Dog mom Jennifer Thomas and her 2-year-old Maltase Chihuahua mix named Willow won Best Kisser during the April Foolish Dog Show on April 2, 2022. The show, held at the Fort Jackson Dog Park, offered more than 15 categories for fur-real and stuffed dogs. Winners walked away with prize bags and gift cards to a local pet supplier.

Fetching latest winners of April Foolish Dog Show

By Alexandra Shea

Fort Jackson Public Affairs

A commotion of barking and laughter echoed through Fort Jackson’s Family Housing April 2 during the April Foolish Dog Show hosted by the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation at the Fort Jackson Dog Park.

More than 30 fur-family members and their human Families attended the open-air event in celebration of Month of the Military Child to show off their fluffiest, softest, longest tail and ears and most misbehaved dogs to win a variety of prizes and gift cards to local pet supply store Pet Supplies Plus.

“We had a blast. We expected a wild crowd but the dogs were well behaved,” said Sgt. 1st Class Travis Swope, drill sergeant leader assigned to the U.S. Army Drill Sergeant Academy. “There was great competition out here.”

Swope, and his wife Hannah, both enjoyed competing with their dog Urbosa, a French Shepheard who competed in several categories and won Best Trick.

Sgt. 1st Class Swope even helped his com-paw-tition during the longest ears and tail competition by displaying ears and tails in his best gameshow presenter Vanna White impression. “You have to get involved. If you don’t come out and invest yourself, you are wasting your time,” Swope said between laughs.

Dogs weren’t the only winners during the show. Of the 15 categories, several were won by stuffed animals and a 15 month old girl dressed as a pink poodle showed attendees winning a category was paw-ssible with a little imagination.

“My mother found her costume,” said Rochele Grierson, mother of 15-month-old Kalani. “She loves dogs and I knew I had to dress her up and bring her down as soon I learned about this.”

Kalani walked in her poodle costume among the dogs, making friends with all she met. She wasn’t the only paw-sh pooch showing off their couture collections. Brownie, a 15-year-old Chihuahua, won Best Costume in addition to winning Best Senior.

“We had quite a good turn out and the weather was perfect,” said Kristin Wilcox, Outdoor Recreation manager and event coordinator. “I enjoyed the competitions a lot. My favorite category was Most Disobedient, it was hilarious.”

While Wilcox enjoyed her position of the event’s master of ceremonies, the panel of judges had a more difficult time.

“It was my first time judging. It was super fun but hard though,” said Mariah Lovick, Post Library interim director and event judge. “So many cute dogs and you want them all to win but you can only pick one. My two favorite events were Fluffiest and Most Loveable.”

“The judges had to get their hands in the fur,” Wilcox said jokingly. “They had to pet everyone and see who was the fluffiest.”

At the end of the event, category winners collected their prizes that included gift cards, golden dog bowls, treats and toys, stuffed animals, and sticker books. Some dogs and their owners stuck around after the competition ended to continue the romping good time with new friends they met during competition.

“Because of the great turn out and people seemed to really enjoy themselves, I would say we will host another dog event,” Wilcox said. “We may do another dog show or dog costume event. So keep on the lookout.”

The Fort Jackson Dog Park is a dual sided park for large and small breed dogs located at 6100 Chestnut Road. The park is open every day from dawn to dusk.

“It’s a really nice park,” Wilcox said. “It has two sides and running water so come out and visit us.”