Pups on Parade at Miramar’s Best in Show


It may have been a bright, sunny day, but the stars were out as a parade of pooches proudly strutted their stuff for the assembled crowd at the Rosewood Miramar Beach for the second annual Miramar Best in Show on August 27. Outfitted in bandanas, Hawaiian shirts, and bow ties, the dogs charmed the crowd and the judges with wagging tails and infectious energy.

Gail Kvistad and her dog Prince Mojo III the Chihuahua, who won the award for Most Spirit | Credit: Gail Kvistad

The event, held on the Miramar’s sprawling Great Lawn, benefited Love Leo Rescue, an L.A.-based nonprofit that provides rehabilitation services, from medical care to training, to dogs in need; and Santa Barbara Humane, which has worked to keep all animals happy and healthy since 1887. The resort’s Managing Director Rick Fidel hosted the event, and actress Camilla Belle served on the judges’ panel.

Dogs of all different sizes, colors, and breeds showed off their outfits, natural charm, and a variety of tricks that ranged from basic obedience commands to giving hugs, playing catch, and posing for selfies.

When not admiring the performing pups, attendees enjoyed coffee and specialty cocktails while dog guests were offered organic treats; Paw-garitas, a refreshing mix of cantaloupe, coconut milk, and mint; and plenty of fresh, cold water. Vendors set up shop near the Great Lawn, with a portion of all sales benefiting Love Leo and S.B. Humane. Attendees wanting to treat their dogs or themselves perused the beautiful Italian-leather leashes and collars from Pagerie; charmingly colorful beaded collars from Love Leo Rescue; PJ Salvage’s cozy assortment of soft pet blankets and adorable dog-patterned pajamas; Cashy’s Playpen’s adorable selection of stuffed toys and treats; and Staud Clothing’s stunning clothes, bags, and blankets that can be personalized with a custom embroidered or hand-painted image of your pet.

In this reporter’s opinion, every dog deserved lots of treats and love for their performances, but the big winners of the day were Blue the Australian Shepherd, winning the Best Trick category for tackling the agility obstacles with vigor; Prince Mojo III the Chihuahua, for Most Spirit, who fluttered down the catwalk in a darling pair of pink angel wings; Blessings the West Highland White Terrier, who blessed the crowd with his adorable Pope costume and won Best Look; and Lucky the Labrador, who snagged the Spectators’ Choice award with his energy and contagious grin. Best in Show, the biggest prize of the day, went to Taco the Cairn terrier mix, who stole the judges’ hearts with his adorable scruffy appearance and joyful energy as he charmingly performed his tricks.

As only the second annual Miramar Best in Show event, the future looks bright for years to come of beautiful views, tail-wagging fun, and the chance to benefit animals in need.

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