PITTSFIELD -- Tom-Boy was light on his paws Sunday afternoon at Berkshire Community College.
The 7-year-old, 145-pound Great Pyrenees danced his way to victory, winning "Best Trick" at the annual Not Your Average Dog Show sponsored by the BCC Foundation, the college's charitable organization.
Tom-Boy two-stepped on his hind legs with owner Liz Marino of South Egremont; a trick her canine companion easily learned.
"Naturally, this breed likes to put its paws on your shoulders and look you in the eyes," Marino said.
Tom-Boy was among the dozens of purebred and mixed breed dogs who entered the show ring at the Paterson Field House on West Street. The pooches were vying for eight other titles such as "Most Beautiful
The Not Your Average Dog Show benefits the BCC Foundation, which provides financial assistance to students attending the main campus and the college's South County Center in Great Barrington.
Last year, the nonprofit organization awarded nearly 175 scholarships totaling $190,000, according to foundation Executive Director Jeff Doscher. In addition, the fund provides emergency and other financial aid to students.
While Sunday's dog show was expected to raise several thousand dollars, Doscher says it's also about promoting the college and giving dog owners a chance to socialize with their pets.
"People love getting out with their dogs," he said. "In fact, we have more
Deuce, a 7-year-old Bernese mountain dog, regularly attends the dog show with his owners, Steve and Judy Pavlosky, of Lenox.
"We give a donation, walk around and just have a great time," said Steve Pavlosky.
Nevertheless, the dogs that did compete seemed unfazed by the spotlight, according to their owners.
Kristen Kinsella, of Pittsfield, noted how Gracie, a Dogue de Bordeaux, or French mastiff, held her own by capturing second place in the "Best Trick" category, by whispering.
The French mastiff was popularized in the 1989 Tom Hanks comedy-drama, "Turner and Hooch"; Hooch being Hank's slobbering four-legged partner.
"After I saw the movie, I wanted one," Kinsella said. "And yes they drool a lot."
Small dogs also shined, with 4-year-old Coco taking the title of "Fastest Tail Wagger." Owner, 12-year-old Riley Andersen, of Dalton, was confident her chocolate-colored cockapoo would grab the top prize, after finishing third at last year's dog show.
"He never stops wagging his tail," she said.
To reach Dick Lindsay:
or (413) 496-6233.