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Dogs have their day in Huntington

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Maryann Bickar and her mother’s dog Stinker were sure this year was their year. The two had competed twice before in the pet and pet owner look-alike contest at the West Virginia Hotdog Festival.

This year they came dressed as hotdogs.

“A friend of mine made this for him,” Bickar said of the dog’s costume. “We wanted to win. There’s always next year.”

Bickar and Stinker were just two of the participants in the sixth annual festival that was held in Huntington’s Pullman Square Saturday afternoon. The event drew dogs and their owners as well as hot dog lovers from all over the Tri-State for look-alike and costume contests, races, and of course, hot dogs.

“Everybody gets a chance to get out and enjoy each other,” Bickar said. “I just think it’s fantastic.”

And while unfortunately for her, Bickar and the dog did not win the look-alike contest, the event turned out a little better for Bob Aaron and his dog Shayna, who took top honors. Aaron and the dog, a Chinese crested hairless, both dressed in hula skirts and coconut bras, though Aaron’s was over a Hawaiian shirt.

“My wife made me do it,” Aaron said. The couple has two Chinese crested dogs, as well as two hairless cats and a mule. “I was lucky she didn’t make me do the mule.”

His wife, Kim Aaron, saw the idea on television.

“I was like, ‘we’re doing that’,” she said. “We’re so there.”

This is the couple’s first year participating in the festival, though they have had the dog in other contests.

“She always wins for most unique pet. We’ve decided that translates into ugliest dog,” Kim Aaron said with a laugh.