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CONTESTANTS DRESSED TO THE (CA)NINES

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MASSENA—The red carpet was rolled out Saturday afternoon for the Robert Moses State Park Nature Center’s dog fashion show. Dog lovers dressed up their canines in an attempt to win a prize for the best bathing suit, talent or evening wear competitions.

The event was part of the Mind, Body and Soul — Come Alive program, which is funded by a $18,047 grant from the Alcoa Foundation for the Friends of the Robert Moses State Park Nature Center.

“We got a grant from the Alcoa Foundation that started in December and it’s allowing us to offer free programing to the community,” said Debra A. Donatto, organizer of the show. “The whole point is to get people outdoors, utilizing the trails, the nature center area and doing crafts and workshops, and this is one of the events that we put into that whole program.”

Andrea G. Dugan brought her 12-year-old Belgian sheepdog, Thunder Paws, to the runway for the talent competition, which he won for weaving in and out of her legs and knowing his left from his right.

“I think it’s great. I wish more people would get involved,” she said. “People need to know that there’s more to living with your dog than just having it in the house. The more you can do with your dog, the better relationship you have with it.”

Judges Susan E. Stiles and Miriam S. Catapano are on the board of the Massena Chamber of Commerce. They said that being avid dog lovers they had a difficult time deciding winners for the competition.

“It’s just a fun event and it gets such a nice turnout,” Mrs. Catapano said. “It’s a great way to showcase what’s out here.”

For 8-year-old Jasmine A. Nezezon and her 7-month-old puppy, the fashion show was a chance to get creative. Jasmine used one of her old skirts to make a two-piece swimwear costume for her dog, Jewels, to showcase on the runway.

“She’s tiny and she knows a lot of tricks,” Jasmine said. “I can just love her whenever I want.”

A 4-year-old Chihuahua/Italian greyhound named Miranda took home a prize for her beachwear outfit.

“What they do here in this park I’d like to see continued, because I think it’s great for the area,” said Jody M. Woods, Miranda’s owner.

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