At great personal peril, last night The Observer headed to cavernous Gotham Hall to raise a glass at the Bideawee 2012 Gala. It is a rare occasion that your humble reporter has to be mindful of a melee of dog leashes around our pumps, or the all-too-real possibility of squashing a dachshund. But, being gonzo reporters in the tradition of Hunter S. Thompson, we were ready to rub elbows with whatever the Bideawee Board of Directors could throw at us.
The New York-based humane organization has existed for over a century, and Monday’s gala celebrated a hundred years at Bideawee’s 38th Street headquarters. For still obscure reasons, host Adrian Grenier dropped out at the last moment leaving animal lover Beth Ostrosky Stern to present in his stead—a move that upset her husband Howard Stern, who took to the airwaves this morning to excoriate the Entourage actor.
Pet attendance was de rigeur. Owners and their animals enjoyed wine and dog biscuits, both served from silver trays. Browsing the silent auction, guests could bid on items—ranging from a wine refrigerator to Colbert Report passes—using specially outfitted iPods. Whoever won those Neil Diamond tickets, we hope you’ll be in touch.
“If I were young and single, I would want to be here. I like being with dog lovers,” we heard one grey-haired gentleman note.
Bideawee board member Pam Laudenslager and cockapoo Lucy both seemed to be enjoying the fracas of guests furry and slightly-less-furry. Of Lucy, who was sporting an LED light on her collar, Ms. Laudenslager told us, “She’s definitely a party girl.” We only wondered if Lucy might say the same for Ms. Laudenslager.
We were pondering a second adult beverage when our gaze was caught by a vision in white, a heady confection of sequins and brocade. It was Bogie, a 10-month-old chihuahua sporting a striking cape and matching top hat. Bogie was accompanied by Anthony Rubio, animal activist and creator of Bandit Rubio pet couture. “I design all his clothing. He just learned how to wear the hats. See the Velcro? And there’s Velcro here.” Mr. Rubio directed our gaze to the back of Bogie’s collar and top hat. “I usually attach the hats to the collars as an illusion. But today he wore the hat.” For the past three years, Mr. Rubio has designed bespoke clothing for the well-heeled, four-legged set. “It’s not something you buy on a rack, it’s all made to measure,” he told us. And what does the face of the pet couture market look like these days? “Anybody and everybody. For weddings, special occasions. That’s another one of my designs, on Sadie.” The spaniel on the receiving end of Mr. Rubio’s gesture was wearing a gown equal parts Dynasty and Edwardian madame.
Stacy McCosky, Sadie’s owner, told us about the gown’s inception. “I let Anthony design it 100% percent, because he is amazing and every time I say, ‘Go for it,’ he comes out with a spectacular design!”
Our only regret of the evening? We had to head to the Q train before—as promised by our press release—a human/animal dance to the tune of “Who Let the Dogs Out.” Or should we say, ‘whom?’
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