"The poor dog, in life the firmest friend,
The first to welcome, foremost to defend,
Whose honest heart is still his master's own,
Who labours, fights, lives, breathes for him alone."
As that Lord Byron poem reminds us, the life of a dog is a selfless thing. But it completely omits what is, perhaps, a canine's most noble quality: the willingness to be dressed up in goofy outfits and publicly paraded to the "oooohs" and "aaaaahs" of total strangers at functions like this Saturday's 11th Annual "I Love My Dog" Show.
But, boy, those strangers have a good time. And so do the mutts' owners. As the event's organizer, Elizabeth Monty points out, "Nothing is more fun than showing off your doggies."
Presented by Soroptimist International of Zane Grey Country, the event raises money locally for such worthy causes as the Rim Country Literacy program and the Time Out Shelter for which last year's "I Love My Dog" Show coined about $500, Monty said.
This year's show will take place in Green Valley Park, with registration ($5 per entrant) beginning at 9 a.m., and the dog show commencing from 10 a.m. until "1 p.m. or 2 p.m. or whenever it's over," Monty said. "Even people who don't enter or bring their dogs can just bring a sack lunch and a lawn chair, and they're guaranteed to have a good time. It's a fun day for everybody, especially the little ones."
The canine entrants can be full breed, mixed breed, or no breed, Monty said. Each will receive a free dog biscuit for their bravery in showing up, and each will vie for trophies and ribbons in such categories as Best Costume, Most Spots, Fastest Tail Wag and Weirdest Bark.
Their owners can purchase raffle tickets for 50 cents each and vie for baskets filled with doggie treats. For an extra $1, they can see how well Fido fares on an obstacle course.