Originally published at silive.com
By Mark D. Stein
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – SEA VIEW – The Henry Kaufmann Campgrounds in Sea View is usually a great outdoor place for youngsters to enjoy.
But this past Sunday, it was the dogs’ turn to have fun – and they took full command.
The first annual Ruffminster Dog Show and Fair was held this past weekend, drawing more than 100 people and dozens of dogs in all breeds and sizes.
Coordinator Alice Marino, a certified dog trainer and animal behavior specialist, was joined by the Jewish Community Center (JCC) in hosting the charity event that sent donations toward the Staten Island Council for Animal Welfare (SICAW) and P.L.U.T.O., an animal rescue group.
“We have a great turnout,” said Ms. Marino, as a number of dogs paraded in a circle to show off their Halloween costumes. “This should be real fun. This is what everyone’s been looking forward to all day.”
Chris O’Neill of Arrochar brought her 11-month-old dog, Reilly, a border collie and lab mix. Reilly was attired in a marathon outfit that even included a number on his back.
“Alice is our trainer and Reilly has graduated from her,” said Ms. O’Neill, adding that her dog placed first in one of the competitions.
“It’s so exciting and it really blew my mind. I was not expecting him to do as well as he did,” she said.
Ms. Marino said dogs are amazing in and of themselves. The costumes added an extra measure of pleasure.
One dog had his hair dyed purple; others wore hula, hot dog and geisha outfits.
“How much more original can we get?” she said.
Chris Scanna of Dongan Hills said the event was extremely fun, and she hopes it’s coming back next year.
“It was absolutely adorable,” Ms. Scanna said.
Anne Young of Stapleton, owner of McDuff, a 9-month-old Shetland sheepdog, was beaming during the fair.
“It’s nice because you get to bring your dog out and they can socialize with people and other dogs,” she said. “He’s a little timid with people, but he loves other dogs.”
Though he didn’t win in the show contest, noted Ms. Young, “he was obviously the best looking dog there.”
For information about the dog show and fair, and dog training, call Ms. Marino at 646-596-6706, or visit her website, www.rufflovedogtraining.com.