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Pampering pooches raises money and awareness for Humane Society

August 14, 2007|by ALICIA NOTARIANNI

HAGERSTOWN - Patti Littleton's Shih Tzus Toby Lee and Hannah Banana didn't really need a bath Saturday. They bathe every Thursday in the bathtub with Littleton's husband.

Even so, when Littleton arrived at the Humane Society of Washington County's Pampered Pooch Dog Wash and Yard Sale, she decided to support the group by making a donation for a bath for Toby Lee. Hannah Banana, however, is "very prissy," said Littleton, 33, of Boonsboro.

She expected that the petite white-and-black dog would choose to stand back and observe her companion's bath, rather than risk mussing her upswept bangs and prim white bow by joining in. But when Toby Lee entered the plastic miniature swimming pool to be washed, Hannah Banana enthusiastically leapt into the water after him.

"They are best friends. We don't have kids. They are our children," Littleton said of the dogs she shares with her husband Barry "Bear" Littleton, 36. She said the dogs have beds, couches, blankets and clothing, including Halloween costumes and a bikini for Hannah Banana.

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Margaret Becker, manager of volunteer programs, humane education and public assistance programs for the Humane Society of Washington County, said the Pampered Pooch fundraiser is meant to be a lot of fun.

"Dog people like to get together with other dog people, especially when they have unusual dogs. They like to show them off and have people 'ooh and ahh' over them," Becker said. "And I think the dogs enjoy each other, too."

Becker said she hoped donations for dog baths - ranging from $10 to $20 per bath depending on the dog's size - along with proceeds from the yard sale would bring in around $1,000. Officials could not be reached Monday to confirm the amount raised.

Martha Reid, 57, of Williamsport, took her chocolate-brown dachshund, Rosie, for a bath. Rosie spotted Linda Williams' similarly hued dachshunds, Daisey Mae and Lizzy Mae, bathing in the adjacent pool. Following the baths, Williams, 59, of Clear Spring, and Reid shared dog tales as the three dogs sniffed one another, then set off playing in the field of green grass.

Mary Haines, 64, of Hagerstown, took her dogs Oey Vey and Pepper to the fundraiser. She said she wanted to support an event that gets people thinking about adopting animals.

"The thing now seems to be going out and getting yourself some fashionable breed. People need to rescue animals. There are so many of them and they are just so sweet and they are the best friends you are every going to have," Haines said.

Lindsey Berry, 25, of Hagerstown, is a Humane Society volunteer. Berry said many of the dogs people brought to the event had been rescued.

"I think a lot of people are afraid of getting rescue dogs because they don't know what they will get. This shows how good rescue dogs can be," Berry said.

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