You did, people. You did. Oh sure, Dharma the Wonder Dog and I were there, but it’s you all who went to the Cochecton Pump House last Saturday to help your pups strut their stuff at the first …
You did, people. You did. Oh sure, Dharma the Wonder Dog and I were there, but it’s you all who went to the Cochecton Pump House last Saturday to help your pups strut their stuff at the first (surely it will happen again) Canine Fashion Contest, produced by New York fashion show icon Lynne O’Neill and hosted by Melissa Gilbert.
Benefiting the Sullivan County SPCA, the event caught the attention of hundreds, who walked, pranced and barked their way to the very cool (IMHO) venue, dubbed the “Pup House” for the day.
Mobbed with four-legged (and human) participants, either taking part in the runway show or just out for a fabulous time, Cochecton was humming, and by the end of the day my dogs were barking, which means that my feet hurt.
With 50 participants walking the runway, and as many pooches enjoying the show, I was amazed at how well behaved the animals were and wowed by the cleverness of their outfits. Since the show was described as being about fashion, not costumes, many of the canine creations were hand-crafted, and several of the humans had matching ensembles.
Dharma sat on the sidelines as I joined the paparazzi photographing the parade of pooches, while Gilbert entertained the crowd with quick and witty repartee, beginning with some heartfelt words.
“Thank you for all coming out to the Cochecton Pump House, bringing your pups, your family and friends and for supporting the SPCA,” said Gilbert in her opening remarks. “I thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
She rose to fame in the popular television series “Little House on the Prairie.”
There were other notables at the judging table, including Stickett Inn co-owner Johnny Pizzolato, Emmy-nominated actor Becky Ann Baker, 2 Queens coffee co-owner Charles Wilken and FOX TV network casting director Clint Alexander.
We saw dogs in evening gowns and dogs in swimwear. More than one walked a fine line between costume and couture, while wearing wigs and prairie dresses in homage to “Little House” villainess Nellie Oleson, which left Gilbert momentarily speechless. “I’m not sure how to react” she quipped when the first “Nellie” appeared, replete with curly blonde hair and attitude.
When 17 1/2-year-old Lamonte took the stage in his get-up, Gilbert was even more flabbergasted, suggesting there was a bit of an “E.T.-dressed-up-by-Gertie” vibe going on.
Ultimately, Lamonte and one of his dads, Roswell Hamrick, snagged the lifetime achievement award along with three other lucky pups—Bun Bun (hey, I just write ‘em down!); Lua Mia (“It’s Portuguese,” his human said); and Maggie, the other Nellie Oleson.
Want more? “Like” the River Reporter on Facebook and click here to check out a photo gallery from the show. Dharma’s going to be 13 this November. Look out, Lamonte—there’s a not-so-new girl in town!
Fun Fact: Anslem Douglas is a Trinidadian musician and composer. He is best known for the hit single “Doggie,” which was later covered by the Bahamian junkanoo band Baha Men as “Who Let the Dogs Out” (who, who, who, who, who), in 2000.
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