A lively crowd braved a chilling rain Saturday to celebrate canine friendship at the 7th Annual Most Magnificent Mutt Show, held on the grounds of the Pierce County Fair at Frontier Park in Graham.
“Everyone’s having a great time,” said Pierce County Fair director Betty Backstrom, as she waved a sign summoning contestants for the “Coat of Many Colors” competition.
Backstrom said that over 56 children and their dogs were competing in a variety of categories.
Wacky themes are a specialty of the Most Magnificent Mutt festival, and the sixteen classifications ranged from “Pinkest Tongue” to “Wettest Nose,” and included a few less flamboyant categories such as “Shortest Ears” or “Softest Coat.”
Responding to the call for fun-filled competition, the Dog Show Arena at Frontier Park was filled with enthused kids and their families, along with a slew of country agencies, such as Pierce County Animal Control, who brought plenty of hand-outs touting proper pet care, but also beseeched the audience to pay their pet licensing fees.
Besides the Pierce County Fair, the Most Magnificent Mutt Show is hosted by the PC Parks and Recreation Department, and the Daffodil Festival.
Despite all the current monetary shortfalls in government and the resulting explosion in fundraising events by local organizations, the MMM Show is just a celebration of kids and their pets.
It’s just for fun, and we’re not asking anyone for money,” said Susan Maguire, vice-president for public relations for the Daffodil Festival.
Many of the Mutt show sponsors were also present, such as Graham Fire and Rescue, Liberty Mutual Insurance, Pet Ponderosa, and Emerald Meadows Training. Other sponsors included Peg Greiwe, Dale Kelly Insurance, Wally and Harriott Balmer, Itty Bitty Dog Clothes and Anita Mastin.
The strong partnership between the country agencies and the Daffodil Festival was evidenced by the presence of all 23 Daffodil Princesses, who participated as judges in the competitions. The young ladies – all dressed in “work” uniforms of tan slacks, black jackets, and blue-plaid tennies, along with a requisite tiara – demonstrated a noble capacity to be both enthusiastic and tactful, reflecting that they had learned well how powerful young emotions can be in any selective process, even if it’s just a local pet show.
Perhaps the highlight of the festival was the “Owner-Dog Look-Alike” contest, which hosted colorful pairs of kids and their dogs, such as Kendra Christensen, from Enumclaw, and her dog, “Dan,” who were both dressed as clowns, or Cornelia Marie Tapia and “Avery,” from Puyallup, who dressed in matching yellow raincoats.
However, the winners were ballerinas “Annabelle” and Jasmine Sayres of Roy, donned in black leotards and pink tou-tous, and both spouting big smiles, which got bigger upon their selection and were replete with joyful yelps from Annabelle.
For those craving a little peace and quiet after the excitement of the MMM Show, outside the arena pet vendors showed their wares, including dog trainer Belinda Moore of Graham (www.myperfectpooch.net).
In addition, MMM Show sponsor Pasado’s Safe Haven, a regional pet welfare organization, had a well-attended booth and announced that they are dispensing spay and neutering services in their new mobile vet van. Pasado’s free or low-cost service will be in Eatonville on April 7 & 8, Sumner on April 20, and Puyallup on April 27 & 28. For more information call (360) 793-9393, or visit www.pasadosafehaven.org .
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