Photo Gallery | 15th annual Not Your Average Dog Show at BCC
PITTSFIELD — One look into Coco's big brown eyes and the year-old shih tzu melts the heart.
However, the petit canine used her rear end to capture first place as Fastest Tail Wagger at Sunday's Not Your Average Dog Show at Berkshire Community College.
Coco's rookie performance at the 15th annual event impressed her owner, Tori Wadsworth of Lee.
"I was expecting her to be shy and timid — I am very proud," she said.
Wadsworth's furry friend was among the 40-50 purebreds and mutts also vying for Best Kisser, Best Dressed, Earresistible Ears and six other win, place and show ribbons.
The tail-wagging, pooch-smooching fundraiser held at the Paterson Field House benefited the BCC Foundation Annual Fund, a nonprofit corporation that provides dozens of scholarships each year and supports initiatives to enhance learning at the Pittsfield and great Barrington campuses.
"It's a great cause for students and faculty," said emcee, Berkshire state Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli. "We have a couple of rowdy dogs in the back, but most are well behaved."
BCC Foundation President Eugene Dellea was ringmaster for the competitions, augment by Eric Thee Illusionist and his half-hour of children-oriented magic along with several pet-related vendors.
Despite the Arctic-cold weather, dog lovers turned out in droves, according to Craig Smith, BCC's vice president for advancement.
"I am thrilled with the crowd," he said. "From our perspective this is more of a friend-raiser than fundraiser with many people here for the first time."
Paul Whticomb of Lanesborough entered Peterbilt, a 2-and-a-half year-old Spanish bull mastiff, in the Best Dressed category, tying for third place. Named for the large truck manufacturing company, Peterbilt is a therapy dog who brings joy and comfort to nursing home residents and those at senior centers.
"It's therapy for him too because gets separation anxiety — he needs to be around people," Whitcomb said.
Christine Arace and her 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, of Pittsfield dressed Bentley, their 3-year-old black and white English springer spaniel, as a well-known odoriferous mammal.
"When I see him from a distance, he looks like a skunk," said Gianna,
Meagan Brancazzu was among some canine owners who simply socialized during the dog show, although the Pittsfield woman's 4-year-old bloodhound may compete next year.
"Bella loves the people and loves the dogs, but she does have the most irresistible ears," she noted.