When the contests include worst doggy breath and owner/pet lookalikes, you know it isn't the Westminster Dog Show.
However, you can bet your last collar that Saturday's CeleBARK Your Dog Day in the "backyard" of Rochester's Eagle Club will be a lot more fun for both pets and their families.
Pam Miller, owner of the mobile Bone Appetit Canine Bakery Unleashed, is sponsoring the family-friendly event to honor beloved dogs of all kinds, even those that might have a bit of halitosis. People are encouraged to bring well-behaved dogs that are up-to-date on their vaccinations.
Look for local celebrity judges Marcia Fritzmeier and Dr. Vicki Hunt to brave the bad breath, measure the longest ears and select the most similar dog/owner pair.
Fritzmeier is the handler of Mayo Clinic's popular therapy dog, Dr. Jack. Likewise, Hunt works with the therapy dog, Hershey. Hershey is known "Mr. June" from his appearance in the Rescued Dogs Calendar put out by Paws and Claws.
To help mark the first anniversary of the mobile version of her gourmet dog treat business, Miller wanted to host a fun and different kind of bash.
"I'd like it to become kind of a signature event," she says.
For the humans, both young and old, there will be games, contests, demonstrations and food. There even will be a treasure hunt similar to the Rochesterfest Medallion Hunt.
While fun is a big part of the fest by Bear Creek, it also will be about helping dogs find homes with good families.
"Part of my passion is to try and help rescue groups with their mission," says Miller.
Six rescue groups from Southeastern Minnesota will show off dogs available for adoption, as well as raise money to support their organizations.
While Miller has been locally-known for her homemade, preservative-free dog treats, she began driving her canine bakery and dog accessories shop on wheels to Rochester dog parks last summer.
"We go where the dogs and their owners are," she said.
Miller prides herself on offering the most current and unique products for dogs and the people who love them.
She says CeleBARK is just another way to help her business stand out from the pack.
Tag: Columnist, blogger and reporter Jeff Kiger tracks business action in Rochester and southeastern Minnesota every day in Heard on the Street.
Infobox headline: CeleBARK Your Dog Day
Infobox text: BACB Unleashed is sponsoring the free event. which is open to families and their well-behaved dogs.
• From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
• Behind the Eagles Club at 917 15th Ave S.E. in Rochester.
For more information, go to www.BACBunleashed.com.