Scratch the traditional catwalk, the historic Bayview Corner was once again turned into a ‘dogwalk’ as pups strutted their paws and wagged their tails much to the crowd’s delight.
And, as always, bystanders were treated to hysterical outfits, delightful dogs and even a pack of corgi “Trekkies.” That’s right, corgi Trekkies, or corgis dressed as Star Trek characters.
“I got the inspiration from a YouTube video that had corgis in Star Trek costumes,” Sunlight Beach resident Bobbie Mayer said. “Once I saw that, I knew I just had to dress them up and make one the Starship Enterprise.”
A group of seven corgis made up the Trekkies, with about half of them Pembroke Welsh Corgis and the other half Cardigan Welsh Corgis. Mayer made Oliver, an 11-year-old Cardigan, the Starship Enterprise because he’s already required to lug around metal with the K9 Kart, or dog wheelchair, that helps him get around. The corgis are all pals because their owners are part of what they call a corgi camping group.
The pack of Trekkies was only a few of a number of canine stars at the 2016 Mutt Strut dog parade and costume contest. The annual event brought close to 100 bystanders to watch the fracas, with 40 contestants entering the catwalk this year. Entrants were judged by a five-judge panel who based their selections off cuteness and innovation.
Generous servings of apple cider were supplied next door at Bayview Farm and Garden as part of Apple Day, which has been hosted in congruence with the Mutt Strut from its start 11 years ago. The dual event is hosted by Goosefoot, Bayview Farmer’s Market and Bayview Farm and Garden.
Some entrants used current pop culture references in their costumes to turn up the ante. Rio, a one-and-a-half-year-old Jack Russell and corgi mix, sported a suit and messy toupee and entered the Mutt Strut as the presidential “Doggle Rump.” Owners Russell Clepper and Sarah Primrose joined onstage wearing buttons that said “Vote Rump” and held signs with Rump’s campaign slogan, “Make America steak again.” Rio was given emcee Jim Freeman’s best celebrity dog award.
“Every year, the costumes and the ideas behind the costumes keep getting more and more creative,” Marian Myszkowski, director of program and fund development at Goosefoot said. “People are starting to see that they’ve got some work to do if they want to win a prize.”
Crowds of people “awed” at the sight of Maggie, a black retriever owned by Barry Dunn, who sashayed her way across the runway with in her spider-themed costume. Eight legs dangled from her back as she wore a purple tutu and hat. She was awarded best costume by the judges.
The Mutt Strut’s best trick award was yet again claimed by three-year reigning champion Spinaker Gale, a five-year-old rat terrier. Spinaker Gale has become renown for leaping through hula hoops in past years, but she wowed crowds this year by hopping through two successive hoops. Spinaker Gale then put the icing on the cake with a figure eight through owner Leah Hartley’s legs.
Other costumes that delighted the crowd included a Boston terrier dressed as a sushi roll, a couple dressed as gypsies with their pug and golden retriever and a French bulldog dressed as a geisha. Even those without costumes were feeling creative, such as Claire Stern’s grey Norwegian elk hound who swaggered on stage under the name “50 shades of grey.”
It’s clear South Whidbey’s creative spark was on display in full force Saturday afternoon, and although it’s early, some contestants are already stringing together ideas for Mutt Strut 2017.
“I’ve got ideas for next year already, and we’ll have two more corgis by that time,” Mayer said.