Little did I know my beautiful mutt had a great deal of competition. He was not a winner but lost to several formidable competitors — a compliment all its own.
Just to name a few of the breeds I saw: bull mastiff and great Danes whose poop bags where equivalent to your average kitchen garbage bad; poodles of every size and grooming technique; Chihuahuas, terriers, basset hounds; and costumes and floats of all kinds.
One Chihuahua, adorned for the competition, had a bribe for the judges around his neck — $5, $10, and $20 bills stuffed in his collar. Another was a Green Bay Packer fan with a cheese on his head and a Green Bay jersey. Then there was Ms. Tucker in her bubble bath.
All of the owners were so creative, using every dimension of imagination: hats, shirts, floats, fancy booties, tail bobs — you name it.
We saw one absolutely gorgeous cocker spaniel, white with black markings and brown eyebrows, who was a "for joy" barker. One was the prize-winning fanny snifter — not one dog missed the sniff.
All of the attending dogs and one cat were on their best behavior. No accidents, no doggy fights, growling or mating attempts, save one, (my dog, of course). The one thing they did have in common was joyous wandering. No sooner would an owner secure a chili sample and drink than their dog would spy yet another thing to sniff, investigate or pee on and the owner would be covered with chili and soda. Some of the smarter owners sat in the shade with their pooch at their side and just watched the rest of us try to keep up with our dogs.
I did have the opportunity to finally sit down and talk to some of the owners. Most stories were hilarious.