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Dogs hog the show at Pet Parade

July 22, 2003|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The annual ChambersFest Pet Parade was almost exclusively a dog show this year, though nothing like the one hosted by the Westminster Kennel Club each year.

The threat of thunder showers may have led to a smaller than normal turnout for the event, in which 18 dogs, one cat and a box turtle competed for top honors in five categories. It might have been six, but no iguanas, llamas or other unusual animals showed up to compete in the Most Exotic category.

The marquee event of the competition was Best Costume, in which about a dozen animals and some of their owners turned out in a variety of outfits.

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Sam, short for Samurai, an Akita belonging to Tammy Castle of Fayetteville, Pa., came dressed as a western gunslinger, complete with holster and six-shooter.

"He doesn't care. He's happy to please mommy," Castle said when asked if her dog minded wearing a cowboy hat.

Thomas, a well-fed 8-year-old Labrador mix belonging to Garry and Peggy Roberts of Fayetteville, came as a firefighter.

"This is his last hurrah. He's getting too old for this," said Peggy Roberts, who remarked that Thomas often dresses up to go trick or treating.

Caitlin Kwiatkowski, 12, of Chambersburg, recently returned from Hawaii and the souvenir grass skirts and leis came in handy for her and Lil, her Jack Russell terrier.

Cookie, a Saint Bernard belonging to Eric and Donna Warren of Shippensburg, Pa., is a five-year veteran of the Pet Parade and a past Best Costume winner. Cookie came dressed as a sorcerer from the Harry Potter series.

Eric Warren said Cookie had been a winner at another pet show in Carlisle, Pa.

The winners were, however, Awesome and Chase Elliott, a pair of bichon-friese brothers dressed as a bride and groom.

"My son is getting married next year and he's going to be in the wedding," said Sharon Foust of Pleasant Hall, Pa., Chase's owner. Tanya Glass of Chambersburg owns Awesome, who played the bride.

The prize for the biggest pet went to Gus, a Great Dane owned by Sharan Carbaugh of Chambersburg. Carbaugh brought another Great Dane, Sophie, but said, "She's only here for some socializing."

Gus, Carbaugh said, is a certified therapy dog and works with people in hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living centers and schools.

Smallest pet went to Joey, the box turtle entered by Josiah Wenger of Chambersburg.

Lucky, a cocker spaniel owned by Joy Kiefer of Fayetteville, took top honors for Best Trick, vaulting a bamboo pole and catching a tennis ball. The other entrant, a beagle named Tessie, appeared to suffer some stage fright while attempting to do a trick owner Sonja Boatman of Chambersburg described as "sitting pretty."

"She does it in my kitchen all the time," Boatman said.

A shitzu-bichon named Charlie Brown won best of show. Eight-year-old Carley Bricker of Chambersburg pushed the 5-month-old pup, both dressed in red, white and blue, around the gazebo of United Towers Park in a baby stroller for the approval of the judges and a crowd of about 200 human and canine spectators.

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