The dog days of summer


In the dog days of summer, what better way to pass the time for fashion conscious canines than with a dog fashion show?

"Cleveland's Cutest Dog Contest & Fashion Show," presented by Pet-Tique and Fabiola Productions, was the perfect answer. As a part of The Warehouse District Street Festival on August 14, the show featured fashions of a canine and human variety. Two-legged models wore apparel from Warehouse District businesses. And four-legged models wore apparel styled by their owners.

Right: Runners-up Rosie and Pookie, and first place winner Sars gather with their humans. >>

The furry fashionistas were judged on cuteness, creativity and use of color. The difficult task of judging rested on the shoulders of some Cleveland fashion and canine industry insiders: Frenchye Bush, fashion consultant & columnist for Cleveland Magazine and co-founder of FLASH (Fashion Leaders Achieving Social Harmony); Samantha Oblander, model and co-founder of FLASH; Diana Greenburg, founder of Sprout connections; Kim Hist, membership director of the Club at Key Center and founder of Sprout connections; and Lawrence Carter, owner of Pet-tique, “a boutique for your pet." Allen Colon from 96.5 Kiss FM emceed the event. Local models dressed by the sponsors also helped escort the pups down the runway.

Local businesses helped to provide wonderful gifts for the winners of the contest. Pet-tique provided the 1st, 2nd and 3rd gift baskets for the winners. Melange donated a $50 gift certificate and Surroundings Home Decor gave a $75 gift certificate. Additional sponsorship was provided by PetSmart, Fabiola Productions,, The Warehouse District Street Festival, Fox and Hound in Parma, and participating restaurants from West 6th and West 9th Street, including Waterstreet Grill, Map Room, Sushi Rock, Barley House and Liquid.

Fabiola Tomayo of Fabiola Productions was approached by the Warehouse District Committee last year to provide a show that would encourage pet owners to attend the festival. 

“I love pets and thought it would be great to do the cutest dog contest,” said Tomayo. “This year was a success, and I will continue to host the Cutest Dog Contest.”

True to Tomayo’s word, both humans and canines seemed to have had a blast. And the party did not stop at the end of the fashion show. Third place winner, Sara, was awarded a frozen marshmallow treat from her owner later that evening for all her hard work. The treat is her favorite, according to owners Kathy and Eddie Lepsik from Brecksville. “She’s always a winner to us,” said her doting humans. 

Many of the dog owners at the contest felt similarly. When four-year-old Leilani Davis was asked who was the cutest dog, she proudly exclaimed, “My dog!”

We hope to see all the winners next year, at the 2011 Dog Contest and Fashion Show!

Monday, August 23, 2010