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A Doggie Prom will be at Pup N Iron in Stafford County this Saturday

Date published: 3/31/2011



Man's best friend is invited to the prom this year.

The first White Tie and Tails Doggie Prom, hosted by Pup 'N Iron Canine Fitness & Learning Center in Stafford County, will take place this Saturday from 6 to 9 p.m.

This one-of-a-kind gala gives dogs and dog owners alike the unique opportunity to dress up, shake their respective tails and chow down together for a good cause.

And at the end of the evening, one lucky pooch will even be dubbed prom queen.

All proceeds from the Doggie Prom will benefit United Maltese Rescue, a volunteer-driven nonprofit dedicated to the general care and rescue of dogs in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia.

"Few people really get to dress up and go anywhere with their dogs," said Laurie Williams, owner of Pup 'N Iron and host of the event. "It's prom season for humans--why can't it be prom season for dogs, too?"

The Doggie Prom is the latest in a string of events hosted by the facility. A few years ago, it hosted a black-tie event benefiting the same charity.

This year's White Tie and Tails event--in which attendees actually may wear whatever color tie they'd like--features several silent auctions for dog apparel and accessories, DJ entertainment, raffles, hors d'oeuvres and even a complimentary doggie gift bag for the two-legged attendees.

"We have a slew of sponsors that have donated some really cool items," said Williams about the sponsors of the event--which include Blue Dog Bakery, Jones Natural Chews Co. and Freshpet meals for pets.

"We even have an opportunity for our guests to take prom photos with their dogs, just like they would have in high school."

As humans enjoy mingling amid a healthy spread of food and refreshments, dogs can enjoy cocktails at the Muttini Bar.

"We will have treats and different flavored waters in martini glasses for the dogs," said Williams. "It's going to be a great photo opportunity--how often do you get to see them having a martini?"

While all attendees will enjoy food and fun, only a select few pooches will be voted to the coveted prom court.

Williams' famed Maltese, Andrew--the runner-up in the 2008 installment of CBS' "Greatest American Dog"--will serve as the honorary prom king.

"When guests arrive, we will be taking nominations for prom queen and court," said Williams. "Andrew likes older women and bigger women; he likes Malteses, Saint Bernards and so many different kinds of dogs.

"It will be fun to see who gets to sit on the throne with him!"

Crowning puppy royalty aside, Saturday's celebration is really all about helping animals and spending quality time with four-legged friends.

"Dog people are usually a little bit grungy, wearing jeans and sneakers for rolling around with our dogs," said Williams. "This event really gives us an opportunity to get dressed up and spend some quality time with our dogs.

"Our goal is to build a better relationship between humans and dogs, and keep them in loving homes."

Jesse Scott is a Fredericksburg writer.

What: White Tie and Tails Doggie Prom Where: Pup 'N Iron Canine Fitness & Learning Center, 21 Perchwood Drive, Unit 111, Stafford When: Saturday, April 2, 6-9 p.m. Cost: $15/person, $25/couple (advance); $20/ person, $30/couple (door); dogs enter free Info: 540/659-7614; pupniron.com