It was a crisp, fall morning Saturday when an estimated 2,000 guests brought their pups into the Historic Area for our second annual Dogs of DoG Street event. Several of them (their humans included) donned costumes for our first ever Halloween contest!
When registration started a little after 9, there were already dozens of people lined up to check in. We worked in conjunction with our community partner, Heritage Humane Society, to collect donations, raise awareness, and help some of our local shelter dogs find their furever homes.
Thanks to the generosity of so many of you—we did just that. Heritage had a record total of 18 adoptions Saturday! In and of itself that’s an amazing update, but it gets even better. King, one of the shelter pups who walked in our parade, isn’t waking up in a kennel this morning. He’s with his new family in Delaware!
A family that was in town for William & Mary’s homecoming came to Dogs of DoG Street and fell in love with King. They adopted him yesterday on their way out of town. This was the best picture the staff at Heritage could get since King was so excited to be leaving, he didn’t want to sit still! Can you blame him? We think this deserves a heartfelt and collective “Huzzah!”
Overall, volunteers from the shelter and Colonial Williamsburg collected several months worth of supplies, toys, and food (TONS of peanut butter) for the animals, along with more than $700 in monetary donations.
Much of that money came from our pet portrait sessions with the Governor’s Palace as the backdrop. Local photographer extraordinaire Wayne Reynolds donated his time and talent and set up a spot on Palace Green to snap some pretty incredible pictures.
Here’s a gallery of some of those shots. You’ll find two complete albums on our Facebook event page where you can download a digital copy as a keepsake of the event!
So… I couldn’t resist including this behind-the-scenes picture of our social media team helping Wayne set up. While Rachel was white balancing, Bill dropped an epic photobomb. What can we say? There may be a lot of time and planning that goes into these special events, but we always make sure to have FUN doing it!
While Bill and Rachel were over on Palace Green, the rest of the team was over near the Market Square auction stage organizing our inaugural Halloween costume contest. I’m not going to lie; I was pretty stoked about my assignment!
As an avid dog lover, I was already in heaven surrounded by so many different breeds and fellow animal advocates. But when I saw the contestants start filing in to get in place, I couldn’t get over their getups!
We were truly blown away by the thought and creativity put into every single entry. It definitely made picking a winner so difficult for our panel of judges. I didn’t envy their positions one bit.
So who were our judges? WTKR Reporter and News Anchor Kristen Crowley, Williamsburg Chef and restaurateur David Everett, HHS Director Kim Laska, CW Senior Dog Trainer Adam Claare, and Liberty herself! Each jotted observations and rating as the dogs pranced around the stage and compared notes to narrow down the pool of 50 to the top five. Here’s a look at the finalists.
Skeeter & Quinn: Navy Sailors
(Two salty dogs on the GW Aircraft Carrier)
Moxy: Black Widow
Jackson Lee: Colonial Pup
Chachi: Chia Pet
From there, it was up to the audience to show its enthusiasm for the best costume.
The cheers and applause were so loud it made it tough to determine the crowd favorite.
But in the end, it was Duke and his adorable chef owner who took home the grand prize. They did a great job! Our sailor pups were a very close runner-up! So close, in fact, we are sending them a care package from Liberty filled with Colonial Williamsburg goodies.
And while they didn’t place, we just had to share three of the social media team’s standouts. They definitely stole our hearts during registration. I mean, how adorable is this Lion? Don’t let the fierce mane fool you—this was one of the friendliest dogs in attendance!
And check out Paddington the Bear. This snuggly Goldendoodle has her own Instagram Account with close to a thousand followers.
And then, there was Scout. Sweet, sweet Scout. I doubt this pup has ever met a stranger! He loved “talking” to anyone who would listen. He chatted about his costume, his owners, and what a great time he was having making friends.
Once the contest wrapped up, General Washington and Liberty rolled up in their carriage to lead the big parade of pups down DoG Street.
They stopped in front of the Market House stage to decree that the city officially belonged to the dogs for the day before riding down Duke of Gloucester Street.
As they got closer to the end of the route, the two hopped down to join the rest of the pack on foot for the final stretch leading to Capitol Circle.
The action wasn’t just in the Historic Area. For the second year in a row, our apprentice chefs whipped up some gourmet treats to pass out at the Farmers Market in Merchants Square. I brought home several for my three dogs—a peace offering since I was working and couldn’t bring them to the event. Major mommy points!
Overall, it was an amazing day filled with barks, laughter, and so many great memories. I went through hundreds of fabulous photos for this blog and have to admit it was tough to narrow it down to what I selected. I thought I would end this post with another slideshow in order share as many fun moments as possible.
Special thanks to all of the photographers (and some of you!) who contributed: Dave Doody, Tom Green, Wayne Reynolds, Jerry Shell, Chris Cate, Becky Howard, Marilyn Ehrhart De Block, and Jenn Lyon.
And a shoutout to all of the Heritage Humane Society, William & Mary, and Colonial Williamsburg volunteers who worked behind the scenes to make the event a pleasurable one for everyone in attendance. Without your dedication, it would not have been possible!
Now, who’s ready to start counting down to next year?