Published: Aug 24, 2008 10:59 AM
Modified: Aug 24, 2008 10:59 AM
Carolina Meadows goes to the dogs -- and cats, goats, scorpions . . .
Touch of Gray -- The Report from Carolina Meadows
Residents' 36 cats and 31 dogs were invited to this year's annual July 4th Sports Day. Jean Waldner, chair of the Pet Parade, sent each pet owner a personal invitation to enter the parade and also to submit a pet photograph to be exhibited in the Club Center lobby.Thirty-three signed up immediately. An original parade motto was adopted: "Let No Pet Be Left Behind!" The cats were represented in the photo exhibition, while the dogs starred in the parade. Pets are popular with Carolina Meadows' residents not only for companionship, but also as a health incentive to walk on golf course paths around the 170-acre campus.This year, for the first time, the parade was held indoors in Carolina Meadows' auditorium, a cool relief for both four-legged and two-legged participants. A canine smorgasbord offered professionally prepared dog goodies. Favors included pet shop coupons and plastic tops for dog food cans. The presentation was so tempting it was suggested that owners might eat more than their pets.The audience of 276 dog lovers applauded enthusiastically as each pet was presented by name to the judges on stage. Comparing names of the 67 pets on campus, one name, "Daisy," was duplicated five times. Surprisingly, all Daisies were males.Among the entrants, Sue Wilson's English Springer spaniel, Josh, was already an experienced show dog. He is seventh in a string of Wilson's English Springer spaniels who were celebrities on Captain Kangaroo and Psycho 3 TV commercials, as well as the poster dog on Purina's milk bone box. A relative of Josh's won Best in Breed at the prestigious 2006 Westminster Dog Show.Just in time for the parade was a surprise entry by Betty McMahan, UNC Professor Emeritus and international authority on termites. In a small plastic bag were her "pets" -- a large black beetle and a tiny scorpion.Master of Ceremonies Dick Ballard asked the audience if they wanted to pass the plastic bag around hand-to-hand. A unanimous "No!" left little doubt that beetles and scorpions ranked last as pet favorites at Carolina Meadows.Staff pets were also invited to participate. Activities specialist Taylor submitted three of her pets: Tippy, a three-inch, year-old turtle; Sweet Pea, a singing 2-year-old Quaker parrot; and Bubby, a 4-month-old baby goat. Tippy practices flips while watching TV. Sweet Pea has 10 different laughs, mimics people and dances. Bubby, dancing for Doritos, was a hit with the audience. A no-show was Taylor's talented white chicken, who was tragically eaten by a fox shortly before the competition. One resident wanted to enter her grandson's pet python, but flying it from Texas was too expensive. The thought of it slithering down the aisle looking for its seat was, however, provocative.Another non-canine pet entry, housed in a large glass rose bowl, contained a Japanese miniature 17th century screen, porcelain temple and figurine (like a flower show entry). The pets inside were Japanese beetles Chieko and Tamiko (female) and Hiroshi and Akihito (masculine) who enjoyed eating roses from the Carolina Meadows rose garden.For musical background throughout, what else but Patti Page's "How Much is That Doggie in the Window" and the overture to the Broadway show, "Cats"?The judges, residents Alice Lash, Bob Huddleston and Pat Hobbs, awarded trophies for stunts, physical attributes, personalities and costumes.
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2008 The Chapel Hill News