Photo by Meg Hibbert
Jaycee Sneed had never been in a fashion show until she and friend Jaelin Vernon took to the runway Sunday with Jaycee’s Maltese-Poodle mix Macy.
The fluffy white Maltese-Poodle mix pranced along in fashion changes including a hot pink sundress with daisies and even a football jersey. For the wedding of big dogs Guinivere and Treazur, the 9-1/2-year-old pup wore a lacy white skirt with strappy top.
Along the way they raised money for Saint Francis Service Dogs through fashion show admission and the Pet Photo Contest. More than 600 votes were cast online in the photo contest, show originator Laurice Hampton said.
Dogs for a Cause was sponsored by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority’s Roanoke Alumnae Chapter at the Ramada Inn’s Royal Room in Roanoke.
Eight-year-olds Jaycee and Jaelin, who are third graders at G.W. Carver Elementary, showed their Salem pride by modeling Jaycee’s cheerleading uniform and a Salem High School football jersey for Jaelin during the fashion show’s “Tailgate Party” category.
In other categories they wore tiaras and party clothes, which Jaelin accessorized with her “Little Miss Jabberwock 2017” sash. Little Miss Jabberwock is a girls’ competition sponsored by Delta Sigma Theta.
Luckily, Macy was just the right size to wear Build-a-Bear clothes, Jaycee’s mom, Jordan Sneed, explained after the show, so they didn’t have to go dog-clothes shopping.
Jaycee said her favorite part of the Doggy Fashion Show was getting to dress her dog and show her off. “I liked the weddings,” she said.
Jaycee’s dad, Chris, and little sister Jadelyn, were also at the fashion show, as was Jaelin’s mom, Angelia. Her dad, John Vernon, is a Salem Police officer.
Other doggy contestants wore polka-dotted raincoats in Rainy Dog Daze category, a construction worker’s reflective coat, snow coats and sweaters, a bumblebee costume in the Trick or Treat category, a ruffled red dress with shiny jewel necklace for tiny Snauzer mix YoYo.
A particular crowd pleaser was Airedale Treazur in his “Popeye the Sailor Man” costume, complete with nautical tattoos on his padded arm muscles. He looked handsome in his tuxedo when he and 15-year-old Guinivere, in net gown and veil, got hitched at the conclusion of the fashion show. Wedding gowns are traditional endings for fashion shows.
Guinivere is a popular dog at Breast Cancer Awareness events in the Roanoke Valley and even on the runway at a New York City fashion show in 2013.
The Standard Poodle is known for being dyed hot pink for such occasions. Sunday, only her ears and topknot were pink.
Jenna Wiggleworth of Moneta said her diva dog Guinivere – who is a frequent visitor at the Salem dog salon Classy Pets whose owner Robin Anderson has Guinivere’s great-great-grandson, will be celebrating her birthday in Salem in October at a private party for other Standard Poodles and friends.
Guinivere became an Internet sensation when fashion designer Isaac Misrahi asked to use her in one of his New York City shows in 2013. Her picture was in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Women’s World, on Project Runway All Stars, the Today Show and Cake Boss television shows, her owner recalled.
Saint Francis Service Dogs Deuce and Clapton appeared at the show to spotlight the kind of training the funds raised by the Doggy Fashion Show help to make possible. Saint Francis Event Coordinator Lisa Caldwell explained training individual dogs to be helpers for people with mobility conditions and autism costs about $25,000 per dog. Saint Francis receives no government funds and raises all its money through fundraising and donations.