The line between dogs and reindeer, between dogs and elves, and even between dogs and Christmas presents got a little blurry Tuesday evening. The Esplanade was invaded by dozens of dolled-up dogs and their doting human attendants, for the Christmas Island Style Canine Christmas Parade.
The pimped-out pooches, mostly of the apartment-friendly size, but including some dogs big enough to know better, strolled across the red carpet as their name was called, passing in review of the judges. They posed for pictures by Mila Bridger, with a portion of proceeds ironically benefiting For the Love of Cats, who had one cat on hand, looking askance at all the costumed canines.
Dogs came as elves, the Sugar Plum Fairy, and even, in the case of Bailey, escorted by Debra Shanahan, wearing a box, turning him into a Christmas present with legs, tail and wet nose. Barbara Dasti, wife of Santa's Security chief Carmen Dasti, brought Fred the Chihuahua, and Natalie Strom brought the much larger B.B. Wrinkles, who thanked her with wet doggy kisses.
Angie Reed, who accompanied Tinkerbelle, her Cavalier King Charles spaniel, wore the reindeer antlers herself, probably because she was less inclined to paw them off her head. On a beautiful balmy night, there were a number of empty tables inside CJ's on the Bay, but those on the patio outside were packed.
"We're having fun. It's a great way to spend a Tuesday night," said Curt Koon of CJ's.
Vocalist LarryD provided the tunes once the action on the "catwalk" was completed. A trawler decked out with holiday lights, perhaps in preparation for the CIS Boat Parade Saturday evening, cruised by in Smokehouse Bay, barely noticed by the throng in the Esplanade's courtyard.
Event organizer Wayne Purvis – along with his wife Sue Purvis, who had charge of Zoey and Schotzie – wore a little Christmas decoration of his own, a Santa cap emblazoned with the legend "Jingle This!"