Pets take center stage at festival

ROGERS CITY – For the first time in Nautical Festival pet show history the pets were giving back through the endorsement of Cheboygan County Humane Society, which took place on Friday.

Further encouraging people to adopt was one of last year’s winners, Noodle, and her owner Diane Missler, a former math teacher.

Noodle was a rescue dog Missler first fostered and then adopted. Missler now travels around the state with Noodle, a trained therapy dog, to different hospice facilities and hospitals.

“Mostly we are downstate in the Dearborn area but we like to come up here too especially around Nautical Festival,” Missler said.

Noodle’s special trick is to perform math by barking counts when asked a simple math equation. Missler further encouraged people to consider training their pets to be therapy dogs.

“They don’t have to do math to be a therapy pet,” she said.

While adoptable pets were not in attendance, shelter Director Mary Talaske and numerous volunteers awarded all of the pet contestants with treats.

“This is our first year at the show and we feel lucky to be supported,” Talaske said.

A board with photos of adoptable pets stood at the front of the stage while a 50/50 raffle and donations took place.

Twenty-nine contestants paraded around the stage, including a guinea pig and a tortoise. Event organizer Lori Lewandowski said in the four years she has organized the pet show dogs, cats and rabbits were all in attendance but this was the first year she had seen a tortoise and a guinea pig.

“It was fun to have the different pets here,” she said.

The informal show had categories for biggest, smallest, cutest, unique and costumes, but the real winner was the humane society.

“In at least 20 years that the pet show has been around, this is the first year we have brought in an organization. I’m really happy we did it because they made a little money from donations and the raffle and they got exposure,” Lewandowski said.

The pet show was sponsored by Awakon Federal Credit Union, Chemical Bank and Moran Iron Works.

Paige Edwards can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5693. Follow Paige on Twitter @pt_alpenanews.