Patriotic Pups Strut Their Stuff During First Annual Dog Parade


Memorial Day weekend kicked off with talented canines when Stacey and Charlie McGann began the 1st Annual Dog Parade in Warsaw, which began at 10:00 am Saturday. It was sponsored by the Deer Rest Campgrounds and put on by the owners of the Train Station. Michael Pierce led the National Anthem and oversaw the music for the event. The parade route was located behind Beth’s Mini Mart and the Train Station at the rodeo grounds. Stacey said that the idea came due to the number of dog-loving campers on the holiday weekend. The event was to honor fallen veterans, and as such the furry contestants were encouraged to wear patriotic garb for the competition.

Dr. Ray Alcantara and Bonnie Guier were the judges for the parade. Dr. Alcantara has had fourteen years of experience as a veterinarian in the Warsaw area and owns Alcantara Veterinary Hospital in town. Bonnie Guier is the owner of Gentle Souls Dog Training, in which she has experience training for the past thirteen years. Guier offers both classes and private lessons. She hosts the Canine Fun Club at 2 pm every Sunday at the Rodeo grounds.

The event consisted of a small course, in which the owners and their pet went between two cones and around another before the pet performed a “sit” and passed by the judges for the final stretch of the competition. The breeds in attendance ranged from a French bulldog to a Maltese and everything in between.

Many of the costumes sported colorful motifs of red, white, and blue, with tutus, American flag bandanas, and Uncle Sam-esque hats. Many of these costumes were homemade, such as a cereal bowl made out of a dog cone and plastic scrubbers forming fruit loops.

Coming in second place was Sherry DeGraffenreid and her dog Ginger. Ginger is a long-haired Chihuahua. The pet was festooned in Memorial Day attire, featuring a tutu decked in patriotic colors. Ginger was trained through the Puppies for Parole program, where prisoners help train rescued dogs and puppies. According to DeGraffenreid, Ginger’s favorite trick is to sit and lie down.

First place this year went to Ken McCracken and his dog, Marbles. McCracken and his pet are from Warsaw, Missouri. Marbles is a one-year-old Great Pyrenees-Aussie mix. When asked about his dog, McCracken said that if his pet gets lost, “I can always say that I lost my Marbles.” Even though Marbles is only a year old, Marbles can do up to fifteen different tricks, a few of which were displayed after the parade route.

In addition to the parade, there was a raffle drawing that gave door prizes as well as a patriotic photo booth where pets and their families could have their pictures taken.