On Friday, September 23, I received an e-mail that made me panic. Congratulations! Your Espresso, a black Pomeranian will be competing in the 2011 New Jersey Barking Beauty Pageant this Sunday, September 25.
What exactly is a Barking Beauty Pageant? As I continued to stress out, I looked deeper into what had I gotten my dog and I into.
Similar to Miss America Pageant, the dogs are to compete in ActiveWear, GlamourWear, and Talent. I frantically made costumes and assembled outfits to make my dog shine. I was officially a pageant mom.
Two days later, I arrived at the venue. As I sat wondering what to do next, I realized the other moms were just as bewildered as I was. Slowly we talked to each other, asking questions such as how we got involved. About 10 minutes into the show, us doggie pageant moms were building friendships, laughing and enjoying what we got our dogs and ourselves into.
The event was hosted by Leslie Hughes, star of NYC Life TV’s “Doggie Moms” and host of the “National American Miss” Pageant, along with her Yorkshire Terrier, Salli Sue. She was joined by celebrity judges Meghan Alexander from Inside Edition, Tara Bernie from Access Hollywood and Lou Martini Jr. from The Sopranos. Tiffany Rios from American Idol was also attendance with her dog, Madison, as a special guest.
Winners of the individual competition:
- ActiveWear – Jenna, a Sheltie and therapy dog, wearing a pink tutu with matching ballerina slippers whose mother Elaina proudly assembled
- GlamourWear – Cloe, a Pomeranian puppy mill rescue who today is beautified with her hand sewn outfits made of love by her mother, Amy
- Talent – Espresso, my dog performing his favorite trick, the puppy pushups
2011 New Jersey Barking Beauty was awarded to Max-A-Million, a handsome Pomeranian puppy mill rescue. His mother Ashley was overwhelmed with joy watching her dog transform in a few months from rags to riches. Max-A-Million was amazing to watch, strutting his stuff on the runway wearing his Bandit Rubio Designs.
At the end of the day, we were exhausted but our smiles said it all – What a wonderful time with my dog!
The pageant helped raise over $850 for the Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter, a no kill animal shelter in East Hanover. In addition to the money raised through ticket sales and a raffle drawing. The Wilshire Grand Hotel who hosted the event contributed an additional $1,000 worth of donations and “wish list” items for the shelter including toilet paper, bleach, folding tables, copy paper, trash bags, brooms, dust pans and pliers.
For those interesting in participating in something completely different, enjoying a good time with their dogs and helping out a good cause, you can still sign up for the 2011 Philadelphia Barking Beauty Pageant, Sunday, October 9.
Until then I will see you at the 2012 New York City Barking Beauty Pageant!