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Woodbury resident Sara Carachuri and her maltese Pinky will be featured in the first-ever "Doggies on the Runway" fall fashion show this Thursday. Pink will be modeling a custom-made wedding gown.

Fashion forward dogs

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Two Woodbury dogs will be striking a pose Thursday when they hit the runway in Golden Valley.

Gizmo, a pug, and Pinky, a maltese, will be two of 26 dogs hitting the runway Thursday at the Golden Valley Golf and Country Club for the first-ever "Doggies on the Runway" fall fashion show.

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"It's very different than just seeing humans walking down the runway," said Woodbury resident and event organizer Donna Chicone.

A percentage of the proceeds from the fashion show will be donated to the Animal Humane Society.

Chicone and three other women came up with the concept of "Doggies on the Runway" as a way to illustrate that dogs can be well behaved in a public place.

"We really want to demonstrate how dogs can be in a public venue," Chicone said. "This is a great opportunity to make that point. Everything can be very harmonious with the humans and the dogs."

Earlier this summer, auditions were held for dogs and their owners.

For the event, both the dogs and their owners will be models.

"People are really proud of their relationship with their dogs and want to share that," Chicone said.

Woodbury resident Sara Carachuri said she decided to audition her maltese Pinky because it sounded like something fun to do together.

"I just like to spend time with my dog and I just thought it would be a fun event to do with Pinky," she said. "She's my little sidekick."

Carachuri said being a model is almost second nature to Pinky.

"She likes to strut her stuff no matter what," she said. "She's a little diva dog. She's just a calm little confident dog."

Woodbury resident Rich Cinker said he auditioned his pug Gizmo for similar reason - a chance to spend time together.

"We just thought it would be fun for him to play with other dogs," he said. "He's got quite the personality."

Cinker's wife Tricia said Gizmo is a natural fit for the runway.

"He's an entertainer," she said. "He loves to entertain people."

Posh pooches

For "Doggies on the Runway," Chicone and her co-organizers approached several dog boutiques, including Woodbury's Posh Pooch, to provide clothes for the fashion show.

The concept of the fashion show is to have the dog owners model some of today's hot fashions, with their dogs accompanying them in complementary attire.

"We looked at what was really available for clothing," said c o-organizer Pat Maltz. "We wanted to look at what are the things people would be interested in and what things that could include your dog."

"Doggies on the Runway" will be split into several areas of fashion including: fall and winter fashions, outdoor fashions, holiday fashions and vacation fashions

"We've got a lot of different pieces," she said.

Even though the dogs will be dressed up, Chicone said they are making sure to dress them up appropriately.

"Dressing them is going to be done respectfully," Chicone said. "We're not going to force a dog to wear anything they won't wear comfortably - we don't want to embarrass them."

Pinky and Gizmo will be featured in the grand finale wearing custom-made bridal gown and tuxedo. Cinker and Carachuri will wearing accompanying formal attire.

Chicone and Maltz said if "Doggies on the Runway" becomes a success, they are considering either making it annual or even a touring event.

Carachuri said she is most excited about seeing the joy her dog brings during the fashion show.

"I'm excited to see all the smiles that she will bring," she said.

Cinker, who said he didn't know he was auditioning himself and his dog, said he is just excited to see all the other dogs.

"I'd rather be in the audience to see him and see the other dogs," he said. "But it'll be fun to show him off."

Maltz said she is very excited about the event and knows that it will be a success.

"People will see fun that you can have with a good companion," she said. "These models and their dogs are just a hoot."

The "Doggies on the Runway" fall fashion show is Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Golden Valley Golf and Country Club, 7001 Golden Valley Road in Golden Valley. Tickets are $30 at the door. Children 12 and under are $10. A percentage of the proceeds will be donated to the Animal Humane Society. For more information visit www.doggiesontherunway.com.

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Amber Kispert-Smith
Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.
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