lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and we’re happier.”

She has seen firsthand the benefits dogs can provide.

A motorcycle accident left her stepson, Russell,  a quadriplegic. However, after training a Doberman Pinscher to be a therapy dog, his life changed.

Derek has had as many as a dozen dogs at once and has her own line of pet care products, so she was overjoyed to accompany Flynn in showing the health benefits of dogs.

After walking the runway, Flynn will make a guest appearance at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show on Saturday.