16 July 2008

Niles Dog Show in Fremont CA

Dogs dressed up like bikers and hookers? It's the kind of stuff that might elicit howls at the Westminster Kennel Club, but it's all in good fun at the Niles Dog Show. For the past nine years, dog lovers have converged on Niles Community Park to celebrate man's best friend, even if his or her lineage can't be traced back further than a couple of mutts hanging out in an alley.

This year's 10th annual show, scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, includes a lot of the same attractions that have made the event such a hit in years past. There will be competitions for best costume, prettiest female, handsomest male, most unusual mix, hairiest dog and best performer. Comic juggler Dana Smith will perform with his dog, Lacey, and Happiness Country Kennels will present a dog agility course.

The show has expanded from about 40 entries when it first started to about 150 last year, Caster said. While the main goal is to have some fun, organizers also do their best to get dog lovers to consider adopting rescued dogs. One of the contest categories is "Best Rescued," in which dog owners tell how their dogs found their permanent homes.

Several purebred animal rescue groups will have booths at the show, and The Tri-City Animal Shelter's mobile adoption center will be on site. Also, a portion of the show's proceeds go to the Ohlone Humane Society.

In the costume competition, winners have included dogs dressed as gargoyles, unicorns and royalty. Caster couldn't recall if the dogs dressed up in garter belts or leather fared well at past shows.

Contestants can be registered up to the start of the show. On-site registration cost $20; click here for online pre-registration, which costs $15. All registrants will get a free dog show tote bag.

[Source: The Argus]