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Pets of all shapes, sizes and scents take part in parade

July 19, 2005|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The publicity machine was rolling for Tosca The Fairy Princess on Monday with trading cards and Vote for Tosca buttons helping the Italian greyhound outclass the competition and take Best of Show in the annual ChambersFest Pet Parade.

Tosca, whose trading cards noted that she is 13 inches tall, weighs 10.8 pounds and bats and throws left, also won in the Best Costume category. Part of her gown was made from the wedding veil of her neighbor's daughter, owner Mary Lou Hendrickson of Chambersburg said.

"They dared me to make a costume, so I did," Hendrickson said of her friends. She said her husband, Don, was in hiding.

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There were other worthy contenders in the costume category. A bloodhound named Brutus dressed as Sherlock Holmes in a deerstalker cap and cape.

"He actually is a search and rescue dog," owner Dianne Fissel of Chambersburg said.

Nadine Deardorff of Chambersburg and children, Katie and Cole, brought a small menagerie, including Molly, a Pomeranian in a St. Patrick's Day dress. Deardorff said the dog's outfit came from a store that specializes in teddy bear outfits.

Before the competition, the Pet Parade looked like it might be just another dog and pony show, because there were a lot of canines being signed up and VisionQuest was offering horseback rides for children. As the competition approached, however, pet owners began showing up with turtles, a leopard gecko, a mouse and at least one cat.

In all, 33 animals entered the contest at the park beside the United Towers apartment building.

Winner of the ribbon for the Most Unusual Pet was Alisha Rodgers of Chambersburg, who showed up with her 7-week-old skunk, Lily.

"She's de-scented," Rodgers was quick to note.

"It's my nickname," Rodgers said when asked why she had gotten a skunk for a pet.

Winner for Biggest Pet went to Lizzie, an Akita mix belonging to Lee Merriman of Chambersburg, although a number of larger dogs scattered around the park seemed to have decided to sit out the event. Heaven Mercier of Chambersburg had the clear winner in the Smallest Pet category with her mouse, Oreo.

New this year was the Best Kisser competition, with Lisa Rotz of Orrstown, Pa., getting licked by a lineup of puckering pooches.

Rotz decided that Peaches, owned by Melissa Knepper of Chambersburg, "was the most exuberant kisser."

"He just washed your face," said friend Judy Cross of Chambersburg.

Rotz is the owner of Doodie FREE Pet Waste Removal Service. She said she did not mind being the kissee in the contest and figured it was good publicity for her company.

Asked if business was picking up, Rotz said she had heard that one "a time or two."

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