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Pooches share the spotlight at Pet Parade

July 24, 2007|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - In recent years, the annual ChambersFest Pet Parade has primarily been a procession of pooches looking slightly perplexed at the costumes in which their owners have dressed them.

Take Handsome, for example, a Jackapoo in a junior Union officer's frock and kepi supplied by owner Diane Bielecki of Chambersburg. Handsome was likely unaware that ChambersFest started out as a way to mark the town's rebuilding after Confederate soldiers torched it in 1864.

Joshua Torzillo, 11, of Chambersburg and his pug, Cole, were dressed in Superman costumes, for the look-a-like category of the competition. Superman's dog, by the way, is named Krypto.

Like the Westminster Kennel Club at Madison Square Garden, the Pet Parade was an indoor event this year, having moved to Hawthorne Arena, the equestrian center at Wilson College. More than 30 entries - mostly dogs - were vying for honors in several categories from largest, to smallest to Best Kisser.

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Lisa Rotz of Doodie Free Pet Waste Removal Service of Orrstown, Pa., was once again called upon to be the object of canine affection in the Best Kisser contest. It was her third consecutive year, she said after getting smooches from about a dozen pooches.

While some dogs needed some coaxing and a treat to kiss Rotz, a golden retriever named Kasey had no such problem.

Kasey and 13-year-old Daniele Sipes of Chambersburg were both dressed in matching grass skirts.

While most of the contestants were mammals - at least one cat was in the parade - other members of the animal kingdom were also present. That included a turtle, two hermit crabs and a rooster.

"Silky chicken. It's a fancy breed of chicken," Hannah Misner said of her entry, a fowl named Feathers.

"I just had them as pets throughout my entire life," the 14-year-old Waynesboro, Pa., girl said. Feathers and his siblings, however, were raised for a science project, Misner said.

About 200 people showed up for the event.

Results were not available late Monday night.

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