10/30/06 — A canine costume gathering

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A canine costume gathering

By Winkie Lee
Published in News on October 30, 2006 1:45 PM

It pays to be a diva.

When Quincy the Yorkshire terrier appeared before the judges at the Wayne County Humane Society's annual Halloween Pet Costume Contest Saturday afternoon, she was rolled in by owners Tiffany and Vic Holland of Goldsboro.

Adorned in a bikini and pink visor, her identity for the day was Malipoo Barbie. She sat atop a platform covered with sand from Atlantic Beach and decorated with a painting of the sun, a painting of the ocean and felt palm trees.

It would have been perfect were it not for the blonde wig that the breeze kept blowing into her face. Wasn't it obvious that her natural tresses were fabulous enough?

Alas, beauty requires sacrifice, so she put up with the breeze and the flying strands of hair and, in the end, won top honors.

Why the Malipoo Barbie theme?

Tiffany Holland smiled.

"She's somewhat of a little diva," she answered. "She's all girl. We wanted something to reflect that."

For a couple of months, the Hollands thought about the theme and then spent a couple of weeks building the platform and setting it on top of a rolling laundry basket.

Quincy was one of 39 dogs and one cat to compete in the contest that was held in front of Pet Supplies Plus.

Taking second-place honors was Dazee, a silver dapple miniature dachshund, who was dressed in a full-length costume of red, white and blue. A hat almost as large as Dazee herself completed the attire.

This top dog was accompanied by owners Wendy Whitfield and her 9-year-old daughter, Reagan, who carried a campaign sign.

Sparkle the Chihuahua, adorned in festive and colorful holiday attire, including a sparkling jewel across her forehead, took third-place honors. Her owner is Diana Beason of Goldsboro.

For two hours, the animals paraded before the five judges and then waited patiently and obediently as scores were tallied and it was determined who would go home with cash prizes, a year's supply of pet food and other goodies.

The pets in the competition -- and their owners -- had their own stories about why they were at the event ... and why they were together.

Harley and Tootsie Roll, two toy poodles, were dressed as a bride and groom. Owners Hannah Edwards and Misty Deese, both of Goldsboro, decided to bring the pair to the contest because the dogs already had their costumes. You see, on Sept. 16, Mrs. Edwards married Jonathan Edwards, and the two dogs appeared in their formal attire in her wedding portrait.

Mrs. Edwards owns Harley. When her future husband, who helped her buy the dog, proposed, he put a diamond ring on the end of Harley's leash.

Another costumed competitor was Abigail, a mixed breed that Amy Aldridge of LaGrange rescued from the Wayne County Animal Shelter.

Abigail, who was dressed as a ladybug, got a home because Miss Aldridge's mother, Florence Aldridge, now of LaGrange, decided she wanted another pet. She was residing in an assisted-living facility when Dawn Allen brought her German shepherd, Ava, by for a visit.

"Something clicked in me that I had to have a dog," Ms. Aldridge said.

Abigail was not the one who caught her eye ... but the dog did catch Miss Aldridge's attention. Now the three of them -- along with a long-haired Chihuahua named Butterfly -- share a home and a big yard.

If you want to know how entertaining a hot dog can be, meet Harvey, the 4-month-old black and tan miniature dachshund who lives with Allison Taylor of LaGrange. Harvey wore a costume shaped like a hot dog bun on each side with a swirl of yellow mustard across his back.

Harvey didn't win the contest, but he won over the crowd with his joy, his enthusiasm and his ability to roll over without removing or messing up his costume.

Mrs. Taylor brought Harvey to the competition because she and husband, Charlie, like to support the Humane Society as much as they can.

Elaine Chambers of Goldsboro brought Joey, her 7-year-old dachshund, after seeing the contest advertised on a poster at a veterinary clinic.

"I thought it would be a nice afternoon," she said.

She created Joey's costume, using a yellow cloth for the background and attaching colorful artificial leaves. She added a felt cloth trunk and the outfit was ready.

"He was so small, and I wanted to make him look big," she said.

And so, for that afternoon, she turned Joey into a mighty oak tree.

Mighty indeed -- just as was true for the cowboys, soccer player, ballerina, witch and so many more who came out for a day of fun and a chance to help out the Humane Society.