It may have been raining cats and dogs, but that didn’t dampen the spirits of the four furry contestants at the Tanana Valley State Fair’s pet show Saturday.

The opponents helped keep the cuteness factor at overload as they proudly showed off their costumes, charmed the judges and drew “oohs” and “ahhs” from the audience. 

The contest, a yearly event sponsored by Companions Inc., was open to dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, potbellied pigs, pocket pets and reptiles, but not to reindeer bulls over six months of age. This year all of the pets were of the canine persuasion, and all chose to compete in the costume contest division instead of performing tricks. 

Charlotte, a 6-month-old mini goldendoodle owned by 9-year-old Emma Miller, wore a spotted cow costume and won first place in the children’s division. Charlotte got bonus points because her costume reflected to this year’s fair theme, “Love is a Cattle Field.”

“If you conform to the theme you get an extra ribbon, so there’s all kinds of ribbon action here,” master of ceremonies Eric Stevens said afterward.

Ash, an almost-1-year-old golden retriever, won second place in the children’s division with his “Harry Potter”-themed Draco Malfoy costume.

Shailee and Louis, a 10-week-old brother and sister toy Yorkshire terrier duo, took first place in the adult division with their matching red, white and blue dresses purchased online by owners Liran and Michelle Farkash.

Judge Helenmarie Matesi said she enjoys the pet show and has volunteered for it often throughout the years.

“I think it’s a great little event, because kids, and actually even adults, like to come and talk about their pets. Have you ever seen a turtle in a dress? Well, you need to,” Matesi said.

Stevens, the emcee, conceded the wet weather may have kept attendance down but, on the bright side, “That means everybody’s a winner.” 

“It’s all just for fun; it’s noncompetitive,” Stevens said. “We’re making the best of it on a rainy day.”

Contact staff writer Dorothy Chomicz at 459-7582. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMcrime.

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