The winner of this year’s Canine Carewalk fashion show at Elmhurst College was a real underdog. In fact, he was a cat.
Buddy the cat faced stiff competition from poodles in polka dots and Chihuahuas in puffy vests, but in the end, the Cureton Hall resident wowed the judges with a bright orange Pippi Longstocking wig.
“Buddy would like to add that all of the other contestants were well dressed and deserving of the honor,” said the feline’s owner, residence life coordinator Lauren Covey.
On Saturday, April 26, more than 60 community members gathered on campus with their pets for the sixth annual Canine Carewalk at Elmhurst College, a one-mile trek around the College Mall to raise awareness and funds for local animal shelters. Organized by Elmhurst’s Pre-veterinary and Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), the event included games, a trick show and a raffle in addition to the fashion show.
Megan Whirley, a sophomore pre-vet student, checked in participants and handed out biscuits at the registration table. A member of Elmhurst’s PAWS, Whirley said the Canine Carewalk was a great way to unite a community of pet lovers. “People bring dogs from all over the suburbs, and it really raises awareness for the shelters,” she said. “It’s great to see the club in action. Plus, it adds excitement to campus.”
Shelters represented at the event included Animal Care League of Oak Park, which offered information about adopting and fostering pets and spaying/neutering. League representatives brought along two dogs that are available for adoption: Mufasa, a Pitbull Mastiff who enjoyed basking in a sunny spot on the Mall, and May, an excitable terrier mix.
“This is great for May! She’s been running around all day,” said Janet Hunt of the Animal Care League. “This spreads the word that we’re out there, and hopefully we can get some dogs adopted.”
The event brought some familiar faces back to campus. Anthony Palumbo ’11 came from Bensenville with Maple, his Basset Hound mix. “It’s great to return to campus with my pet to do something good for the community,” he said.
Throughout the event, Buddy the cat explored the Mall and even let curious dogs approach him. “Though he scientifically is classified as a cat, he has a lot of dog-like tendencies,” said Covey. “He is very adventurous, and Saturday was no exception.”
In the end, the Canine Carewalk was a success for all participants—dogs, pet owners and one special cat (who wrapped up his fashion show victory with a long nap).