Show off your priceless pets

Published 8:12 pm Saturday, March 9, 2013

There was a time 15 years or so back when golfers had to worry about an unusual hazard as they’d take their drives and approach shots at Cedar Point Country Club.

Doodlebug, my father’s West Highland Terrier and constant companion — even on the golf course — could appear at any time on the fairway of the eighth hole, the green of the 13th or just about anywhere else along the course, where Dad spent more time looking for balls lost in the trees than lining up straight shots from the fairway.

Doodlebug’s white fur made her easy to spot, but she’d often be camouflaged in biker leathers or a sweater or some other silly costume my mother had bought to “keep her warm.” She was never struck by an errant shot, but she was well known to the golfers at Cedar Point, and her notoriety had as much to do with those outfits as it had to do with her simple presence on the course.

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I’ve always loved dogs, but I’ve never really understood the desire some people have to dress their dogs up like people. Still, plenty of people do just that, and not just for Halloween, either.

If you’re one of those people, there’s a special category for your pet in the Suffolk News-Herald’s Priceless Pets Photo Contest. The contest is a way to help raise awareness about Mutt Strut, the Suffolk Humane Society’s fundraising day in the park, set for May 5. A portion of the proceeds from the contest — nearly half, in fact — will be donated to the organization to support its efforts to end euthanasia as a method of birth control for dogs and cats in Suffolk.

We’re expecting the Best-Dressed category to be one of the more interesting ones in the contest, but there are others you can enter, as well. Does your pooch rock the lion cut? Enter him into the Best Hair category. Is she particularly well seasoned? Enter the Senior category for dogs 10 and older. Is your pet, shall we say, beauty-challenged? It would be perfect for the A Face Only My Person Could Love category. Maybe your cat and dog have formed the perfect odd-couple friendship. If so, you can enter them into the Cutest Couple category. And all participating pets will be automatically entered into the Top Dog category.

If you’d like to participate, send a photo of your priceless pet to Entering the Top Dog contest costs just $15. After that, each additional category entry costs $10. For an even better deal, register for the Mutt Strut and enter the Top Dog contest together for just $25. When we receive your photo, we’ll contact you for payment. You can also bring your entries to our office at 130 S. Saratoga St.

Photos of all entrants will be published in a special section to be published March 31. Winners will be announced, and prizes will be awarded, at Mutt Strut.

So put a ballerina’s tutu on Fifi or a biker jacket on Fido, snap a photo and then send it to us. Your dog (or cat) could be a star.