At Reindog Parade, contestants are so doggone cute

WILLIAMSTOWN — Kaiser, a 6-month-old Leonberger from North Adams, was nowhere near the most outrageously dressed canine at Saturday's annual Reindog Parade.

Still, donning only an understated red and green Christmas collar, the 85-pound lionlike animal could not be overlooked.

"They're good family dogs, but also protective," said Kaiser's owner, Ashley Cote, while constantly reassuring other dog owners that her oversize puppy was friendly.

Hundreds of people lined Spring Street on Saturday afternoon, several pressing their faces against shop windows, to get a glimpse of the more than 100 costumed dogs of all sizes parading through town.

Many dogs wore sweaters, a few wore reindeer antlers, some pulled makeshift sleighs full of stuffed animals, and one donned a menorah around its neck.

When John Skavlem organized the first parade nearly two decades ago, he didn't expect it to grow to this size, he said Saturday, after handing out prizes to the best-dressed dogs.

"I started this 19 years ago with five dogs, all of whom (belonged to) friends of mine," he said while walking backward along the parade route.

Charlene Lambert, who owns Greylock Canine Club doggy day care, had 25 of her clients marching in the parade.

One of them, whom Lambert had the pleasure of escorting along the parade route because his owner was on vacation, won the Best Reindog in Show award.

The energetic chocolate Labrador, Mole — like the stew — was overjoyed with the attention that his Santa costume and white felt beard brought him.

"He loves it," Lambert said, with her hands full of leashes.

But dogs weren't the only animals getting attention Saturday.

Members of the Williams College equestrian team escorted farm animals from DeMayo's Bonnie Lea Farm.

Pancake, a brown pony, donned a snowflake cape, red nose and antlers.

Carin Demayo-Wall, whose sister coaches the equestrian team, carried Summer, an affectionate blue-eyed goat, in her arms.

Haven Orecchio-Egresitz can be reached at, @HavenEagle on Twitter, or 413-770-6977.


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