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C&O Canal towpath goes to the dogs

October 17, 2004|by PEPPER BALLARD

pepperb@herald-mail.com

WILLIAMSPORT - Trudy got gussied up for her day in the social scene: A white feather halo raised above her head, the 10-year-old bulldog prepared her best puppy eyes for her shift in the kissing booth, where just one swift lick from her lips would cost $1 for those willing to wear it.

Trudy was among 80 dogs and about 200 people who leashed up Saturday for Canines on the Canal, an annual Humane Society of Washington County fund-raiser at C&O Canal National Historical Park-Cushwa Basin.

While Trudy was helping to raise money for On The Rebound Bulldog Rescue, those who attended Saturday's event paid a $25 registration fee, which went to the Humane Society. With their fee, owners received a Canines on the Canal T-shirt, dog bandana and a goodie bag that included dog treats.

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Some dogs sported their Canines on the Canal bandanas once they received them. At least one dog, Brutus, wore Bush campaign stickers on his backpack instead.

But politics were not the main event at the fund-raiser. Under a light mist, dogs of all sizes, colors and shags competed to be named the best tail wagger, best vocalist and best beggar. Some competed in a musical skit and an owner and dog look-alike contest.

Dogs even competed to be seen as having the most likeness to the mayor of Williamsport.

In the talent show, a few dogs made it clear that wet grass was not part of their owners' bargains. Brutus refused to lie down on the grass even as his owner tried to coax him: "What did John Kerry do?"

Children raced dogs, which were lured into the race by a toss of a tennis ball over a series of short hurdles. Leah Peterson, 8, who was wearing a soccer jersey, said she thought she would have had a fighting chance in a race against a 1-year-old whippet. Still giggling from the race, Leah said she didn't win it.

Happy, a 5-year-old collie, was just happy to be outside and among other animals like herself, said her owner, Stacie Hood, 27, of Falling Waters, W.Va.

"She likes it so she can see other dogs," she said.

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