For 20 years, Pets-DC has been helping ill people care for their pets. Initially, the group was formed to assist pet owners suffering from AIDS-related illnesses, but today serves clients dealing with a variety of serious illnesses. While providing the support clients need to maintain their relationships with their companion pets can be serious and sometimes sad work, this weekend Pets-DC will take a break from the mission and get crazy with the canines at the 18th annual Pride of Pets ''fun dog show'' in Dupont Circle.
''We debated the pros and cons of moving to another weekend, but everyone just wanted it to be in the Pride season,'' says Chip Wells, founder and director of Pets-DC. ''Hopefully it won't be too hot.''
While the weather's cooperation is always a wild card, at least levity is guaranteed with dogs being judged in 15 categories that include ''best tail wagging,'' ''least obedient'' and ''most glamorous.'' On hand to judge the mutts and purebreds will be JoAnn Kokindo, president of Brother Help Thyself, a Pets-DC sponsor; Dr. Katie Stembler, a local veterinarian; and Adam Giammarinaro of Nellie's Sports Bar, also a Pets-DC sponsor.
Along with levity, another guarantee is speed, with an hour being cut from Pride of Pets' traditional three-hour run.
''We're starting a little bit later, taking advantage of that late-afternoon shade,'' says Wells, pointing to this year's 3 p.m. check-in time and 4 to 6 p.m. show. ''There's something new every year. This year we're planning to follow the same program, but be a little quicker.''
The Pride of Pets Fun Dog Show runs 4-6 p.m., Saturday, June 18, in Dupont Circle. Registration at 3 p.m. Rain date: Sunday, June 19. To check rain-date status of for more about Pets-DC, call 202-234-7387 or visit petsdc.org.