Best Of 2006

Best Unexpected Pooch Parade: Purina Incredible Dog Challenge

The sun beat down on Spa Beach Park with its usual June intensity, and while registered contenders scurried, dashed, dived, leapt and wove their way to victory with affectionate encouragement from their owners/trainers, an impromptu parade of pooches was taking place. Because the bleacher stands were jam-packed with spectators, locals who’d brought their dogs along were forced to mill about in an area set up for just that, prompting plenty of snout-to-snout (and snout-to-rear) encounters interspersed with exclamations to the effect of “Oh, how cute!” and “What type of dog is that?” Watering areas drew constant traffic and doggie pools offered the furry population a refreshing break from the heat, some jumping in for a quick dip-and-shake, others sprawling languidly until impatient leash-holders dragged them dripping away. In sum, the canine-loving community was treated to an unexpected show within a show and one that was, in many ways, more entertaining than the main event.