Drink for a good cause

Artists invited to create pet water bowls, win prizes

By Angela Jossy on June 28, 2007

In my opinion, “dead puppies” is one of the saddest phrases in the English language and “community art project” is one of the happiest. A project is underway now that uses one of those phrases to eliminate the other. Last year at the Top of Tacoma McKinley Street Festival artists were asked to work with a dog theme and create art chairs. The project was called “Sit” and the chairs were auctioned to benefit Cascade Animal Protection Society. It was a lot of fun, and some really creative art chairs found new homes.

This year artists are being asked to create water bowls for pets (or decoration). The project is called “Drink” and the net proceeds go to The Dugan Foundation, an organization dedicated to the creation of a sustainable no-kill animal environment in Pierce County, and the McKinley Business District. Bowls can be decorative, functional or both. There are no restrictions on creativity, but they ask that no lead-based paint be used because that could be harmful to the animal should the bowl be put to use. There are also no restrictions on the number of bowls an artist may submit.

The bowls will be displayed at the festival and judged in the following categories: Best in Show, Junior Division (ages 16 and under) and Peoples Choice. After the prizes are awarded, the bowls will be available to the public for purchase. If you would like to participate, submit a picture of your creation in jpeg format via e-mail to sharikaroland@net-venture.com no later than July 31.

Another way to express your love of animals and your creative flair is by subjecting your beloved pet to public humiliation. Who doesn’t love a dog in costume? It’s just so darned cute! Animalocity, the costumed pet parade, will also take place at Top of Tacoma McKinley Street Festival. Animalocity is sponsored by Dugan Foundation (and vice versa). All proceeds from the parade registration go to the Dugan Foundation. In the past, Animalocity has been held downtown Tacoma in Opera Alley, where it usually attracts quite a large crowd. This addition to the Top of Tacoma McKinley Street Festival should result in more foot traffic at the event. Pun totally intended. Dogs have twice as many feet as humans, you know.

The cost to register for the parade is $15, and that includes two humans and two pets. People can dress in costume and march in the parade without a pet if they want to. That price also allows you to enter a float of some sort, should you want to build one. Norma Owens, McKinley Business District president, said it’s ok for businesses to advertise in the parade by creating an animal themed float of some kind. She also said that organizers are really open-minded about what people might want to do in the parade. Monkey business will probably ensue. Rumor has it that there might even be animals from Point Defiance Zoo participating in the parade, but it’s too early to confirm that. A pair of alpacas participated last year though, so is it really far fetched to think that giraffes and elephants could follow?

[McKinley Business District, Saturday, Aug. 11, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., East 35th Street and McKinley Avenue, Tacoma, 253.472.1365, www.myspace.com/topoftacoma. For more information about the Dugan Foundation, visit www.duganfoundation.org]