"Barking Allowed. Big Personalities Rewarded..."

Posted by Pia

While I am typically not one to 'judge,' last weekend I did just that! I was invited to be a judge in the "Go Dog Go" fundraiser show for HeARTs Speak, an organization that offers a unique and creative way for artists of all ages to help homeless animals.

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This very stately, yet soft spoken, guy was a winning finalist in category of

1 This very stately, yet soft spoken, guy was a winning finalist in category of "Most Handsome."

The definition of cute...
Lincoln won crowd's pick for Best in Show! Lincoln is looking for a loving home through Rescue-a-Bull.org

2 The definition of cute... Lincoln won crowd's pick for Best in Show! Lincoln is looking for a loving home through Rescue-a-Bull.org

3

Kathy, Pia, Bruce and Westminster (pooch judge) watch contestants in

4 Kathy, Pia, Bruce and Westminster (pooch judge) watch contestants in "Silly Tricks" category. In hindsight I'm thinking this may have been dogs showing us the tricks they taught their humans...

Lincoln and proud foster mom after winning Best In Show!

5 Lincoln and proud foster mom after winning Best In Show!

Lincoln, unsure how to handle the influx of press inquiries...

6 Lincoln, unsure how to handle the influx of press inquiries...

Lincoln hopes his newfound fame will also help his special buddy Precious (Lil' P) find a loving family to foster of adopt her.  She is also available through Rescue-a-Bull.org.

7 Lincoln hopes his newfound fame will also help his special buddy Precious (Lil' P) find a loving family to foster of adopt her. She is also available through Rescue-a-Bull.org.

Tough decisions...

8 Tough decisions...

Dr. Pia gets the honor of a one-on-one interview with Best in Show winner, Lincoln!

9 Dr. Pia gets the honor of a one-on-one interview with Best in Show winner, Lincoln!

Sweet Ender here was rescued and adopted from the Philippines by 2 Peace Corps volunteers. He has retired from a tough life in the streets and now resides in Westchester.

10 Sweet Ender here was rescued and adopted from the Philippines by 2 Peace Corps volunteers. He has retired from a tough life in the streets and now resides in Westchester.

Dr. Pia, Mark and fabulous therapy dog Dutchess!

11 Dr. Pia, Mark and fabulous therapy dog Dutchess!

Professional photographer and HeARTs Speak founder, Lisa Prince Fishler gets on dog's level for best shots.  Wait...Now I'm wondering if she was competing as a show contestant...

12 Professional photographer and HeARTs Speak founder, Lisa Prince Fishler gets on dog's level for best shots. Wait...Now I'm wondering if she was competing as a show contestant...

HeARTs Speak, animal welfare organization chosen to benefit from the event.

13 HeARTs Speak, animal welfare organization chosen to benefit from the event.

14 "So many categories to enter, so little time..."

This verbose pug won best trick for literally saying

15 This verbose pug won best trick for literally saying "I Love You" in human speak! So cute.

Judges watch best demonstration of all,

16 Judges watch best demonstration of all, "Dogs Being Dogs."

This pooch was tiring of all the fanfare and no longer appreciated being entered into

17 This pooch was tiring of all the fanfare and no longer appreciated being entered into "Bad Hair Day" category.

Dr. Pia gets to meet the very special Cuda who she will blog about in a future post!

18 Dr. Pia gets to meet the very special Cuda who she will blog about in a future post!

Volunteers dedicated time and talent to set up the worthwhile event!

19 Volunteers dedicated time and talent to set up the worthwhile event!

Judges taking a break between categories...

20 Judges taking a break between categories...

Preparing for her rendition of the Donna Summer classic

21 Preparing for her rendition of the Donna Summer classic "Macarthur Park," this sequined pooch took a break to let us photograph her.

Bruce and Hazel shared their thoughts on what landed them

22 Bruce and Hazel shared their thoughts on what landed them "Best Duo."

Bruce,

23 Bruce,"I had my doubts about our 3rd costume change but Hazel insisted, and she is really the creative genius behind our operation."

Stunning Grimm here is a poster child for obedience!  His grey flannel suit was a show stopper for sure!

24 Stunning Grimm here is a poster child for obedience! His grey flannel suit was a show stopper for sure!

Judge Bruce Littlefield's comrade Westminster got his name after being rescued as a stray just outside of the arena where the Westminster Dog Show was taking place.

25 Judge Bruce Littlefield's comrade Westminster got his name after being rescued as a stray just outside of the arena where the Westminster Dog Show was taking place.

Animal loving advocates and friends relax after a successful event!

26 Animal loving advocates and friends relax after a successful event!

The first annual "The Go Dog Go Show" was the brainchild of Rhinebeck New York's Pause Boutique owner, Laura Betti.

Laura's motto for the event that showcased dogs of all ages, breeds, and talents was, "Barking allowed. Big personalities rewarded." When asked what motivated her to create this annual event, Laura said, " I place high value on organizing events that bring together families in support of positive animal causes. These types of events serve as a venue for the much needed education of responsible pet ownership, advocacy for animal rescue and awareness overall about the role we play in protecting animals. Collaboration is key."

Laura sees the value of HeARTs Speak's mission and shares the values of founder Lisa Prince Fishler with regard to collaborating for a greater good. In her words, "HeARTs Speak’s global community unites animal artists and animal rescues into collective action for social change. In just two years, HeARTs Speak already boasts 160 members from around the world who are excited to come together in a setting where it's about collaboration, not competition. Power in Numbers. They believe in being part of something greater than them SELVES. And so do we."

The 'Show' was in fact so much more than just the a show- it was a full-fledged event with an amazing variety of rescue groups, vendors and animal wellness professionals there helping to make the day a huge success.

My fellow judges...and new BFFS, Bruce Littlefield and Kathy Stevens, are both published authors and animal advocates-each with an impressive list of projects that I recommend everyone check out!

Bruce Littlefield was there with rescued pooch Westminster, signing his most recent book. Kathy Stevens founded The Catskill Animal Sanctuary for farm animals like Jangles and to promote humane education. With so many special creatures and great projects to learn about-I have decided to devote some blog time to Kathy's work in the upcoming weeks-stay tuned!

There was no lack of entertaining banter between the three of us as we debated on finalists and brainstormed other ways to collaborate and help animals in need.

Mark Conden and his amazing therapy dog Dutchess MC'd the event and helped spread the word about HeARTs Speak's efforts to unite artists who wish to impact the pet overpopulation crisis and help advocate for the thousands of animals waiting in shelters as we speak.

I spoke with Laura's very eloquent fur kids, Ella, Empi and Ramona after the show. They had this to bark about the day's event, "HeARTs Speak casts an international net with members from all over the world, and initially, our mom was concerned how this would translate to an event at the local level. Our community demonstrated a resounding response, however, and we join her in being pleasantly surprised when the final numbers of entries more than tripled those who had pre-registered, making mom and us believe that people are searching for grassroots, ethical efforts founded upon the principles of mentorship, collaboration and empathy. It's truly a win, win, win. We plan to give her lots of treats when we get home."

The crowd's choice and winner for "Best In Show" was Lincoln, a pit bull puppy currently in foster with the dedicated folks at Rescue-a-Bull. Lincoln, and the very special, Precious (aka Lil' P), are among many other great companions who are ready and willing to have you audition for the role of their 'best friend.' They are taking applications right now!

In kinship,
Dr. Pia Salk

Comments (10)

  • Thanks for joining us, Dr. Pia!

  • Good morning Dr. Pia,
    I like the scarf that Lincoln is wearing. Who is his stylist? How did it feel to be a judge? I guess it is hard when you like all the animals that you are judging.
    I for one would like to salute you for all the work you do with trying to find forever homes for animals. You are the best.
    Love to you,
    Maddox

  • Hello ladies, Kirby here.
    And hello to you too Dr. Pia. So many dogs, so little homes. Seems that things are changing in this world and “pets” are being left out. People wouldn’t leave their house unless they have their cell phone, but often leave their pet alone for days at a time with little food and no water. I am thankful that I have a dish of food and water available at all times; day or night. I understand that my Mommy and Daddy have things they have to do and I’m in charge while they are away. But when they come home, I am really glad to see them only if it has been an hour or two. Thanks for sharing the pictures today.
    Catch you later, Kirby.

  • Dear Dr. Pia,
    What a great dog show! Kinda regular guys like me. Sure hope they all find a home...Lincoln sure knows how to sit up straight! How regal. Ender looks like he's not too crazy about getting his picture taken, like me. Mimi like the dog in picture #14. She says he's real cute..I think he needs his eyebrows trimmed,lol.
    Hey Basil, are you home yet? Sure hope so. I'll check in later for your post. Have a great day all!
    By the way, love the hat Dr. P.
    Your Pal,
    Rebel

  • You were a great "judge!" We had fun, thanks so much for coming out!

  • Hi Dr. Pia, Once again you have done a fantastic thing to help save so many dogs who definitely need caring people to love them forever! That must have been a wonderful weekend event and these photos are absolutely stunning and I love viewing them again and again! Your animals are so lucky to have a wonderful Mother like you and you are superior, as well as thoughtful to all animals! Thanks so much for sharing again-I love it all! Basil, sure glad you are doing better! Can't wait to hear from you today! Hope everyone has a great day today and happy weekend, Dr. Pia! Love, Jan &DDR

  • What a great event! The dogs shown are adorable and I pray the ones that need furever homes will get their wish...what a nice group of people with big hearts.
    Dr. Pia you're special, I know I always say that, but truly you are. ;-)

    delia & Kitty =^. .^=

    * Basil hope you are doing better!

  • Dr. Pia, thanks for the cool photos.. once again I am amazed at the number of homeless pets, poor guys, we do what we can...all our feral cats we try to have nuetered and they all have warm barns to snuggle in and twice a day get feed..they in turn keep the rodent population down..really, fergie and lily turtles, now they sound interesting..anxious to hear from you Basil, and Zoe were you allergic to something.. we doggers keep our people on their toes! I must take my medicine and take a snooze..will check back to see about Basil..later, Cora-belle

  • Props to Laura Betti, owner of Pause Dog Boutique in Rhinebeck, NY who was the brains and organizer behind this event! Woot! Wooot!

  • BASIL UPDATE BASIL UPDATE BASIL UPDATE BASIL UPDATE
    Sorry to be getting on so late. Caring for the little man is a high energy job at this point. He is doing remarkably well, considering. Eating good still, resting in front of the fire, but thinking he has to pee every minute. That will pass in time. I can hardly wait to hear what he has to tell you--hopefully tomorrow he will be on. Thanks again all and tomorrow or Monday the pathology results---nothing but good ones we know!!! Think positive for the little man.
    Hugs,
    Lynn

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