Tie around the Rosie

September 10, 2004|by ANDREA ROWLAND

MERCERSBURG, Pa. - Pharmacist Deke McLaughlin of Mercersburg filled a prescription for success in The Herald-Mail's Pet Dress-Alike Contest - one Dalmatian, two red ties and a spotted mask.

McLaughlin mimicked his 7-month-old Dalmatian, Rosie, with a Dalmatian face mask. Rosie mirrored her owner in a matching red striped necktie.

"Since I don't have spots, I figured the only thing I could do was wear a mask," said McLaughlin, 67, who often wears a red striped tie to work as a pharmacist at Wal-Mart in Hagerstown. It wasn't so easy getting high-strung Rosie to wear the tie.


"We had a heck of a time getting her to stand still," McLaughlin said. "My wife finally held a bone up to her to get her to stand still while I slipped the tie on her."

McLaughlin earned $50 for the contest submission that three out of four judges chose as tops among the field of six entries.

Margaret Cronauer of Hagerstown and her 1-year-old Shih Tzu, Sophie, were voted first runners-up for their matching purple and red hats. Cronauer, 69, serves as "Queen Mum" of the Rubies with Hat-i-Tude Red Hat Society, and Sophie is the group's honorary mascot. Other entries included:

· Alice Metz of Smithsburg costumed as Bandit, her 2 1/2-year-old Jack Russell terrier and skipper key pup.

· Tom Tonseth of Hagerstown and his 12-year-old miniature schnauzer, Annie - who share a natural resemblance.

· Jeremy Dorsey of Clear Spring and his 8-year-old cocker spaniel and Chihuahua mix, Princess, garbed in matching striped hats.

· Art Cronk of Fairfield, Pa., dressed in a tuxedo that mirrors the black and white markings of his 5-year-old Boston terrier, Petey.

McLaughlin, a Mercersburg native who started his career at his father's Mercersburg pharmacy - the late Jack McLaughlin's McLaughlin's Drugstore - said he once wore his Dalmatian mask to work at Wal-Mart.

"It didn't go over too big with the manager," he said.

Rosie is the McLaughlins' second Dalmatian. They purchased the pooch in April from a breeder in Hanover, Pa.

"I think they're pretty spiffy looking. They're lively dogs. They're smart, but they demand a lot of attention," said McLaughlin, who walks Rosie around the neighborhood about three times a day. "And they love to be around people."

McLaughlin said Rosie often sticks her nose over the porch railing to watch passers-by on the street.

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