The Volunteers in Northampton Schools (VINS) held its 11th Annual Dog Show in the Northampton High School gymnasium. As Margie Riddle, president of VINS Board of Directors explains, "this is not your usual serious dog show, this is a dog show for fun;" and there was certainly no shortage of fun to be had by dogs and humans alike.
The competition was judged by school Superintendent John Provost, as well as Northampton High School Principal Bryan Lombardi, and featured categories such as A Pooch Who Can Smooch, Best Smile, and Best Singing Voice.
Though many community members and their dogs came to compete in one or more of the shows events, others simply came as spectators. Sitting off to the side on the bleachers, one owner, Asanti, described how she first met her dog, Meadow; "Meadow and I met seven and a half years ago. She was abandoned in the local meadows, in a crate; she was about a year old, when a jogger found her and brought her to the Northampton Veterinary Clinic. My aunt, who was the dog officer, brought her to me because I was looking for a rescue dog at the time, and it just fit, so we've had her since."
This year's dog show drew an impressive crowd, and the proceeds from registrations and general admissions will go towards offsetting the costs of the VINS program, which serves schools throughout Northampton, organizing volunteers to "fill the gaps of needed support," as Bryan Lombardi explains.
Now in its 11th year, the VINS Dog Show continues to draw the community together in support of the town's public schools. One can only imagine that the event will remain a cornerstone of the VINS program for years to come.