These Dogs Celebrating Their Mardi Gras Birthdays Are Too Cute

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What happens when dogs get together to celebrate Mardi Gras birthdays? Rockettes and Playboy Bunnies show up and funds get raised for an animal shelter. (Photo by Dorri Olds)
What happens when dogs get together to celebrate Mardi Gras birthdays? Rockettes and Playboy Bunnies show up and funds get raised for an animal shelter. (Photo by Dorri Olds)

Over the weekend, I had the thrill of attending a Mardi Gras double-doggie birthday bash fundraiser at Animal Haven Shelter in New York. The event was organized by Bobbi Mitchell, mom to birthday girl BB, and co-organized by Joann Mercado for her birthday girl, Lily.

The fabulous fashion event — dog fashions that is — took place in downtown Manhattan on Sunday, Jan. 18. Despite the pouring rain (I got drenched), it was an incredible turnout and $1,000 was raised for Yorkie911 Rescue to help save homeless Yorkies and other toy breed pooches.

“This is a pawnographic party,” said former Playboy Bunny Jane Pontarelli, “not a pornographic party.”

When I asked how many dog fundraisers she attends each year she said, “About 10, but February is the busy month. It’s overload,” she added with a laugh.

I asked Pontarelli how she met her dog. “I got Lulu when she was 4 because my girlfriend adopted a baby that was left to the Foundling Hospital. The baby was 6-weeks-old. Lulu was one of four dogs they had at their 10,000-square-foot apartment on Park Avenue. When the social worker came to do a home visit for the adoption, Lulu attacked the social worker. Lulu didn’t want anybody near the baby; she was actually protecting her, but the social worker said, ‘That little white dog has to go.’ So, my girlfriend asked me if I could take Lulu. It was easy because it was love at first sight.”

Also in attendance were the long-legged former Radio City Rockettes dancer, Leslie Riddle, and her dog, Puccini. “Puccini is a Yorkipoo. My friend had a Yorkie, but a poodle humped her before she was fixed. My friend had her hands full and didn’t want to raise puppies so she called me and said, ‘You have to see this little guy!’” she shared. “So I went, and he was so cute with his red spiked hair. That was it. I took him home with me.”

I asked if Riddle would be attending an upcoming Valentine’s Day dog wedding. “Yes,” said Riddle. “I’m also working on it. I’m in charge of the location, food, ice and bartender. It’s going to be great. You have to come.”

I assured her that it’s already on my docket.

Carol Bryant, the CEO and founder of Wigglebutt Warriors, which is the fundraising arm of Fidose of Reality, is sponsoring the nuptials. I’m sure it will be a very romantic affair uniting two Pugs who love each other. The bride is Rose, and her mom is Lisa Coplin Kerner. The groom is Kismet whose mom is Viki Anders. Don’t worry, I’ll take lots of photos.

And now, without further ado, I give you the Mardi Gras birthday girls and their friends:

All photos by Dorri Olds

BB in her Mardi Gras birthday attire.
BB in her Mardi Gras birthday attire.
Birthday girl Lily stares intently at her cake.
Birthday girl Lily stares intently at her cake.
Melanie Lee’s Bella knows how to work the room.
Melanie Lee’s Bella knows how to work the room.
Dawn Deisler’s dog Chappy doing the ol’ scratch and sniff with Bella.
Dawn Deisler’s dog Chappy doing the ol’ scratch and sniff with Bella.
Birthday girl BB with her mom Bobbi Mitchell.
Birthday girl BB with her mom Bobbi Mitchell.
Beauty Theresa Wong and her fur baby BeeBee the Maltipoo.
Beauty Theresa Wong and her fur baby BeeBee the Maltipoo.
Rockette Leslie Riddle with her dog Puccini and Playboy Bunny Jane Pontarelli holding her Lulu.
Rockette Leslie Riddle with her dog Puccini and Playboy Bunny Jane Pontarelli holding her Lulu.
Event co-host Joann Mercado and her birthday girl Lily.
Event co-host Joann Mercado and her birthday girl Lily.
Heidi Walker’s Aramis snoozes while Pipsqueak salivates for b-day cake.
Heidi Walker’s Aramis snoozes while Pipsqueak salivates for b-day cake.
Bringing up the rear is Maria Paola’s Picasso Mhotita — a fine way to end.
Bringing up the rear is Maria Paola’s Picasso Mhotita — a fine way to end.

Dorri Olds is a contributing journalist for TheBlot Magazine

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