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The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Manayunk bakery holds puppy costume contest

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Oso revels in his win at the Pet Friendly Dog Bakery costume contest. PHOTO: Mitchell Shields ’22

Families walked down Main Street with children dressed in costumes in the Manayunk neighborhood of Philadelphia on Oct. 26 for the neighborhood’s “Halloween in Manayunk.” Parents followed their children, who scurried from building to building trick-or-treating on the cool and cloudy Saturday afternoon.

However, once they entered an unsuspecting gray building, squeezed between a law office and a pub on the corner of Cotton Street and Main Street, they were met by roughly two dozen furry friends wagging their tails under their spooky costumes.

Pet Friendly Dog Bakery, a bakery nestled in the heart of Manayunk, held its second annual “Doggo Costume Contest” at its studio apartment sized dog play area behind their store, next to the Schuylkill river.

Stephanie Johnson, general manager of Pet Friendly Dog Bakery, said they love to see dogs, especially those in cute and creative outfits, and the owners love it too. She said the contest was also about getting more business.

“[We try] to get people who have never been here before to come in and visit us and see what we’re all about,” Johnson said.

She said the bakery tries to join in on the festivities that Manyunk hosts. Last weekend they partook in “Out & About in MNYK,” a LGBTQIA+ themed weekend that promotes Manayunk as an inclusive neighborhood.

“We did fun pride items and stuff like that,” Johnson said. “We just try to integrate with the community.”

Elizabeth Downing, a resident of the East Falls neighborhood of Philadelphia, brought her curly haired mini goldendoodle, Jack, dressed up as Fozzie Bear from The Muppets. Downing said she brought Jack out to the contest because she thinks it is fun to dress him up, and he loves playing with other dogs.

“He just seems to put a smile on everybody’s face,” Downing said.

Elizabeth Downing of East Falls, with her dog, Jack, said she brought Jack to a St. Patrick’s Day event at the bakery. PHOTO: MITCHELL SHIELDS ’22

Dorthy Catania, a resident of the Andorra neighborhood of Philadelphia, brought her two dogs, Daisy, a Yorkie poodle, and Sophie, a Shih Tzu mix, dressed up as sharks. Catania said she usually calls Daisy “Baby Shark” because Daisy likes to growl, but really she is all bark and no bite.

“She’s little and people laugh at her,” Catania said. “A shark seemed like the best costume and [Sophie] just went along for the ride.”

At the end of the event, Natalie Sroka, assistant manager of Pet Friendly Dog Bakery, announced the winner of the contest and presented them with a $20 gift card to the bakery.

Mara Rodriguez, a Philadelphia resident, brought the winning dog, Oso, a two-month-old Bernese Mountain Dog, dressed in a panda costume. She said she does not own Oso, but two of her co-workers, who were working at the time, do. She said she insisted she bring Oso to the contest.

“I could guarantee he would win,” Rodriguez said. “He’s the cutest little panda there is right now.”

Johnson said she felt that overall, the event was well received and the pooches that partook in the pageant enjoyed themselves.

“I think next year we need to put more people on staff, but otherwise I think everybody seems really happy with it,” Johnson said.

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