A pampered pooch is ready to defend her title at a pageant this weekend wearing a painstakingly hand-stitched “Beauty and the Beast” gown made from 17 metres of organza.
Keisha is a Dutch Keeshond owned by Michelle, our lovely supporter in West Yorkshire. Last September, Keisha scooped the Queen Dog and Best In Show awards at the colourful Fur Babies Pageant, wearing a spectacular Queen of Hearts outfit.
The Fur Babies Pageant is set to take place again at the Collingham Memorial Hall in Leeds at the weekend and Keisha and Michelle are working hard to get ready as there is a title to defend.
Michelle has been working around the clock on this year’s look, which is a Belle from “Beauty and the Beast” ensemble with handstitched ruffles. Decorations made from a gold table cloth and Christmas ornaments complete the look fit for a puppy Pageant Queen.
Michelle’s granddaughter Lillie Blanthorn, 11, will support Keisha on the day dressed as ‘The Beast’.
The outfits cost around £60 for materials, but it is Michelle’s tireless hard work and hours of hand stitching that has brought the project to life.
Michelle said: “We have really pulled out the stops because Keisha does have a title to defend; we can’t wait. I actually feel quite nervous, but it will be all worth it if we win. The outfits have taken hours to make and are all hand-stitched”.
On winning last year, as dozens of pageant queens before her, Keisha used the opportunity to raise awareness and funds for a charity that is close to her heart, supporting less fortunate pups around the world. Michelle, who helps us every year at Crufts, chose NoToDogMeat, which rescues and cares for pets who have suffered the horrors of the dog and cat meat trade.
In recognition of the good work of the charity and out of respect for the reigning champion, this weekend’s Fur Babies event is now in aid of NoToDogMeat.
Michelle said: “I first got involved with NoToDogMeat after seeing the horrific cruelty of the dog meat trade in videos on Facebook.
“Other larger organisations use their money to fund lots of different kinds of projects, but I like that NoToDogMeat is grassroots and is on the ground, campaigning and supporting change on this issue alone. We are thrilled that Fur Babies has chosen to use their event to support NoToDogMeat; it will make such a big difference.”
Julia de Cadenet of the NoToDogMeat charity said: “We love Keisha and can’t wait to see her full costume on the ‘dog walk’; Michelle has put in so much hard work!”
“Thank you so much to Fur Babies for supporting the work that we do.”
“Our charity isn’t about attacking anyone’s culture; this is about ending animal cruelty and giving a safe and loving home to former dog and cat meat trade survivors; every animal deserves that. We have some lovely dogs which we rescued from the 2021 Yulin Dog Meat Festival, who are in need of intensive veterinary care and support right now.”
The Fur Babies pageant was started by Phil and June Hodgkins, and this is their fifth event.
Phil said: “We were proud to support NoToDogMeat; we agree with all that they stand for and the work that they do.”
If you are in Leeds this weekend, do go and support Michelle and Keisha, and if you have an event you are taking place in, let us know.
The Marathon is coming up soon as well, so don’t forget to secure your place. You can run or walk it with your dogs. #NoActionTooSmall