Pooch Parade does the trick

Sammy, a golden retriever, balances a treat on his nose while performing a trick at the Garden Terrace Pooch Parade. The annual event raises money for the state chapter of the Alzheimer
Sammy, a golden retriever, balances a treat on his nose while performing a trick at the Garden Terrace Pooch Parade. The annual event raises money for the state chapter of the Alzheimer's Association.
— image credit: Margo Horner/The Mirror

Cleo looked like a princess Thursday afternoon with her pink boa and sparkly pink top, but she sure didn’t sound like one.

The 1-year-old Pug snorted, snored and shook her tail at the second annual Garden Terrace Pooch Parade, earning her a trophy for best in show.

“My ex-husband snored and I missed it, so I got a pug,” joked Coletta Schmitt, an activity director at Garden Terrace who entered Cleo in the show.

More than 30 residents, staff, families and community members showed up for the show July 26 at the Alzheimer’s treatment center in Federal Way.

The judges, comprised of residents in the facility, seemed to enjoy the show, which at times was more of a comedy act than an organized display. The crowd burst into laughter when Sammy, golden retriever, jumped into a pool and rolled around during an agility competition, showing not even a slight concern for completing the course.

“The residents love it,” said Schmitt, who reminded them about the event each day for the past month.

The friendly pups paraded around the outdoor yard accepting petting and cooing from the crowd. A few gave sloppy kisses to audience members’ feet. Some of the pups barked enthusiastically.

Dogs were judged in five categories: Best dressed, most athletic, best trick, best in show and most congenial.

It wasn’t a very formal show. The dogs barked at one another a bit and strained at their leashes, but everybody had fun and each dog earned a ribbon.

“I’m hoping she gets it for best dressed because she absolutely has no talent whatsoever,” Schmitt said about Cleo.

“I’ve gone around and said ‘Remember the pink pug.’”

Cleo tied for best dressed with Henry the dachshund.

Henry, the breed commonly called a “wiener dog,” wore a hot-dog bun and ketchup costume.

While most of the eight dogs didn’t know any tricks, Ginger the black lab impressed the crowd with her ability to stay and come on command, earning her the best trick award.

“She did good,” said her owner, 11-year-old Ali Schneider. “I thought she would do worse, actually, because she’s not an agility dog.”

Sammy also impressed the crowd with his trick, balancing a treat on his nose.

The Garden Terrace staff raised more than $150 at the event. Proceeds will go to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Staff members collected $10 entry fees from participants and sold $3 hot dog lunches. There was also a raffle with gift baskets.

Prizes for winning dogs included toys, food, treats and gift certificates for pet services.

Donations were provided by several local retailers including The Pet Market at Dash Point, Tiki Tails Dog Salon and Sacajawea Healthcare for Pets.

Garden Terrace plans to hold another Pooch Parade in July next year.

Contact Margo Horner: or (253) 925-5565.

The Garden Terrace Pooch Parade benefits the Alzheimer’s Association Memory Walk, which is scheduled for Aug. 25 in Tacoma and Sept. 9 in Seattle. To learn more, participate or donate, call Lynn Thorne at (253) 661-2226.

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