Dog Blog: Chili and dogs everywhere

On Sunday at Tivoli Too, an event to behold was held. For those of you who where unable to attend, it was a sight. Fantastic chili and dogs — dogs, they were everywhere, standing paw room only.

I did not attend to report on but rather to enter my own dog, CB, in the most handsome male competition. My statistics are vague, but my observations and conversations were many.

Pets competed for awards in six different contest categories: Most Handsome, Prettiest Female, Most Talented, Most Beautiful Rescue Pet, Best Costume and Most Gorgeous Senior (10 years and older). The day ended with all the pets strutting their stuff in a pet parade.

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.

There was Houdini the mutt terrier — truly an escape artist. Betsy, her owner, did everything she could to secure her small yard. She had been trying to prevent her new, very rambunctious little female puppy from escaping, to no avail. Houdini got her name because of her ability to discover any and all ways out of the yard. After all of the holes in the fence were thought to be sealed, a neighbor would knock on the door with Houdini in hand — one time it was the Waste Management driver.

If Houdini couldn't find a hole in the fence she would spend all afternoon digging a new one under the fence. If you can't go through, go under. At her size, "over" was out of the question.

Houdini finally grew to the size and temperament that she could no longer fit through the holes and was too lazy to care.

Then there was the story of our local miracle dog. Chris was on duty answering the emergency phone line when a call came through from a dog. Nobody would have blamed her for hanging up, but something about the urgency of the barking and the whimpering made Chris stay on the line. Upon checking the incoming phone number Chris realized that the line belonged to a man named Joe who was on record for being susceptible to seizures.

The phone had been pre-programmed by Joe for just such an emergency. The buttons on his phone where programmed to dial 911, so all his dog Buddy had to do was to pick up the phone with his mouth. One of his teeth was almost certain to hold down one of the keys for 3 seconds and thus trigger the dialing. It worked and rescue was on its way.

Joe is prone to seizures as a result of suffering a brain injury while serving in the army. Buddy arrived at 8 weeks old courtesy of Paws With-A-Cause, which trains miracle dogs like Buddy to help people like Joe.

After all I saw and heard at the parade I have no doubt that the dog stories out there are many. Help me out and tell me one. E-mail dogbloglaguna@yahoo.com and I will email you back some questions. I encourage babbling, so go for it.

I apologize for my brevity this week, but we just moved — I hate moving!! And I had to spend some time with CB after the crushing blow of his loss — he was not the most handsome male dog in Laguna. Ah, shucks.

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