It was one of those events that either has you smiling or marveling.
Smiling at the doggy outfits, or marveling at the exotic breeds that were on show at the 10th annual Marco Mutts and Martinis parade recently at the Esplanade.
One couldn’t help chuckle, for example, at the tutus many owners chose for their small dogs, or do a second take looking at the electric blue eyes of Shenzi the Australian Shepherd.
Essentially, it was an evening where you could people watch, you could dog watch, and you could watch dogs watching dogs.
The long-running dog show has every participating hound enjoying 15 seconds of fame on a ramp in the Esplanade’s courtyard.
The Greater Marco Family YMCA benefits from the “funraiser,” with proceeds benefiting its summer camp programs of East Naples and Marco (that incorporate YReads for migrant children), their families and the under-served population of Collier County.
While many of the dogs sported cute costumes, others went “au naturel,” and their owners were happy to talk about them and let them be petted.
Liz Essig, for example, transported Reo the Shi Tzu in a stroller. He’s a little older these days and can’t see anything beyond shadows, explained Essig.
Sharon Walklett dressed herself as Cruella de Ville, and imagined her Maltese poodle Lilly as a Dalmatian for the evening, while there simply had to be a “hot dog” — which came in the form of Jack and Claire Keery’s Maltipoo, Molly.
There were indeed awards for various category winners, but it was clear that all the owners got a kick simply out of having their mutts checked out by a crowd of ruffly 500 people.
For more on the Y’s wide variety of programs and activities for adults and children, visit marcoymca.org or call 394-YMCA (9622). Follow on Twitter at ymcamarco; on Facebook @marcoymca, and Instagram at ymcamarco.