About 40 dogs and 100 humans took part in yesterday's Beautify CNMI/Paws sponsored third annual Best of the Worst Boonie Dog Show, PAWS WARS Episode 3: Revenge of the Boonie.
We had a late start due to an equipment malfunction, but once we got started it was smooth sailing.
We started off by awarding the annual Beautify CNMI Champion and Beautify CNMI Steward awards. Laurie Peterka, Ken Kramer and Tan Holdings were recognized as Champions (our annual advocate award) and the Friends of the Monument were recognized as Stewards (our annual volunteer award).
With that done, I stepped off the stage and let veteran dog show host George Hasselback take over. We had six categories this year: fattest, most misbehaved, most talented, booniest, best star wars costume, and best in show.
At the beginning of each category, all of the competitors were paraded in front of the judges and then brought out one by one for judging. Dogs were scored on a 1-5 scale, with 15 being the highest possible score.
After all the competitors had been judged and scored, the winners for the round were announced and prizes given out. Before starting the next round we gave away a few raffle prizes.
I think the Star Wars category was the most popular. Brad Ruszala, as usual, kicked it up a notch and used his personal Princess Leia costume to dress his dog, Meatball. It was good enough for first place, with Snow White's rendition of Princess Leia actually tying her, but losing to Meatball in the tie-breaker.
This year we had help from some of the fighters from Trench Tech thanks to the involvement of Jason Tarkong and Cuki Alvarez. They upped the cool quotient of the hippie, tree hugger dog show at least 15 percentage points.
We also had tremendous support from the community. I put out a call for $20 donations to pay for prizes and over a dozen people donated, including Jerry Tan, Lydia Tan, Marianne Teregeyo, Marianne and Richard Pierce, Kathy Yuknavage, Susan Macario, Kyle Calabrese, Mike Tripp, Aya Matsumoto, Tyler Yoshimoto, Catie Hiney, Ed Manibusan, Joey San Nicholas, and Lina Dimaano. Pacific Trading, Seafix, Hyatt Regency Saipan, Fiesta Resort & Spa, Palms Resort, Moby Dick Restaurant, Expressions, Mike Tripp Productions, Price Costco, and Pacific Islands Club Saipan also donated support and prizes. Representative Ed Salas donated tents. I donated tables and chairs.
The Hotel Association of the Northern Mariana Islands also used the dog show as an opportunity to donate $2000. The money will be used to help find stray animals permanent homes.
When it comes down to it, the Boonie Dog Show is a perfect example of how the Beautify CNMI spirit works. People pitch in what they can and we come together to do great things.