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Local Pooches Dress to the Nines for Downtown Puppy Prom

By Julie Shapiro | July 21, 2010 3:24pm | Updated on July 22, 2010 6:23am

By Julie Shapiro

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

FINANCIAL DISTRICT — Wearing designer gowns and homemade bow ties, more than 30 local dogs turned out to the third annual Puppy Prom at The Salty Paw pet spa and accessory shop Tuesday night.

“It’s just a silly way for us to bond with our dogs and be creative,” said Amanda Byron, 36, owner of the Peck Slip shop.

Her 140-pound Great Dane, named Tyras, towered handsomely above most of the other pups in a black top hat fastened beneath his chin with an electric blue ribbon.

As the dogs and their owners mingled, Byron and Andrea Arden, a dog trainer with three shows on Animal Planet, carefully weighed the decision of who to crown king and queen of the prom.

After whispered deliberation, they settled on Cubby, a 2-year-old Westie who wore a sparkling, flower-studded gown by designer Deni Alexander, and Munchie, a 3-year-old Maltese-Chihuahua who wore a cowboy hat, sunglasses and an outfit topped with a shiny orange bow.

Lourdes Lebron, 56, Munchie’s owner, said her dog does not object to the accessories.

“He loves to get dressed up because he knows it means party time,” said Lebron, a Yonkers resident, as she danced with Munchie in her arms.

Erika Searl, Cubby’s owner, said she couldn’t tell whether Cubby and her 5-year-old Yorkie, Ginger, wanted to get dressed up.

“But they had to,” said Searl, a Hell's Kitchen resident, “because it’s Puppy Prom!”

Before the crowning of the king and queen, dog owners packed into the small store to sip glasses of wine and buy raffle tickets benefitting nonprofit Posh Pets Rescue.

Meanwhile, more than two-dozen pooches raced around the store underfoot, sniffing and occasionally mounting each other, but more often just stealing each other’s peanut butter cake. Some wore outfits that cost their owners $200 or more.

Cubby and Munchie did not share a dance, as they might have done at a people’s prom, but Searl did have one very important question for Lebron about Munchie, before she would let Cubby get too close.

“Is he single?” Searl asked.

Lebron just laughed.