The fourth consecutive Well dog Show held in October '03 was a trendsetter of sorts.Earlier shows had been held in our premises in August to go with the national pride in owning all things Indian .This time , at the request of the school that approached us, we held the show later and at their premises which proved to be a wonderful oppurtunity to reach out to children too.The Velammal Matric Higher Secondary School in Mogappair, had previously held dog shows in their school, exclusively for their students but they were fascinated by the concept of the Mongrel dog show and the concern for these homeless animals which culminated in their hosting our fourth dog show at the school premises.As a goodwill gesture towards their school students, Blue Cross relented to accept entries of pedigrees too ,only from the students,though.We were pleasantly surprised to see that an equal half of the school entries had mongrels!
An added advantage of holding the show in Mogappair was that people who were unable to come all the way to our Guindy shelter eagerly took part this time and were excited at the prospect of a Sunday outing for their pets in the spacious surroundings of the school.This has encouraged us to hold our show every year in a different school in a different location so as to make it easier for the residents of that area to take part.We have already received offers from schools which have Karuna Clubs who are eager to add this new dimension to their activities.
As always , we had various prizes in various categories plus a raffle so as to allow as many pets as is possible to be winners.The special categories are carefully chosen to encourage people to accept and appreciate their pets as they are and to erase superstitions about their appearances.
Our judges for the show this year were- Dr T.P Sekar ,Chief Veterinarian of Blue Cross who chipped in his experience and patience with over 85 entries and Dr Priyadarshini Govind, a young and committed veterinarian who has helped out in various animal welfare organisations as and when her time and busy schedule permits. She was also the recipient of the Young Achiever Award given by the People for Animals, for this year.
Mr.P.Thangaraj,Dean, Veterinary college, as the Chief Guest, spoke to the students on the importance of keeping a pet at home and also taking good care of it.Mr.Vijay Adhiraj, a popular TV star gave away the prizes and also recounted his experiences with his pets,some of whom have been mongrels.
The prize winners were as follows.
- Sterilised male - Browny of Padmavathi and Muthu of Yashodara.
- Sterilised female - Blackie of Padmavathi .
- Non Sterilised male - Benjy of Lisa and Tyson of Senthilkumar
- Non Sterilised female - Jimmy of Jayaprakash and Tommy of Anuradha.
- Pups - Becky of Vivian and Segappy of Gokulkrishna
- Oldest - Pepsi of Anuradha
- Curliest tail - Tiger of Ganesh
- Friendliest - Pinky of Senthilkumar
- Oddest markings - Browny of Padmavathy
- Healthiest - Twinky of Prasanna.
- From the school, Ebony of Benjamin, Julie of Aishwarya and Snow of Sushil.
The oldest dog category had a special cash prize of Rs 250, sponsored by the owners of Tiny,who lived up to the grand old age of 20 before succumbing last year.They also sponsored the garlands for the prize winners while Mrs Nora Subramani painstakingly made silk medals for them.We thank them for their generosity and enthusiasm. We also thank Messrs Vivek and Co for sponsoring the raffle prizes
An adoption program was also held along with the show and all the 33 puppies brought from Blue Cross were snapped within moments of reaching the school that our prepared speech on why mongrels should be adopted became unneccesary!! Most of the students also decided that they will only adopt mongrels or abandoned pets from animal shelters and not buy their pets anymore.Which is exactly what Blue Cross is striving for.The concept of the Mongrel Dog Show is to encourage pet owners to show the world and take pride in their non pedigree dogs and for new owners to go in for these homeless animals . When reputed schools join the cause, it makes it that much easier for us to reach out.Thank you Velammal ,for pioneering the trend.