Celia Rivenbark

The D-lister’s life of dog show judging

When you’re a D-list celebrity, you tend to accept any offer to appear in public that will give you a little love because, as the saying goes, there is no such thing as bad publicity.

Turns out there sorta is. For example, if your ego and desire to “grow your brand” (a truly annoying phrase) forces you to accept the role of “celebrity judge” for a dog costume contest as mine did a couple of days ago, you might consider it “bad publicity” for a few hundred people to have cell phone pics of a fairly large labradoodle leaping from the runway and diving into your, uh, crotchal area like it’s a bowl full of Pup-peroni.

Somehow, I don’t think Dave Barry ever had to deal with this particular issue. Nor should he. A-lister.

Yes, hubris thy name is “Sure, I’ll do it!” At no point did I actually tell the fine folks who were using the costume contest to raise money to fight puppy mills that I don’t technically like dogs.

From the time I walked into the ballroom and saw that the refreshments included large cookies shaped like bones, I knew two things: One, I sure hoped that cookie was for humans because it was surprisingly tasty if not, and two, dogs have absolutely no pride. How else do you explain a giant lab parading down a runway wearing a Rastafarian wig of impressive foot-long dreads and a Jamaican flag inspired kimono?

Seated in my Official Judging Chair at the end of the runway, I had to wonder just how much designer cat food it would take for a cat, any cat, to put up with this sort of thing.

How to explain the bulldog mix who wore some kind of tutu gizmo and strutted to “Brickhouse”?

There were three other “celebrity” judges and all of them were young, skinny and gorgeous.

“I have purses older than you!” I said to one, who smiled and said, “I know, right?”

OK, no she didn’t. She was sweet. Ugh. Dog people. They are all so damn nice. Sadly, I like my pets to have a little more attitude and a lot less willingness to parade around in a retro striped jail costume complete with jaunty matching cap perched at an angle. One rescue Chihuahua trembled in her owner’s arms and refused to walk the runway. It was the closest thing I saw to a cat all night so I immediately scribbled “best of show” beside her name.

The evening raised a ton of money for a fine cause and, like a true D-lister, I left with a purse full of hors d’ oeuvres including some amazing mini cornbread muffins with hot dogs baked inside.

Someday, I hope to, ahem, claw my way to the C list, where I could be asked to judge fashion shows featuring humans.

“No, no, Kylie Jenner,” I will say. “It is never going to be stylish to wear bubble-wrap chaps and nothing else. Chew toy?”

Celia Rivenbark is the New York Times best-selling author of “Rude B****** Make Me Tired.” Visit www.celiarivenbark.com.

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