Macy, an Australian shepherd, and Tori the great dane, mingle during the Rio Pecos Kennel Club’s 7th annual Shamrock Wag-n-Walk at Cahoon Park, Saturday morning. (Mark Wilson Photo)
Bella was able to keep her hat on long enough to sweep in and take first prize in the 7th-annual Shamrock Wag-n-Walk at Cahoon Park Saturday, despite the chilly, blustery weather.
“She never threw her hat off!,” said Elaine Mayfield, a Rio Pecos Kennel Club member.
The event drew 24 four-legged participants, adorned with St. Patrick’s Day green-colored bandanas, hats, tutus and other festive accessories.
Their owners donated $15 to the RPKC for each dog to take part in a 1-mile or 2-mile walk. Most participants elected to take the shorter route as the sustained 25- to 35-mile-an-hour winds gusted into the 40-miles-an-hour range at times.
Though the sun shone on the popular community gathering place, high temperatures only reached the upper 50s Saturday morning and 62 degrees that afternoon, according to Amanda Martin, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
The county continues to see temperatures 6 to 8 degrees below normal for this time of the year, Martin said.
Still, the kennel club estimated with the turnout of 24 walkers and another 10 owners who brought dogs for the microchipping service, the club still made some $300 for its charities.
“We had a good turnout,” Mayfield said.
Prizes were awarded to the cutest puppy, cutest adult, most talented dog and best costume — which Bella won with her ensemble of T-shirt, leggings and chapeau.
Marry Barron of Roswell attended the event with Wolfie, an AKC champion Alaskan malamute.
“He liked it very much,” Barron said, after their 2-mile stroll. “When they sniff things along the way, it’s like reading the newspaper to them. He read many articles today. He waded in the pond.”
Wolfie walks in the event every year, Barron said.
“It’s a really neat deal,” she said. “The neat thing about dogs is that when you walk them, you also walk yourself.”
The microchipping service helped 10 dogs. Costing $35, half of the proceeds will go to helping veterinary students with future education.
This year’s event was slightly less popular than last year, possibly because it was moved up a week.
“We normally do it next weekend,” Mayfield said.
The event was still a success for Tammy Sherrell, chairman this year and owner of great danes. She and her husband Jerry enjoyed the morning by attending with two of their dogs.
“It’s still good to get the dogs out of the house and get socialized,” Sherrell said.