By David Rogers. January 25, 2015. BLOWING ROCK, NC — Considering that it was a bunch of canines that were in unfamiliar surroundings with unfamiliar other creaters (human and canine), there were surprisingly few growls. In fact, the High Country’s pet mongrels seemed to have a great deal of fun in bringing their respective owners to the 2015 edition of WinterPaws at the Blowing Rock School gymnasium.
WinterPaws is a benefit for the Watauga Humane Society and always seems to be a fitting and popular conclusion to Winterfest. This year proved no exception, and was arguably the best organized in the history of the event. With two rows of chairs set up facing each other in the center of the basketball court, a large show area was left for all to see the pooches — from tyke to mutt to tail-wagger. And these crowd-pleasers didn’t disappoint, bringing appreciative applause aplenty.
The entry fees for dogs entered in the show were $10 for one or two categories, $15 for three or more categories. Spectators were asked for a $2 donation or higher, payable to the Humane Society. All expenses for the show were paid for from sponsorships, so 100% of entry fees and admission ticket sales went to the Humane Society. Victoria’s Paw Spa of Blowing Rock donated the grand prize doggy basket valued at more than $200 in goodies.
There were 65 entries spread among about half that number of dogs in six categories, with “Best in Show” named at the end from among the six category winners who stuck around to parade around the arena just one more time.
Introduced as each having years of experience judging kennel talent, the judging panel of Victoria Kerley, Alice Roess, and Cathy Heninger could not be “bought” — although Watauga Humane Society mascot “Roof” looked like he was trying — and they gave no extra style points for being a local pet canine, but it hardly mattered. Of the three dozen or so dogs entered, there was only a sprinkling of competitors from the High Country.
This was hardly Westminster, but many of the dogs seemed exceptionally well-trained — well, at least most of them knew how to suck up to the judges!
- Best in Show: “Bruno”, owned by Meg Lewis of Fuquay-Varina, NC
- Most Crooked Smile: “Bruno”, owned by Meg Lewis of Fuquay-Varina, NC
- Most Mysterious Heritage: “Charlie Brown”, owned by Greg Herman, Matthews, NC
- Most Clever Dog Trick: “Gingerbread Man”, owned by Brian and Gayle Pleasants, Taylorsville, NC
- Best Dog/Owner Look Alike: “Gingerbread Man”, owned by Brian and Gayle Pleasants, Taylorsville, NC
- Best Wiggle-butt Tailwagger: “Bob”, owned by Carol and Garry Shaw, Butler, TN
- Best Winter Wear: “????”, owned by Robert & Sue Stitcher, Clemmons, NC
If there was a miscarriage of justice in the judging, we though “Bob” also had the best trick, although he may not have been entered in that category. It’s a rare man’s best friend that can wag his or her tail enthusiastically sideways AND just as vigorously in circles!