A few times a year, Bobbi Mitchell and her nonprofit Pups on the Runway hold an event for charity to raise funds for animal rescue organizations. The second annual Puppy Prom was held Sunday, June 22, and this year’s donation went to the Metropolitan Maltese Rescue.
Press in attendance included NBC, ABC, CBS, The Associated Press, Univision and Urban Animal. I’ve attended so many of New York City’s animal fundraisers, but I have never enjoyed myself more than at this one. The DJ, DJDReal, was amazing. He played “Atomic Dog” by George Clinton, “Who Let the Dogs Out?,” “Cupid Shuffle” (renamed “Paw Shuffle” for this event) and, of course, the old standard, Elvis Presley’s “Hound Dog.” The venue was top-notch, too. Mitchell found The Lofts at Prince via Google by searching for “dog-friendly venues.”
The kool kat above in the shades is Tabasco, owned by Ada Nieves, an amazing woman with multiple dog-centric careers: pet fashion designer, animal talent manager and pet stylist who has been featured multiple times on TV shows including “The Late Show with David Letterman,” “Anderson Live” with Anderson Cooper, “Martha” with Martha Stewart, “30 Rock” and MTV. Nieves is also the co-chair and creative director for the New York Pet Fashion Show.
Meet Maltipoo ZZ Zeins, whose devoted mom is Ilene Zeins. Here ZZ is donning a bright red bow and a matching costume with sparkles everywhere, designed by Hec-lin Couture for Dogs by Roberto Negrin.
At every single New York City dog show I’ve attended over the years, two beautiful standouts are always in attendance: Joann and Lily Mercado. Here Lily is dolled up by Hec-lin Couture, and I’ve never seen her mommy Joann without that radiant smile!
On the left is BB, a Maltese and the “CPO” of Pups on the Runway. She is being held by the ever-effervescent and hard-working Bobbi Mitchell, the organizer of this event. Next to Bobbi stands Roberto Negrin holding one of his prize pups. Negrin’s Hec-lin Couture for Dogs made the doggie fashions for both pups. It’s clear that being around animals puts the whole crowd in a great mood. And, like Joann Mercado, I have never seen Bobbi without that glorious smile!
Dog mom Rose Ann Bolasny from Little Neck, N.Y., could not be more proud of her little therapy service dog, Bella Mia. The reigning Puppy Prom Queen spreads her love every Sunday when she goes to spend time with ailing children at The Ronald McDonald House, and every Tuesday, Bella Mia visits her friends at The Little Neck Nursing Home.
Mr. America is a gentle giant full of snuggles who came to the prom with mom Morgan Williams. Mr. America is a three-and-a-half-year-old Leonberger who travels all over the East Coast to attend animal fundraisers. He wouldn’t miss the Puppy Prom for anything! The theatrical dog has performed as Sandy in “Annie,” Bullseye in “Oliver Twist,” Helen Keller’s dog Belle in “The Miracle Worker” and Nana in “Peter Pan.” He has also filmed with Denzel Washington and Bill Pullman in the “Equalizer” movie coming to theaters Sept. 26. He’s won the title of Prom King last year and an International Show Championship title as well as an AKC Championship title. Mr. America is also a certified therapy dog who visits nursing and assisted-living homes and has been seen with Billy Crystal, Dennis Rodman, Rachael Ray, Dwight Gooden and more. He has a big heart to go along with that big body.
Lisa Coplin Kerner, Rose the Pug’s mom, said, “Rose would never go anywhere naked!” She’s a fashionista who loves her bling, shoes and hats. She’s the winner of the New York City 2014 Doggies and Tiaras pageant, which was held in February. Here Rose is dressed by Olga Yuditsky of Orostani Couture, and she and Lisa took home the prize for Best Matching Outfit. Rose helps her mom with their nonprofit PugsForPinky.com, which raises money to help sick pugs with medical expenses.
Meet Calypso, looking very pleasantly startled when the volunteers at Puppy Prom 2014 whipped out the dog snacks! Here she is wearing a costume from The Doggie Market. Calypso’s mom is Stavroula Psonis, who studied fashion and works at The New School.
Victoria Viscardi, another regular at all of the New York City doggie events, proudly shows off her beloved Pomeranian Gia Marie. Gia is a model, pupscout, fashionista and lover of all things pink. Gia was the crowned Prom Queen last year and was so excited to pass her crown to her best friend Bella Mia this year. Gia’s attire was made by Off the Cuffs Stuff for Pets by Julie Lancaster. The dress had tiny bows on the bodice with lovely Swarovski crystals in the center. There are eight underskirts with a floral lace border, and two of the underskirts are decorated in laces and ribbons. The waistline has a pink satin sash, and the big bow in the center is made of pink lamé and completely covered in pink crystals. “There are 12 huge Swarovski crystals and a total of 500 crystals on the bow,” Viscardi shared.
I don’t care what anybody says, though, Viki Anders’ pug Kismet was the sexiest stud there. He’s manly enough to feel confident in pink. He’s sexy, and he knows it — look at that body, look at that body. Kismet and his date Rose the Pug wore coordinated outfits made by Olga Yuditsky of Orostani Couture. His tuxedo is made of macramé rosette fabric with pink satin trimming, a triple collar and a peach satin shirt. He wore an oversized top hat covered head to toe in roses and Swarovski crystals. He’s too sexy for his hat, too sexy for the runway and too sexy for this Puppy Prom recap!
Dorri Olds is a contributing journalist for TheBlot Magazine.