BY MARCY SHORTUSE - When season comes, the dogs come out. They’re in golf carts, they’re tied to the bench at Hudson’s, walking down the street, running on the soccer field and the beach. The vast number of dogs that live on Gasparilla Island may lead some to believe there are more canine residents than humans. On March 23, many dogs (and their humans) will congregate at the Boca Grande Community Center at 10 a.m. to find out who is the best of the best ... and it can be ruff competition.
The bi-annual Boca Grande dog show, our island’s equivalent to Westminster, will be held on that day. It has been around for 15 years, which makes for seven dog shows. This year’s will be the eighth.
The dog show’s coordinator, Charlie Field, said this show isn’t for the faint of heart.
“It’s a very serious dog show, you realize,” he said. “We have all the groups – working, herding, terrier, hounds, even a designer group. We have tricks, costumes, a dog/owner look-alike competition, musical chairs, and more.”
Also to be crowned at the event will be the Boca Geezer, the island’s oldest dog, and the Boca Bowser, which is the island’s coveted title for “best of show.”
The cost to attend the event will be $10, but children 16 and under get in for free. The cost to enter a dog is $25. The field of competition is topped out at 75.Tricks like that alone are good enough reason to attend the 8th annual Boca Grande Dog Show. But, as Field said, “Spread the word, but don’t tell the cats.”
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