By Christina Beals. January 30, 2018. BLOWING ROCK, NC — People came from far and wide to Blowing Rock on Sunday to watch dog owners and their furry best friends show off their best tricks and strut their coordinated outfits — and it was all for a GREAT cause.
COVER IMAGE: Sheesh, this celebrity stuff is pretty tiring! All photographic images by Christina Beals for Blowing Rock News, edited and processed by David Rogers.
Taking place in the Blowing Rock Elementary School as a part of Winterfest, WinterPaws is a fun, yearly event meant to raise money for Watauga Humane Society. And an event bonus: several dogs from the shelter were walked around the gym floor in the hopes of finding their forever home.
Various animal products and baked goods were sold on side-tables, from which the proceeds also went to the humane society.
The main show, however, captures the audience’s fascination — and hearts — on a yearly basis. When it comes to puppy love, Westminster has nothing on Blowing Rock.
This year’s show had the competing categories of “Most Unique Looking Mix of Breeds,” “Most Clever Dog Trick,” “Cutest Looking Dog in the World,” “Best Winter Fashion Wear” and “Dog That Most Resembles Its Owner.”
The dog show featured dogs and their owners with their array of personalities, from a sassy Husky puppy who acted like a “vacuum” when treats were placed on the floor, to a confident Dachshund dressed up as Peter Pan.
More than 275 people — perhaps the largest WinterPaws crowd ever — were on hand for the performances and high acclaim bestowed upon the category winners. In many cases, those were tails wagging, but tongues a-waggin’ as the armchair quarterbacks discussed (or second guessed) the judges’ decisions.
Amongst the crowd cheering for each dog that strutted down the gym floor towards the judge’s table could also be heard the distinct, excited barking of a small poodle. The event was clearly an excitement for everyone in attendance.
At the end of each presented category, all winners within each category were announced. “George,” a small, black and white mixed breed owned by Ali Bertrand, was top dog in three categories; “Most Unique Mix of Breeds,” “Cutest Dog in the World,” and overall “Best in Show.”
“Mit-Z-Jewel,” a Chihuahua owned by Barbara Ann Humphries — and dressed to the nines in a pink, sequined dress — took the category for “Best Winter Fashion.”
Most Clever Dog Trick was won by “Toby,” owned by Nan and Doug Uzelac. “Bentley,” belonging to Jessica Lackey, won Best Dog/Owner Look Alike.
All winners were awarded with a gift bag, contributed to the event by Stella Blue’s Pawtique of Blowing Rock.
Story edited and photographic images processed and formatted by David Rogers