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Pets go on parade at Chambersburg event

July 23, 2002|by STACEY DANZUSO

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - All it took were a few slices of hot dog to get rescued greyhounds Brooks and Nike to jump over a hurdle and take a bow and win the Best Trick category at Monday's annual ChambersFest Pet Parade.

Kent and Pam Roberts, of Shippensburg, Pa., said this was their first time at the Pet Parade, a staple of ChambersFest activities for at least a decade.

The couple has had Brooks, who spent the first three years of his life racing at Wheeling (W.Va.) Downs, for about 18 months. Nike has been with them for six months, after racing for two years at a track in Orlando, Fla., Kent Roberts said.

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"They are an independent breed. Both are food motivated - they will work for food," he said.

It took them less than six weeks to learn to jump over the hurdle, Pam Roberts said.

Brutus, a 3-year-old bloodhound who works as a search-and-rescue dog when he isn't winning prizes at the local competition, took home first place in both the Best Costume and Best in Show categories Monday.

Owner and handler Dianne Fissel, of Chambersburg, said dressing Brutus in a cape and hat similar to Sherlock Holmes only made sense.

"He is a search dog," she said.

This wasn't the first time Brutus won Best Costume in the Pet Parade. As a puppy, Fissel said he also took top honors with a similar costume.

The majority of the 38 entrants in the Pet Parade were dogs, although Robert Wardzinski took first place in the category for smallest pet with his baby gerbils that were born only hours earlier.

The annual contest drew more than 200 onlookers, including some like Donna Warren who return year after year.

Warren dresses up Cookie, a Saint Bernard, every year for the Pet Parade.

Cookie had a hard time keeping on her crown while dressed as a fairy princess, complete with yards of tulle and a tutu.

"I really like to have fun with it. I like making costumes, and she doesn't mind," said Warren, who has also dressed up Cookie as a bumblebee, a ladybug and an angel.

While some owners had trouble getting their pets to perform tricks, Patty, a cocker spaniel, willingly caught peanut butter doggie treats in her mouth thrown by Annette and Zoe Holland of Chambersburg.

"She's a natural when it comes to food," Annette Holland said.

She said last year she and her husband, Matt, brought just Zoe, 21/2, to watch the pets, but they decided to bring Patty this year and let Zoe walk her in the ring around the judges.

Patty took third place in the Best Trick category.

Judges included Dave Sciamanna, Bill Pukmel, Franklin County Commissioner Cheryl Plummer and Judge Carol Van Horn.

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