Dogs take a bow (wow) at GNA parade

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By Sabina Mollot

On Saturday afternoon, the Gramercy Neighborhood Associates, Inc. held its annual Canine Comedy Parade, an event at which every dog is guaranteed to have its day — or at least a few minutes of fame on a hydrant-lined red carpet.

As always, area residents showed up with their four-legged friends, many of them in costume, and competed for gift certificates from Gramercy pet supply shop Canis Minor as well as ribbons.

Unlike most dog shows, the GNA’s 25-year-old affair is always a low-key one; $5 gets pooches a chance to compete for titles such as “Most Likely to Eat Your Dinner When You’re Not Looking” and “Most Likely to be Mistaken for a Dustbunny.”

What pedigree a dog has isn’t important, and the event, held on the street on Gramercy Park West, has been

billed as the “anti-Westminster.” Outfits for the contestants are optional, but this year a theme seemed to be sports; several dogs came in jerseys of their owners’ team of choice, while other costumes included a devil, a fairy and a yenta.

Ultimately, the title of “Best in Show” and a $50 gift certificate from Canis Minor went to Comet, a poodle pinscher dressed up as a hot dog.

“Last year he won ‘Best Upcoming Supermodel,’ even though he’s male,” explained Linda Phillips, his owner.

Runners up and winners of $25 gift certificates were Cody, a bijon dressed up as a dragon and Coco, a poodle-bijon in fairy wings.

Diminutive Coco, owned by Ruby Serafin and Juliette Knight, also won the title “Most Likely to be Mistaken for a Dustbunny.” According to Serafin, attending the parade is something of a tradition for her family.

“I’m not sure how many times we’ve come,” she said. “We used to come all the time when we had another dog.”

As for the other runner-up, unlike the rest of the dogs, which came from either Gramercy or Stuy Town, Cody came all the way from Queens with owners Rita and Mike Horowitz. The couple lives in Queens but heard about the event online and figured they’d check it out.

Cody appeared to be excited about the event and the chance for photo ops, but then again it could have been due to all the eggs (his treat of choice) that Rita had given him.

“If you give this dog eggs, he’ll do whatever you want,” she said. “And we have plenty in the house from the Jewish holidays.”

Along with the prize-winners, all dogs went home with ribbons that seemed to make their owners happy.

Molly, the only pit bull to enter, won a ribbon for “Most Likely to Blog About the Award.”

Hal Cohen, her owner, noted that last year she was honored as “Pit Bull Ambassador of the Year” and he and Molly were parade regulars.

As for her costume this year, a pink kerchief worn over her head, transforming her into “Yenta Dog,” it wasn’t even planned. Molly had apparently had a pink kerchief around her neck after leaving the groomer’s, and didn’t seem to mind it was there, so Cohen left it on.

He added that he hoped Molly would get less harsh words from passersby as a yenta than when Cohen dresses her up in a Mets jersey.

“Yankee fans hate on my dog, but she doesn’t know it’s a Mets banner. She’s a dog,” he said.

Passion about sports seemed to be in the air though.Bauer, a shih tzu in a Michigan Jersey, won the “I Still Hate Woody Hayes” award.

Exhibitors at the event were from local pet-related businesses and organizations such as Wiggly Pups dog spa, Hope’s Hand Knits, Bideawee and Cauz for Pawz thrift shop.

Alan Krevis, president of the GNA, said the event has gotten better over the years with little changes such as including the vendors and the addition of the red carpet.

This year’s “was a great day. Everybody had a good time and by the turnout is something the neighborhood enjoys,” he said.

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Letters to the editor, Sept. 27

Why management should bring back ST flea

Dear Editor:
As StuyTown and Peter Cooper have a new manager,  I say “Welcome.”
I’ve noticed that at all of  the functions sponsored by them, there are quite a lot of friends present who are not residents. I also know that there are lots of apartments occupied by noisy NYU students and not long-term tenants.
I have an idea that will solve this dilemma: Bring back the wildly popular flea market! This two-day event brought everybody outside, especially friends of tenants!  Even my cousin from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn (over 90 minutes away by train on any weekend day) brought two friends for a full day of browsing, shopping and  fun.  It was a big event for both kids and adults. I’m sure that prospective tenants showed up,  too. What a wonderful way to introduce a new  group to living here!
Flea markets  of this type are not “low brow” events and do not attract undesirables. It was a stabilizing occasion, one that so many of us miss, my family included.
Yours,

Susan Schoenbaum, ST
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