Nov. 2 2011 12:00 AM

Disguised dogs compete in annual costume contest


Hannibal Lecter, Sparty and King Leonidas walked away
with big prizes on Friday — and they did it on all fours. That’s
because all three characters were awarded for having the best costumes
at the annual dog costume contest in Old Town.

Despite chilly weather, over 100 dog owners squeezed into
registration lines for the event. WLMI-FM host Tim Barron hosted the
competition and the Wag N’ Tails Pet Resort company handed

out free

treats and boarding coupons to the top three winners.

“We usually expect a big turnout if the weather’s decent,” Barron said.  “I’ve been doing this for 23 years. and I always have a good time.”

Many dog owners came to the event with competitive
spirits; others simply came for the entertainment and the experience.
Amy Boersna and Jules Brovant of Lansing brought their Yorkie Maltese,
Rocco, to the contest just so they could enjoy the show and meet new
people. “This is a great way to meet other dog owners in the area,”
Brovant said. “We’ve been here since 5 p.m. and we’r

e still enjoying
ourselves.”  The event lasted for three hours and attracted a fairly large crowd of spectators.

Some of the most notable costumes
included Sebastian from “The Little Mermaid,” Captain Jack Sparrow from
“Pirates of the Caribbean” and a British Bulldog shark with a talent
for skateboarding.  

One doggy costume in particular,
Hannibal Lecter, managed to steal the show and had everyone on their
tippytoes attempting to get a peak at him. As Barron said the famous
line, “Well, hello, Clarice,” dog owner Glena DeJong wheeled out her
Italian Greyhound, Hershey, on a homemade stretcher. With his little
straitjacket and Lecter face mask, Hershey rolled passed the judging
table and into first place.

“Last year, we told ours

elves that we would win this year’s competition,” Djong said.  Hershey
and Djong were awarded free dog food, a $50 gift certificate to Preuss
Pets and three free days of boarding at Wag N’ Tails Pet Resort.

was definitely one of my favorite costumes,” said Melik Brown, Midwest
Communications marketing consultant and contest judge. Brown and his
three fellow judges agreed that Ben Park and his Great Dane Apolo would
walk away in second place for their King Leonidas and warrior dog

“I came with my wife and 3- year-old son,” Park said. “We’re mainly here to have fun.”

Jeff Hammer/City Pulse

Mariah Puente and her dog Sparkles joined the Dog Halloween festivities in Old Town Friday evening.