I hate to admit it, but I’ve watched Toddlers and Tiaras and of course a snippet (maybe more) of Honey Boo Boo. Long before Honey Boo Boo, I affectionately called Sadie “Honey Sade” and “Honey Dogster” never dreaming she might one day actually have something in common with the television wanna-be beauty queen. I never really got the Pageant Mom’s frantic urge to propel their kids to win at all costs until I entered my dog Sadie in the American Dog Magazine Beautiful Eyes Contest. Suddenly I am compelled to badger all my Facebook friends…even the ones I don’t really know…and comb through all the contacts on my website and my computer address list literally begging for votes. I’ve become a Pageant Pup Mom.
I am hounded by my own past ventures into the beauty pageant world. Most of the memories, I’ve tried to forget, but now that my Dog Daughter has entered the Canine Crown Competition, I’ve dredged them up in case they might be useful to Sadie. Once I desperately donned a dog costume, a Snoopy costume to be exact, in my quest to become Miss Northwestern Pennsylvania. In that ridiculous, hot, awkward costume I sang and danced around a dog house with a hat, cane, and dog dish for my props. My song appropriately enough was “Suppertime” from the musical, “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown.” I could hardly get my dress on for the crowning ceremony I was so sweaty from the stifling suit and the vigorous dance. Strange enough, the judges liked it and the girls who’d performed glamorous talent like baton twirling and ballet didn’t receive the roses. Photographs of this embarrassing debacle pop up each year in my home town during the festival when the pageant is held and contestants and queens from the past are displayed in the newspaper storefront. I don’t go home to visit that week.
In college I confirmed that I was indeed verging on lunacy when I performed all the parts from the Wizard of Oz as my talent for the Homecoming Queen Pageant. During late night popcorn feasts in my dorm, this had been prime entertainment, and when dared to do it in the pageant, I couldn’t resist. I created a very clever costume, if I have to say so myself, that enabled me to transform into each of the characters by removing certain parts and deftly adding others right in front of the audience. I was Dorothy, the Cowardly Lion, the Tin Man, the Scarecrow, and of course, ended as the Wicked Witch. It too was surprisingly a hit beating out the girls who sang gospel songs and the others that played classical piano. No one was more surprised than me and my pack of crazy roommates. I think it just goes to show that the Judges get bored and only remember the ridiculous acts like mine and as a future lawyer, of course I always aced the question and interview segments.
Thankfully, Sadie only has to be herself for this contest. Her talent is the natural beauty she was born with and the sweet spirit she’s always had that shines from her eyes. I’ve explained that I am shamelessly begging for votes for her all over the Internet, and to people I see that know her…”VOTE FOR SADIE” has become my mantra until Monday when the contest closes. I’ve ended most of my phone calls since yesterday with the question…”Hey…will you go online and vote for my dog.” I changed the message on my answering machine and voice mail asking that same question and providing details for voting. I check the competition, constantly monitoring the nose to nose race between her and her closest competitor. I tell her to have a”pawsitive” attitude…who knows what this could lead to. Perhaps the cover of BARK Magazine or a modeling gig for Doggie Designer Eyeglasses.
We were almost asleep last night when I remembered a box I never unpacked in the four years we’ve lived at our new house. I got Sadie up and we went to the storage room. She was sleepy and confused, but came along with me. I got the step stool and reached up on the shelf in one of the closets and brought down a very yellowed and battered box. Inside nestled in crinkly tissue paper were two tiaras from what seems another life. The rhinestones sparkled in the light as I held them for Sadie to admire. She looked at them…then at me when I put one on my head…gave the one in my hand a lick and went back to bed.
I sat there and the visions of that darn Snoopy suit and the Wizard of Oz contraption made me laugh more than the present picture of a determined Pagent Pup Mom sitting in the midle of a storage room in her nightgown with a sparkling tiara on her head. For a few moments I was that crazy girl again and it was like magic. If Sadie wins or loses, I can only hope she feels like I did once upon a time.
VOTE FOR SADIE