Is the White House Correspondents’ Dinner for the dogs? Yes! The Washington Animal Rescue League & Wendy Diamond gather pups and their respective owners at the Helix Hotel for a ‘yappy hour.’
By Katherine Delmonico
Photographers everywhere. Blinding flashbulbs. Reporters frantically scribbling names in their notebooks. Video cameras pointed at…..a German Shepherd?
Such was the scene at the Helix Hotel for the White House Pet Correspondent’s Dinner, hosted by animal media maven Wendy Diamond and the Washington Animal Rescue League. A kitschy play on the ultimate media event, the event showcased local broadcasting ladies & gents (including Tucker Carlson, Craig Newark, Buzz Aldrin and John McLaughlin) with their beloved pooches.
While the White House Correspondents’ Dinner was “who’s who” in media, this event was a “who’s who”of the dog park. Angie Goff’s adorable yellow lab, Atticus, was among the celebrity pups who were primed and ready for the spotlight. A Bo Obama look-alike also surfaced who was rescued from a puppy mill in Allentown, PA. Perhaps he was supposed to be a decoy for the paparazzi to throw them off the, er, scent. The pups were getting the royal treatment, snacking on Kibbles & Bits (one of the events sponsors) and otherwise soaking up the attention, many of them dressed in their finest cocktail wear for the occasion. One black lab was decked out in a Louis Vuitton leash and collar set, while Karen Biehl’s chihuahua, Eli, was sporting a red leather jacket.
Wendy Diamond, founder of Animal Fair magazine and pet guru, was promoting her new book It’s a Dog’s World“ , and her dog, Lucky Diamond, was in tow to help out. Diamond has cornered the media market on all things pet related, regularly contributing to the Today Show, CNN, and Good Morning America, as well as authoring several books and appearing as a judge on CBS’s “Greatest American Dog”.
As well, the event raised money for the Washington Animal Rescue League, a local non-profit that seeks to find homes for abused and abandoned dogs. Many come from puppy mill raids, rescuing these animals from deplorable conditions. I visited the Washington Animal Rescue League website and they have a very helpful animal match system that determines your “Feline-” or “Canine-ality”, and seeks to match you with the perfect animal to fit your lifestyle.
I decided to walk up to the Logan Circle event, about 20 minutes from my apartment, as it was a gorgeous spring evening in our fair city. On my way there, I took notice of countless professionals, probably just arriving home from work, popping out of their apartment buildings to take their eager Fidos for a walk. I found myself longing for my beloved childhood West Highland White Terrier, Maddie, who resides at my parent’s house and cannot move to D.C. with me, as she would probably become mildly apoplectic if removed from her ‘kingdom’ (also known as the cubby in my dad’s closet that she hides in when she is stubbornly refusing to take her medicine/go to the vet/do anything that seems vaguely annoying to her at the time). I had truly never before noticed what a seemingly dog-friendly city D.C. is, but it’s probably just as well, because, as Harry Truman said, “If you want a friend in Washington- get a dog.”