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Charleston’s most fashionable canine companions put their best paw forward at Bambu Restaurant for the Best in Show Party, benefiting the Charleston Dog Show. Attendees and their furry friends entered the Bambu patio on a red carpet, and everyone was welcomed with an oversized light-up diamond ring. Any fete that kicks off with LED-enhanced accessories is sure to be a good time, and the evening certainly did not disappoint.

Partygoers noshed on fresh sushi and sipped signature cocktails as the featured guests trickled in, tails wagging. While there were sights, smells, and distractions aplenty, the dogs were amazingly well behaved, with only a couple instances of inappropriate sniffing. Contestant Seamus could be spotted lounging in one of the high bar chairs, tongue lolling. Impressed at what must have been a steep jump for a rather large dog, I couldn’t help asking, “Did he get up there by himself?” “Yeah, how else would he get up there?!” owner Wylie laughed.

Skirt! magazine founder and editor Nikki Hardin, fashion designer Michael Wernicki, and ever-stylish fashionista Claire Slover made their way to the judges table as the owners began to grapple with their pups’ ensembles for the competition. Maureen Distler’s adorable deaf pit bull Petie had arrived already dressed in a dramatic animal print outfit, and the fundraising champion has raised over $8,000 for Paws to the Rescue. Exotically dressed contestant Lili sported a vibrantly hued Bollywood outfit, while Louisa Hawkin’s furry friend Tucker wore a full policeman’s outfit, complete with a hat and handcuffs. Other notable sights included a standard poodle dressed as Coco Chanel, a canine caped crusader, and a Jack Russell in full beach bum regalia, including sunglasses. Perhaps the most curious and humorous look of the competition, however, was “Doggy Parton”, who patiently walked the runway in a blonde wig, leopard print leg warmers, and a large leopard print push-up bra.

Lili’s Bollywood costume won first place, and Petie’s animal print ensemble came in a close second. The Best in Show Party benefited the Charleston Dog Show. The 9th Annual Charleston Dog Show will take place in Marion Square on Saturday, May 5. The Charleston Dog Show features a Blessing of the Dogs, canine competition, dog vendors and silent auction with pet art, microchipping, dog rescue village, gourmet lunch boxes, educational booths, and canine concessions. Proceeds from the Charleston Dog Show benefit Lowcountry Lab Rescue, Greyhound Pets of America - Charleston, Rescue Village Participants, and Middleton Place Hounds.

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