Northwest News

Dogs strut their stuff in downtown Olympia fundraiser

Dogs of all breeds, sizes and ages, including a malamute wearing a tiara, strutted their stuff Sunday as part of a fashion show and pageant to benefit a local nonprofit called Paws Against Cancer.

Sunday’s destination was downtown Olympia and The Pet Works, a relatively new pet store that hosted the event. The business opened about a year ago, said Rebecca Smith, co-owner of the store and the emcee for the event.

A handful of dogs, including one wearing a wedding dress and veil, strutted down a short runway for a fashion show, followed by about the same number of dogs for the pageant.

Money for the nonprofit was raised from entry fees, donations and selling raffle tickets, Smith said. The total amount raised was not immediately available.

Both events were judged by three judges, including Brian Pettepiece, vice president to the board of Paws Against Cancer.

“I’m just happy they chose us,” he said about his participation Sunday.

The nonprofit works to raise awareness about cancer in companion animals, but also raises money to help fund the first stage of cancer treatment in pets — typically surgery — for those families that couldn’t otherwise afford it, he said.

Two awards for “most beautiful” were handed out, and one of them went to the year-old malamute wearing a tiny tiara.

Wendy Baker of Paw Blossom Doggie Boutique designed several of the outfits worn by the dogs Sunday. She also sells her designs at The Pet Works, she said.

Although The Pet Works has been open only a year in Olympia, it is a longtime business in both Longview and Astoria, Oregon, Smith said.

Smith said that she and her husband, Eric, wanted their third business to be in a downtown location and are glad to be in Olympia.

“We want to support downtown,” she said.